Prefabricated building in Japan, Sweden is quite mature, in recent years in some developed countries and regions are also gradually showing the trend of rapid development.
At present, a large number of enterprises in western countries represented by Britain and the United States have entered prefabricated buildings, and governments in Asian countries and regions represented by Hong Kong and Singapore, whose prefabricated construction market is still in its infancy, have gradually begun to favor this field.
How is the global prefabricated building industry faring? Eou home furnishing will focus on the typical British, American, Hong Kong and Singapore markets from the aspects of background, consumer cognition, development status and future trend, and describe the industry overview.
Background: housing costs are high and the gap is widening
The UK needs about 250,000 new homes a year but has been building fewer than 150,000 a year. This, on the one hand, leads to the rise of housing prices, on the other hand, also leads to the expansion of urban rental demand.
America is in the midst of a historic housing shortage. The number of new homes built each year is more than 20 percent below the average from 1975 to 2000. In 2017 alone, there was a shortfall of 400,000 homes in the United States. As supply failed to keep up with demand, U.S. house prices at one point grew at twice the rate of income growth and at three times the rate of inflation.
Apart from the two factors of large housing gap and high housing cost, another important constraint for urban development is the lack of land resources. Hong Kong ranks first in the list of the world’s most crowded countries/regions, while Singapore ranks second. Cities are forced to expand skyward.
Under the background of high housing prices and housing shortage, some experienced construction workers and technical workers (electricians, carpenters, etc.) chose to leave because they could not bear the high housing prices, prices and other living costs in metropolises. The willingness of the younger generation to enter the construction industry and become “craftsmen” decreased year by year with economic growth. As old workers continue to leave due to aging, cost of living and other factors, but there is not enough fresh blood to supplement, the construction labor shortage has become a global trend, and become more and more severe.
In addition, labor shortage has contributed to the soaring human resource costs in these countries and regions, and indirectly contributed to the rise in housing prices.
And, to make matters worse for Britain, where about 15% of construction workers are from other European countries, leaving the eu would do nothing to ease the current Labour squeeze.
If there are not enough people, we must rely on machines. But the reality is not good.
Take Britain for example. According to the office for national statistics, productivity growth in manufacturing averaged 3.2 per cent a year, compared with 0.4 per cent in construction, thanks to improvements in automation and the replacement of people with machines. “Construction is one of the last sectors to modernise,” said Mark Farmer, head of the UK government’s Cast Consultancy, a think-tank. “most of the other products we use have the hallmarks of industrialisation, but there is still no difference between modern and ancient architecture.”
The housing shortage requires the construction industry to carry out construction with higher efficiency and lower cost. One of the reasons for the low efficiency and high cost of the construction industry is the low degree of industrialization and the high dependence on labor. Assembly-type construction, where most of the work is done on the assembly line at 50 percent of the time and 20 to 30 percent less than conventional construction, seems to be the optimal solution to this problem.
Cognition: the pursuit of residence based on quality
The British still think of prefabricated buildings as “shoddy bungalows built in response to the post-war housing crisis”, while the americans think of prefabricated buildings as “humble suburban detachable houses”.
Australia’s Queensland university of technology, according to a study in Sweden, 80% of residential fully or partially USES the technology of prefabricated, Japan has as much as 16% of new housing is a prefabricated building, while the British part of the fabricated technology of new housing is less than 5%, the real prefabricated construction will only less and the United States also is not optimistic, prefabricated building accounted for only 2% of new housing.
Moreover, British and American cognition of architecture itself is also greatly different from that of Japan, where prefabricated architecture is quite developed. Although designed to last between 50 and 100 years, Japanese families that use prefabricated buildings often rebuild their homes every 30 years because they consider them as depreciating as cars. In contrast, British and American people are more in pursuit of stable and permanent housing, and put forward higher requirements for quality and durability.
British and American consumers’ cognition has not been updated, and they have a misunderstanding of “poor quality” of prefabricated buildings. Moreover, they are more in pursuit of housing quality, so they tend not to give priority to prefabricated buildings when buying houses.
In fact, prefabricated buildings come from the assembly line of large factories, and the accuracy of products and standardization of production process are guaranteed. According to the introduction, the size of the assembly building parts are often fine to 0.1 mm, the error is much smaller than the traditional building rely on human completed.
The days of “good wine needs no bush” are over. It is natural for prefabricated buildings to catch the hearts of consumers and cultivate their inner strength and empower themselves with science and technology. It also requires the industry to pay more attention and make greater efforts to reverse consumers’ misunderstanding and update their cognition.