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Off-site Construction Research Centre

About the OCRC

The Off-site Construction Research Centre at the University of New Brunswick seeks to transform the construction industry by optimizing alternate solutions to conventional, ‘stick-built’, on-site construction.

Our mission

UNB’s Off-site Construction Research Centre challenges current Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) off-site practices to leap ahead and deliver even better performance and a superior end product.

Research investigates how to manufacture multi-disciplinary DfMA elements with a high degree of aesthetic finish to allow owners and designers the freedom to create unique, functional, architecturally-pleasing projects.

“The ‘industrialization’ of construction has begun with the goal of moving substantial on-site activities into a factory environment. We believe UNB, with its research and innovation capabilities and our investment, will become an international leader as this transformation unfolds.”

Hans O. Klohn, President, OSCO Construction Group

Necessity meets opportunity

In New Brunswick, local projections over the coming decade call for growth in all related sectors, including:

  • residential
  • institutional
  • commercial
  • industrial
  • new infrastructure
  • operations and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

The construction sector expands from a local activity to a multi-dimensional industry competing on a national and international scale

The future points to DfMA adoption

Current trends reflect the need to shift from conventional on-site construction to a DfMA approach:

  • advanced automation and robotics solutions are impacting the construction industry
  • information modelling technologies in design and construction are changing collaboration as well as how information and communication technology is leveraged
  • owners request more efficient use of their capital to build infrastructure while lean construction initiatives are being adopted to improve productivity
  • waste reduction, energy efficiency and other green building initiatives are becoming the norm
  • contractual relationships like Integrated Project Delivery, public-private partnerships and Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Transfer are enhancing collaboration
  • North America is facing shortages of experienced and skilled on-site tradespeople

These challenges create an urgent need and an exceptional opportunity.

Off-site construction is primed for research and development. UNB is poised to break new ground and its partners, the construction industry and the province will benefit from the results.