There’s a debate about the use of the word ‘disruption’ to describe the radical changes that have leveraged new technologies throughout history, from the invention of the printing press to the emergence of the shared economy. The argument goes like this: the reality of disruption is that, while it appears to happen overnight, it remains gradual and unseen, often for years, before it surfaces.
This probably best describes Australia’s prefab / offsite sector. The capability to design buildings for offsite manufacture, prior to transporting them to and assembling them on site is radical and challenging.
At the same time, in contrast to mature international markets, it’s also a capability whose impact is yet to be fully realised by industry, much less felt by mainstream thinking and wider society in this country.
Yet while prefab may be nascent in Australia, all predictions point to growth. With about 3 per cent of industry revenue currently generated from off-site construction, this is forecast to grow to at least 10 per cent within 20 years (p.13).
In short, disruption is coming; watch this space! This makes now a tremendously exciting time to be involved in this sphere, whether operating within it or, like Built Offsite, covering its achievements and igniting its debates. Certainly there are challenges ahead, but for now let’s celebrate this moment.
We hope this first issue of Built Offsite marks the foundation of a unifying forum for the sector, so that when disruption comes, all interested parties are ready for it. Built Offsite will be ready too; charting the sector’s progress from disruption to maturity and beyond. ■
Managing Editor Built Offsite
From its inception PrefabAUS has sought to represent, showcase and advance Australia’s prefabricated building Industry and to drive the conversation around offsite construction. Though offsite construction affords many advantages, the introduction of innovative ideas and approaches discordant from traditional practices can encounter resistance, and the pathways to success can be challenging. But there can be no doubt that fundamental change is underway. That change is multifaceted and it is exciting. It represents opportunities to those who can effectively embrace it as well as threats to those who do not. The growing momentum of Australia’s offsite construction industry will affect virtually every aspect of construction, transforming the way buildings are conceived, designed, initiated, delivered and maintained.
Reflective of this, Built Offsite will be a collaborative and resonant voice that will speak to all the professions and players in the building industry. It will strive to prime, inspire and motivate its readers to be part of the construction industry of the future. We hope Built Offsite will become a trusted resource; the magazine where you will find ideas, innovations and practical information to enhance your understanding of offsite construction and the significant opportunities it presents.
This first edition is filled with the kind of interesting stories that we hope will frame the agenda for the offsite construction industry and become part of your regular ‘diet’ for this rapidly evolving sector
Again, welcome and we hope you enjoy reading Built Offsite. ■