January 2014 Newsletter

PrefabAUS News

Welcome to our January Newsletter!  PrefabAUS wishes all our Members and readers a happy and prosperous 2014. We are delighted to start the New Year by welcoming the following new Members:

  Member organisations: TEKTUMGWA Bathrooms and Kitchens (Caroma)PrydaR&D Building Systems and Products

  Individual members: Lester Stump and Emil Bulum.

Do you have an idea for a PrefabAUS event?  We are currently organising our events for 2014, and we'd love to hear ideas from Members that are consistent with our mission of showcasing and advancing the Industry. 

If you know someone who would like to subscribe to our Newsletter, they can do that here.

Do you like the banner image? This photo by Craig Chatmans of ARKit is of Huber and Sohn's City of Wood, Bad Aibling, Germany.

PrefabAUS collaborating on modular building code

PrefabAUS will be working with the Australasian Modular Construction Codes Board to develop a Modular Building Code for Australian contexts.

The Board comprises researchers from Monash and Swinburne Universities, Engineering Innovations Group, Arup, Robert Bird Group, Felicetti, Hickory Building Systems, ML Design, Australian Steel Institute, Master Builders Association Building Services, Laing O’Rourke and others. 

The process is just beginning, and we will be in touch with Members in the coming weeks to explain what's happening and how you can participate.


PrefabAUS is going to China

PrefabAUS will be representing the Australian prefabrication Industry at the 4th China Prefab House Fair to be held in Guangzhou from May 12 - 14, 2014.

This represents an exciting opportunity to promote the great prefab talent and innovation in Australia, while also gaining a greater understanding of the Chinese prefab market that is growing at an exponential rate.

We will be preparing digital presentations, and will be in touch with Members shortly to make sure that these are fully representative of local capabilities.

Image source: 3rd China Prefab House Fair, 2013


PrefabAUS explores German prefab innovation

PrefabAUS Board Member Craig Chatman shares his insights from his recent prefab study tour of Germany, reviewing panelised prefabrication and productivity, with a strong focus on the use of timber.  He was joined on the tour by PrefabAUS Member Scott Hedges, plus PrefabNZ Members including CEO Pamela Bell and tour organiser Johann Betz.

PrefabAUS will be organising a number of seminars on new innovations in panelised prefabrication technologies this year - dates and locations will be confirmed soon - as part of which Craig will share more from his tour.  In the meantime you can read highlights in his article.

Image source: Craig Chatman, ARKit

PrefabAUS at upcoming events

March 2014 is an exciting month for events!

PrefabAUS will have Industry representatives speaking at 3 events: Heavy Lift and Transportation 2014 in Brisbane; Health Facilities Design and Development 2014 in Sydney; and the PrefabNZ 2014 Conference in Auckland.  We'd love to speak with you if you can join us.

Additionally, there are events such as Green Cities 2014 in Melbourne which features Keynote Speaker Kent Larson - Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who has been involved in many inspiring prefab projects.

See dates and locations in our Diary listings.

Some events for the diary

February 2014

Property Council Event
Outlook Lunch 2014
Sydney, 14 February, 12:30 – 2:00pm

March 2014

Green Cities 2014
Grand Hyatt, Melbourne, 18 March 2014

Heavy Lift and Transportation 2014
Rydges Southbank, Brisbane, 26 - 28 March, 2014

Health Facilities Design and Development 2014
Australian Technology Park, Sydney, 25 - 27 March 2014

PrefabNZ 2014 Conference
Auckland, 26 – 28 March 2014
Please note that PrefabAUS Members will be able to register at PrefabNZ Member rates.  

April 2014

Residential Development and Urban Integration 2014
Sebel Surry Hills, Sydney, 29 - 30 April 2014

View the full prefabAUS Events program here.

Interested in Industry focused research?

We welcome Associate Professor Masa Noguchi to Australia in his new role at the University of Melbourne.  Dr Noguchi brings a wealth of knowledge in the areas of prefabricated building systems and sustainable construction.  He is also one of the coordinators of the global network Zero Energy Mass Custom Homes, and we are delighted to welcome ZEMCH as a PrefabAUS Partner Organisation.

Do you think your prefab passions could lead you in the direction of a PhD?  In our September Newsletter, we mentioned the University of Queensland's sucessful Australian Research Council Grant to explore and prototype next generation prefabricated housing technologies. The team is currently inviting applications for PhD Scholarships, with applications closing on January 31, 2014.  If this is of interest, don't delay and contactDr. Mathew Aitchison at  m.aitchison@uq.edu.au to receive the full position description and information on how to apply.


PrefabNZ News

prefabAUS and PrefabNZ transforming prefab

PrefabNZ  is the hub for prebuilt construction in New Zealand –

- A catalyst for prefab collaboration,

- A front-door-portal for prefab information,

- An incubator for prefab innovation

The PrefabNZ Conference 2014 is taking place 26 - 28 March 2014 in Auckland.    Please note that PrefabAUS Members will be able to register at PrefabNZ Member rates.  

Don't delay as early bird discounts close at the end of January!

International News

There is a growing interest in the use of prefabricated building technologies in Australia.  It is good to observe that this interest is reflected internationally,  as this Canadian article demonstrates.

Some of our members have observed the number of architects who have become members of PrefabAUS.  This green roofed proposal by British architects Hawkins Brown for a school in Kent is one example of how clients, architects and manufacturers can work together to create joyful and innovative prefab solutions and we look forward to seeing the finished product.  The Duffy Primary School Project that we covered in our November Newletter is a great local example of a similar successful collaboration between design and manufacture.

International events for the diary


March 2014

San Antonio, Texas, USA
World of Modular 2014
March 21 – 24 2014

Calgary, Canada
Modular Construction & Prefabrication Summit 2014
31 March - 02 April

May 2014

Guangzhou, China
4th China Prefab House Fair
May 12 - 14 2014

Hilton Portland & Executive Tower, Portland, Oregon, USA
Living Future 2014
May 21 - 23 2014

June 2014

Londrina, Brazil
ZEMCH 2014 International Conference
4th - 6th June 2014


View the full prefabAUS Events program here.

Last Word

If we said it was possible to grow bricks from bacteria, you probably wouldn't believe us.

In the interest of sharing news on building technology innovations, here's the proof!  The process of growing “bio-bricks” from microorganisms uses less energy than the production of concrete and clay, and has been tested and put to market in the Europe and USA in recent years as this article demonstrates.

Groundstation Pty Ltd