March 2014 Newsletter

PrefabAUS News

Welcome to our March Newsletter!  We're delighted to welcome Regency Windows as a Corporate Member.  We also welcome the following Individual and Student Members:

   Mike Hayward, Steve Tankey, Joe Tanham and  Wilma Penrose

This month, our Newsletter will focus on some highlights from the PrefabNZ Conference 2014 that was held in Auckland last week.   In addition to the inspiring speakers and site visits, it was great to spend time across the Tasman with a number of our PrefabAUS Members and PrefabNZ friends!

Do you like the banner image? This photo of the Box Living House, Waiheke Island, was taken during the PrefabNZ Conference 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  Photo by Sarah Backhouse.

PrefabAUS: Breakfast Event 16 April

Melbourne, 7:30 - 9:15am, 16 April

Join us over breakfast for a series of short presentations and networking, and some inspirational speakers: Professor Peter Newman, Curtin University; Joe Genovesi, Principal of The Buchan Group; and Dr Masa Noguchi, The University of Melbourne and ZEMCH.

You can book your place here.  PrefabAUS Members $25, Non-Members $50.

Special thanks go to our event sponsor Hickory.

More breakfast events in other locations will be coming soon!

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.

PrefabAUS Members - please get in touch if you have images or stories that we can include in our presentation on Australian capabilities.

Gain key insights on affordable housing

The Affordable Housing Development Summit, Melbourne, 28-29 July 2014,  is the industry’s must-attend event to gain on-the-ground insights and best practices from key decision makers from government, housing providers, developers and financials shaping affordable housing in Australia.

Keynote speakers include: Federal Minister for Social Services, the Hon Kevin Andrews; Paul Tennant, Chief Executive Orbit GroupPresident, Chartered Institute of Housing UK; and many more.

Please note that PrefabAUS Members will receive a 10% discount.

    Prefab time lapse videos...

    From now, each month we'll be including a time lapse video to illustrate some of the many advantages of off-site construction technologies.

    This month, NBRS + Partners have shared a video of the 1 day installation of the extension to Duffy Primary School in the ACT.  We covered this project in more detail in our November 2013 Newsletter.

    Some Australian events for the diary

    April 2014

    Identifying Advantages of Steel Modular Construction
    Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, Melbourne, Tuesday 1 April 2014

    Identifying Advantages of Steel Modular Construction
    Education Development Centre, Adelaide, Wednesday 2 April 2014

    PrefabAUS Breakfast Event
    Melbourne, 16 April 2014, 7:30 - 9:15am

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

    May 2014

    Future Directions: Building our City
    Property Council
    Novotel, Perth, 8 May 2014, 6 - 8:30pm

    Frame Australia Conference and Exhibition
    Park Hyatt, Melbourne, 19 May 2014

    Green Building Day
    Green Building Council
    NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, Sydney, 27 May 2014

    July 2014

    Affordable Housing Development Summit
    Park Hyatt, Melbourne, 19 May 2014

    View the full prefabAUS Events program here.

    PrefabNZ Conference: some reflections

    Two half days of site visits straddled a stimulating series ofpresentations that spanned regulatory and finance issues, digital technologies and materials innovation, beautiful architectural projects from the Canadian prairies, and reflections from both government and research perspectives.  These are just a few impressions from the event.


    This photo of the Cora House, Waiheke Island, was taken during the PrefabNZ Conference 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.  Due to a steep site and lack of road access, the home was lifted into place by helicopter as a series of elements to be assembled. Photo by Sarah Backhouse.

    The Hon Jo Goodhew manages a number of portfolio areas including Associate Minister for Primary Industries, and she officially opened the conference.  She reflected that although prefab still carries some stigma from association with the old transportable classrooms of years gone by, she is optimistic about the role that clever innovations and multi-disciplinary conversations can play in growing the local, 21C industry

    Tim Smyth of Core Composite Builders shared insights from his decades of experience in ship building, with the design of the Americas Cup winning Oracle Team USA under his belt.  He shared his knowledge of monocoque construction made of light weight thermoset resins, and explored how these technologies can be applied to architectural projects such as smart houses that are totally wired, low maintenance, mass customised and digitally produced.  Due to the cyclical nature of the boat building industry, he recently worked on some architectural projects including free form roofs and light weight, large span pedestrian bridges.

    Professor Mark Goulthorpe of MIT spoke of his applied research in the area of computational architecture, and how combining digital technologies with composite, light-weight materials might be central to providing high performance, low cost housing solutions for third word and developing nations.

    PrefabAUS Member David Chandler had been invited to provide a provocation.  His presentation highlighted three key issues for the construction industry to consider going forward:

    - construction is going off-site;
    - construction is becoming industrialised; 
    - and construction is going global. 

    David estimates that by 2023, at least 15% of all construction that is currently conducted on-site will have moved off-site. We need to support and stimulate on-shore manufacturing of off-site construction solutions.  If our local construction industries don’t embrace these trends, there is a risk that this construction could move off-shore.

    We also heard from PrefabAUS Member Scott Hedges of Bygghouse about his participation in the tour of German Timber Prefab Manufacturers last December, and PrefabAUS Board Directors Rob Colquhuon of Prebuilt and Cameron Marsh ofForce 10 Global spoke provided an overview of the Australian industry, highlighting the sectoral diversity that many of our Members are now working across.

    And for those of us who love innovative, crafted architecture, architect Colin Neufeld charted the almost accidentialjourney towards prefabrication in his firm 5468796 Architecture's projects. This was driven in part by the -26 degree winters of Winnipeg, Canada., but also by a respectful relationship between architects and manufacturer.  We hope to tempt Colin to speak in Australia before too long...

    Other news

    We've been out and about in March, and not just in New Zealand as PrefabAUS Member Andew Kiloni of Force 10 Globalrepresented PrefabAUS at the recent IQPC Heavy Lift event in Brisbane. 

    Considering a new prefab manufacturing venture?  The Australian and Victorian Government’s Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund (GRIIF) seeks to create more than 100 new manufacturing jobs in the local area. Eligible projects will focus on encouraging new investment in the region of Geelong to create new or additional business capacity that results in sustainable jobs.

    PrefabNZ Conference 2014

    The PrefabNZ Conference 2014 was inspiring and insightful.

    We look forward to working together across the Tasman as we both seekto support construction innovation and collaboration, and build local industries that are sustainable - economically and environmentally.

    International events for the diary

    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

    Ritz Carlton Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
    Modular Construction for Residential and Commercial Buildings
    June 18-19, 2014

    View the full prefabAUS Events program here.

    Last Word

    Our CEO was recently caught speaking at an event about Urban Growth, considereing the role of prefabriated building technologies in the future of our rapidly growing urban contexts.

    Groundstation Pty Ltd