“Faster, Better, More,” prepared for BRIDGE Housing by Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future (SAHF), focuses primarily on available technologies and strategies that can impact materials and labor costs. The paper explores the benefits, potential cost savings, challenges and considerations of techniques such as offsite construction (OSC), including panelized systems, complete modules and hybrid typologies. Among the numerous potential advantages of OSC:
- More efficient use of raw materials
- Dual tracking site work and unit construction
- Reduced construction loan interest due to shorter construction period
The paper also describes how broader use of more cost-effective and sustainable wood materials and components may offer another opportunity for cost or time savings. Mass timber, for example, presents a host of structural, aesthetic and environmental benefits that may also offer direct and indirect cost savings, particularly as these products become more commonplace and efficiencies of scale are achieved.
The paper provides several policy recommendations that can support innovation and adoption of cost-containment techniques. And included in the appendices are resources such as vendor and manufacturer profiles, and comparisons of features, time and costs.