Modular Construction Codes Board

International Conference

The Modular Construction Codes Board is pleased to be partnering with the PrefabAUS annual international conference in Melbourne in September with presentations on the work that has been achieved by the MCCB, which has centred around developing the Handbook for the Design of Modular Structures. This is a significant effort seeking to fill knowledge gaps and bring together in one place the collective wisdom and expertise of the industry in a range of areas relating to modular construction, prefabrication and off-site manufacture. Q&A sessions will be conducted to promote further discussion between industry and research communities.
More details will be forthcoming as they become available; queries can be directed to queries@mccb.org.au.

Background

The Modular Construction Codes Board was formed as part of a collaborative project that has been prepared with support from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, within the State Government of Victoria, Australia and a range of industrial and university partners through the Manufacturing Productivity Networks program. The  main objective of the project is to produce a code of best practice for modular construction. This has been achieved, under the title “Handbook for the Design of Modular Structures”.

The aim of the Handbook is to share the experience and knowledge advances in module manufacturing and construction for improving safety, productivity and quality in industrial practices. This document is expected to provide integrated solutions and experiences to industry, government and the community. It is intended that this will be an evolving document, reviewed by a larger community of technical professionals and organizations, both in Australia and world-wide. 

Context

Buildings account for about 30% of the resources expended in construction world-wide, consume approximately 40% of global energy and produce approximately 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions. This is mainly because such structures are still built on-site using traditional craft-based labour-intensive methodology. This results in ever-increasing costs and unacceptable consequences regarding quality, safety and environmental impact. Today, almost all types of industry are being advanced with automated processes to speed up, optimise and economise production. However, the construction industry has been slow to adopt these improvements.

The Modular Construction Code is a project developed by a large group of industry through the Modular Construction Codes Board (MCCB) and Monash University, together with the Victorian Government, in order to provide guidance to the industry on the design and construction of modular structures. (Project participants are shown below.) 

The pre-launch event in Melbourne on 6 December 2016 included a series of presentations on important elements of the Code by key MCCB members responsible for the development of the draft Code. The audience of well over 100 was also able to view the draft Code.

The aim of the Code is to consolidated leading-edge experience and knowledge of advances in modular manufacturing and construction for improving safety, productivity and quality in industrial practices. This document is intended to provide integrated solutions and experiences to industry, government and the community including:

  • Design for performance;
  • Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA); and
  • Regulatory compliance.

In 2014, a collaboration between EIG, EnExG and Monash University established the Modular Construction Codes Board to guide the development of a design and engineering code specific to modular structures. This initiative is supported by industry involvement and funding from the Victorian Government.

Monash University is represented in the Board by Professor James Murray-Parkes, Associate Professor Yu Bai and Madeleine McManus.


With the model Code completed, an Advisory Committee structure was adopted in January 2017:

James Murray-Parkes (Director)

James is the head of the Multiplex Engineering Innovations Group, a multidisciplinary team focused on the creation and optimisation of novel engineering solutions for building and engineering structures. James’ unique design capabilities have influenced over 800 projects in the construction, energy and defence sectors and he is widely regarded as a world leader in high load connection innovation and design. James was a founding member and instigator of the Modular Construction Codes Board and has played a pivotal role in the development of the Modular Construction Code and is adjunct professor in the Monash University Department of Civil Engineering.

Yu Bai (Director)

Dr Yu Bai received his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL, Switzerland. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, investigating innovative construction materials such as fibre reinforced polymer, and performing research into structural fundamentals which feed into modular construction methodologies. His broader research interests include composite structures, structural connections, fibre reinforced materials and structures, material and structural responses under critical load conditions.

PrefabAUS is pleased to host this information on behalf of the Modular Construction Codes Board.

Enquires about the Code should be directed to:
queries@mccb.org.au

 
 

The MCCB which produced the model Code was composed of:

Angus McFarlane (Chair)

Angus McFarlane is the Structural Engineering Lead at Laing O’Rourke’s Engineering Excellence Group (EnExG) in Sydney. Angus has spent a large portion of his career designing some of the world’s tallest structures. He relocated to Sydney three years ago to head up the structural arm at EnExG. Angus is a founding member of the Modular Construction Codes Board.

 
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James Murray-Parkes

James is the head of the Multiplex Engineering Innovations Group, a multidisciplinary team focused on the creation and optimisation of novel engineering solutions for building and engineering structures. James’ unique design capabilities have influenced over 800 projects in the construction, energy and defence sectors and he is widely regarded as a world leader in high load connection innovation and design. James was a founding member and instigator of the Modular Construction Codes Board and has played a pivotal role in the development of the Modular Construction Code and is adjunct professor in the Monash University Department of Civil Engineering.

 

John Lucchetti

John is a principal at Wood & Grieve Engineers and manages the Hydraulics & Fire Protection Section. He is actively involved in the construction industry, is a current Director of PrefabAUS and sits on the steering committee of the Modular Construction Code Board.  John has a particular focus on modular and prefabricated solutions and is always seeking opportunities to improve technology and construction methodology in this area.

 

George Konstandakos

George has a background in mechanical engineering and is currently the General Manager for Timber Building Systems, a company with a specific focus on modular housing construction. He is passionate about Design for Manufacturing and Assembly and has practical experience in delivering large-scale prefabricated apartment, hotel and school projects around Australia. George comes from an accomplished 17 year career in automotive engineering with General Motors Holden. George also worked as CEO of Hickory Building Systems. 

 

Ben Forbes

Dr Ben Forbes is Director of the Modular Construction Codes Board. He has a background in physics, having spent several years performing research in the area of atomic resolution imaging, with applications focussing on materials science and biology. He is currently based out of the Department of Civil Engineering at Monash University.

 

Yu Bai (Barry)

Dr Yu Bai received his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne EPFL, Switzerland. He is currently an associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, Monash University, investigating innovative construction materials such as fibre reinforced polymer, and performing research into structural fundamentals which feed into modular construction methodologies. His broader research interests include composite structures, structural connections, fibre reinforced materials and structures, material and structural responses under critical load conditions.

 

Brendon McNiven

Brendon is a principal engineer in the Building Design team at Arup. He has a particular interest in lightweight and unusual structures, including vibration limiting laboratory floors and long span roofs. Brendon was a founding member of the Modular Construction Codes Board.

 

Peter Key

Dr Peter Key is the National Technical Development Manager for Australian Steel Institute (ASI) having worked for more than 20 years in the design and construct arena, specialising in large span steel structures. Peter is a member of a number of Standards Australia Committees dealing with both steel and composite structures and is on the Engineers Australia NSW Civil and Structural Panel.