One way of reducing high numbers of expat labour is by increasing the use of modern methods of construction, most notably in off-site prefabrication, says Christine O'Callaghan, commercial manager, Off-Site Engineering Solutions.
The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) in the UK found that the use prefabricated MEP modules result in 34% to 90% reduction in installation labour. This translates to an average of 66 - 90 fewer visas in every 100 needed previously.
O'Callaghan said: "Prefabricated modules are a process and a delivery system, not a product. A highly engineered process bringing factory disciplines to bear on complex construction sub-assemblies that are often more difficult and time consuming to fabricate on site.
"Compared to in-site construction, the material used is the same, the specifications are the same, the output and performance is the same, all that is different is the method statement that defines how the same raw materials are packaged and turned into the finished services within the target area of the project."
She said: "Other cost savings are enjoyed due to shorter site erection programme - less preliminaries, site labour, site storage, welfare facilities, secondary steel work, material waste and defects."