CONTENTS

MODULAR SMARTS

BEDROCK OFFSITE MODULAR SOLUTIONS EXEMPLIFIES A NEW ORDER OF PLAYERS ENTERING THE MARKET WITH READY-TO-FIT VOLUMETRIC CONSTRUCTION SOLUTIONS. BUILT OFFSITE SPOKE TO MANAGING DIRECTOR DAVID MICHEL.

Sydney company Bedrock Modular Solutions was established in 2016 to offer premium quality bathroom, laundry, kitchen and custom modular solutions manufactured to clients’ designs, including fixtures, fittings and finishes. With its founders David Michel and Mark Cormack jointly possessing several decades of construction industry experience, the company has identified a gap in the market for a faster, more efficient way of supplying building solutions.

“We felt the time was right for this kind of business to enter the market,” says Managing Director David Michel. “We had experience in offsite construction in our previous roles and experienced first-hand the compelling benefits in time, cost, quality and safety.”

Michel says specific factors assisted the establishment of the business, including advances in 3D design software and construction materials and the fact that offsite construction is gaining traction around the world.

“We also noticed a definite tipping point in the acceptance of offsite construction amongst Australian construction contractors in 2015.”

“Key social drivers are also an influence, such as housing affordability and a broader recognition of the need for innovation in construction to deliver projects cheaper, faster, better quality, safer and more sustainably.”

“We believe that prefabricated modular construction can deliver an ‘Uber style’ disruption to the Australian construction and property industry.”

Planning to expand its offer over the longer term, the company initially focused on bathrooms for two reasons, he says.

“Firstly, existing and growing demand for bathroom modules in the high growth sectors of residential apartments, aged care, student accommodation, social housing, hotels and health projects.”

“Secondly, bathrooms are a great place to learn about manufacturing and modular design, given the high level of detail and quality required. It forced us to establish a quality mindset and culture from the outset. We felt if we could manufacture a bathroom module we could manufacture any module.”

“Bedrock now supplies fully completed bathroom, laundry and kitchen modules. They offer premium quality and flexible design and significantly they’re cost effective and ideally suited to the residential apartment, aged care, health, and student accommodation sectors. Our orders range from six to 1,000 modules.”

“We design, manufacture, deliver and assist with installation. We don’t do one-off buildings. Rather, we do volume orders so we can realise, and pass on, economies
of scale and labour.”

Headquartered in Sydney, Bedrock offers convenient access to clients and is committed to an Australian made offering.
Headquartered in Sydney, Bedrock offers convenient access to clients and is committed to an Australian made offering.
Completed interior of a Bedrock bathroom pod.
Completed interior of a Bedrock bathroom pod.
Bedrock bathroom pods during the production process.
Bedrock bathroom pods during the production process.

 

The company’s key points of difference start with a focus on quality, Michel says.

“Nothing leaves our factory unless it is perfect. We offer watermark quality certification and we retain 50 hand-picked permanent employees for their values and work ethic, trained internally to meet our high standards.”

“Another point of difference is our construction industry experience. Mark, my co-founder, and I come from a traditional construction background. Mark has 35 years’ industry experience, and me 15. My experience also includes large scale operations planning and management. We share similar values and vision, but have complementary skills and experience which helps. And our contractor experience means we speak the client’s language and know their pressure points, and we help them get to the best solution, quickly and easily.”

“We also offer flexibility for small production runs. Our methodology allows us production runs of as few as six units compared to some operators in the market whose lower limit is 60 units.”

Flexibility and efficiencies are largely a result of the company’s adoption of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) principles, Michel adds. “Bedrock has five design engineers who are constantly refining our designs and manufacturing process to reduce time, cost and material and enhance quality. We design in 3D software that integrates with our machinery, and ensures we get every detail right.”

“Meanwhile our Sydney metropolitan location means convenient access for design meetings and quality inspections; no long car trips or flights.”

Michel and Cormack are also fiercely proud of the company’s Australian made credentials. “Bedrock is 100% committed to supporting Australian industry and creating Australian jobs. Most of our materials are Australian-made, including: steel framing; wall, floor and roof lining boards; electrics and plumbing; shower screens; strip drains; joinery; and so on.

“We felt the time was right for this kind of business to enter the market,” says Managing Director David Michel. “We had experience in offsite construction in our previous roles and experienced first-hand the compelling benefits in time, cost, quality and safety.”
David Michel – Managing Director, Bedrock

We also find they are superior quality which is important to us. Items such as tiles, taps, towel rails, toilets and basins are typically sourced from overseas, due to lack of local manufacturers.

“Over the next 12 months to five years Bedrock will diversify its product range starting with other areas with high concentrations of services and trades such as laundries and kitchens” says Michel.

“We are just starting our first order for 350 laundries.”

“Excitingly, we are just starting to see the first projects fully designed for modular: bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. The smart developers are already onto it.”

Looking further ahead, in 2018, Bedrock will look at diversifying into full dwellings, such as volumetric small (tiny) houses and micro apartments.

“We are really excited about this, believing it can make a difference to housing affordability, as well as sustainability.”

“We are very passionate about prefabricated modular construction and its future in this country. It is all upside; the benefits are so compelling. It is just a matter of time, a natural evolutionary process. Now, if Australia’s truly the clever country it will take action to accelerate and leapfrog this evolution and realise the benefits before other nations do.”

“Not only can offsite lead the renaissance of Australian manufacturing, replacing declining industries such as automotive. It can create a powerful new export market, in both products and services.”

“More and more, buildings will be complete systems. Think Meccano, Lego and Ikea. How can you not be excited?”

“It is the future of construction.”■


popup top
Click the book icon to navigate
table of contents
popup left
Click here for
previous articles
Click here for
next articles
popup right
swipe left swipe text swipe right
Scroll Down for
Feature article
popup bottom