When it comes to resilience—enduring extreme climate events with little damage, and recovering quickly afterward—factory construction offers some distinct advantages, especially while a home is under construction.
While a home is being constructed, the on-site process offers “passive” protection like shading or “active” protection with A/C equipment to mitigate the risk of overheating. In the factory, however, workers, building materials and equipment are protected from extreme conditions.
In the event of a flood during construction, there may be damage to unfinished buildings on-site, while a home being built in a factory is not affected. (This assumes that the factory is not affected by the same flood, of course.)
During rain and hailstorms, tornadoes and wildfire events, a home or building under construction could be exposed to wind forces or other elements that a half-completed roof or wall framing cannot withstand. A wildfire even 25km away from a project site could mean that construction activity needs to stop for insurance purposes. During these extreme climate events, it can be very difficult to protect unfinished projects at the site. When construction takes place in a factory—away from the area being affected—construction can take place even during a climate event and homes will not be destroyed by being exposed to the elements or extreme forces. Materials will not be compromised by fire or water and structural connections would not be loosened by wind. Community recovery may also be faster when rebuilding can take place off-site in a location that was spared from the extreme event.
Once the home is at the site, factory construction still offers an advantage. A factory-constructed home—built to withstand transport to the building site—generally offers higher wind and deformation resistance than would be required for a home built on-site, which also protects the factory-built home against lateral loads and uplift forces in extreme wind conditions.