ACE urges the government to deliver on its off-site pledge

The government needs to deliver on previously made commitments around off-site manufacturing, including for repeatable social infrastructure to be delivered using a platform/off-site approach, according to a new report issued today by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).

The report, Project Speed and off-site manufacturing, is the latest in its Project Speed briefing series exploring how to deliver the government’s infrastructure agenda “better, greener and faster” and argues that the benefits of off-site will only be realised through greater scale and that government procurement should be leveraged to drive wider adoption. While its previously made pledge resulted in the Department for Education procuring 22 major off-site contracts, other public bodies are lagging with the remaining departments procuring only one between them.

Commenting on the release of the report, which was trailed at an Infrastructure Intelligence webinar last Friday, ACE’s head of policy Guto Davies said: “Government commitments on off-site need to be realised if we are to see off-site fulfilling its undoubted potential for better, greener and faster delivery in the built environment. Ambitions around levelling-up, net zero and in the more immediate-term around post-pandemic recovery, could all be boosted thanks to a wider adoption of offsite which not only has the potential to unlock social value, but offers the possibility for swift delivery.”

Other recommendations in the wide-ranging report include, ensuring wider compliance with the Construction Playbook and Value Toolkit, providing more detail on off-site projects within the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, as well as funding training and qualifications for off-site construction skills.

Project Speed and off-site manufacturing also argues that the industry needs to do more by advocating the benefits of off-site to all stakeholders, embracing more collaborative delivery models to realise off-site opportunities and adopt a more standardised approach to pre-manufactured components.

Davies added: “Of course, industry has an important role to play too, primarily as a champion for off-site and the opportunities it unlocks, to help overcome long-standing and out-dated misconceptions around the approach.”

Click here to download the report, Project Speed and off-site manufacturing.

If you would like to contact Andy Walker about this, or any other story, please email