Housing crisis and lack of skilled labour to drive prefab market

The prefabricated volumetric building systems market will grow by 14% between 2020 and 2024 according to the latest ‘Prefabricated Volumetric Building Systems Market Report’ by AMA Research.

The biggest market for volumetric products is temporary accommodation on construction sites, industrial sites and event hire, which is worth around £350-380 million annually.

Over the next few years to 2024, there are several factors that could well underpin a steady growth in the sector, the report said. These include an increasing number of public sector procurement frameworks that include several key modular building contractors, and an increasing use of Building Information Modelling.

More importantly there is now a strong likelihood of an increase in the use of volumetric and other types of off-site construction methods to help meet the chronic housing shortage and cope with the lack of traditional construction skills within the construction industry.

Healthcare is a key area of use for volumetric modules, used for applications such as temporary and permanent wards, operating theatres, radiography/X Ray units, etc.

Health sector output is currently forecast to stabilise at around £2.5bn in 2019-20. However, there is likely to be some short-term emergency investment to cope with the additional strain on the service as a result of Covid-19. This may also further highlight the under investment in the health sector over the last 10 years and support longer term investment and development programmes.

In the short term, demand will be impacted by the Covid-19 restrictions, resulting in potential delays to some projects but, conversely, some short-term demand from the health and possibly the grocery sector to expand capacity.

Assuming some bounce back for the construction sector after the restrictions are lifted, the longer-term outlook for the volumetric sector is more positive, AMA said.