Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Perth Success for Hickory in affordable prefab

Success for Hickory in affordable prefab

The Adara development has shaved $1 million off costs and reduced construction time by 50 per cent.
By Cameron Jewell
17 July 2014 — The Western Australian government is behind an affordable modular apartment building currently being assembled in the Perth suburb of Success, expected to be erected in under 10 days. And researchers from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute have been engaged to perform a detailed study of the construction method, which director Professor Peter Newman says “promises to break the cost spiral on high-rise construction”.
The Adara Apartments project is part of the Stella Village community, a transit-oriented development being delivered by the Western Australian Department of Housing in partnership with the private sector, including developer Goldmaster Enterprises. It has been designed to enable affordable and accessible housing to one of Perth’s fastest growing regions, with apartments offered under the National Rental Affordability Scheme as well as the WA Shared Home Ownership Scheme, which allows the purchase of properties from the government with a deposit of as little as $2000.
The apartment development has been largely prefabricated by Hickory Group, with modules being manufactured in the company’s Melbourne plant. It is currently being erected by Goodland Building Company, which has also worked on all the in-situ elements.
Hickory said that the dual construction method being implemented allows buildings to take shape 50 per cent faster than with conventional sequential on-site construction. The building modules are completed at Hickory’s Melbourne factory then shipped to Perth where they are craned into place “like a Lego set”.

Complexity and quality can still be achieved

Hickory managing director Michael Argyrou said the speed of prefab construction didn’t mean there had to be compromises on quality or design outcomes.
“Unlike other modular construction, which has to date consisted of lower quality container type systems that can only produce buildings of a few levels, our systems are engineered for high-rise towers,” Mr Argryou said. “We are also flexible in architectural design, and the complex fa├žade elements of the Adara Apartments development attest to that, it’s a very striking looking building.”

CUSP and Hickory join forces to measure benefits

Hickory is currently working with CUSP to quantify the benefits of its construction methodology.
“Perth has a huge problem with high-rise development being far too expensive and often not being located near good transit services,” CUSP director Professor Peter Newman said. “The Adara Apartments is not just well located but it promises to break the cost spiral on high-rise.”
While there were obvious savings in carbon emissions, time and cost ($1 million for this project) with prefabricated construction, all factors would be greatly improved if Hickory had a local manufacturing plant, Professor Newman said. Preliminary results, he said, suggested embedded energy was reduced slightly across the whole life cycle of the building compared to conventional construction, but the savings would be substantial if the modules did not have to be shipped.
Even so, Professor Newman said, all in all the move to prefab was welcome news.
“It’s a new era for construction in Perth,” he said.

PrefabAUS To Host Conference On Future Of Australia’s Built Environment

The way our cities are constructed and the sustainability of these choices are on the agenda.
Prefab Australia (PrefabAUS) will assemble industry experts from around the world to address the global expansion of prefabricated building technologies and the future of Australia’s built environment.
CEO of PrefabAUS Sarah Backhouse said that whilst off-site construction reduces costs and increases community sustainability, “an innovative, productive and quality local construction industry is critical to a more economical and environmentally sustainable future”.
The inaugural conference will be held in Melbourne from August 11th to the 13th and will see the full spectrum of the prefabrication sector represented.
With the off-site construction sector continuing to expand at a growing rate, “our conference is timed to bring together key representatives from all related areas for the first time; from architecture, engineering, manufacturing, material supply, property development and construction to universities, government agencies and client representatives,” said Ms Backhouse.
The event will feature an influential line-up of national and international speakers and cover all approaches to off-site construction, from commercial to residential and across all key infrastructure sectors including health and education.
Among the key speakers are Professor Peter Newman AO, leading author and environmental scientist, David Hodgett, Victorian Minister for Ports, Major Projects and Manufacturing and distinguished Australian construction director David Chandler.
Responsible for the construction of Australia’s New Parliament House, Mr Chandler is conscious of the green economy and sees prefabrication as the way forward.
“Australia’s construction industry has many competing agendas and until now very few of these have taken a national industry focus, prefabAUS is looking at the bigger picture,” Mr Chandler said.
Under consideration during the three-day event will be both the commercial and residential approaches to off-site construction across key infrastructure sectors including health and education.
Factory tours and site visits to the DocklandsBrooklyn and Salesian College will form part of a conference program that seeks to educate and engage attendees in a broader conversation and promotes the sharing of knowledge and resources.

prefabAUS is the new peak body representing key businesses in the design, manufacture and construction of prefabricated buildings and building modules. It is a not for profit organisation and is hosting Australia’s first national conference on the off-site construction industry  in Melbourne this August from the 11th to the 13th. The conference will feature 19 national and international specialists in off-site design, manufacturing and construction, as well as workshops, panel discussions and site visits.
To get involved in the growing discussion follow prefabAUS on twitter (@prefabAUS) and tweet #prefabAUS2014 during the conference.