PROFESSOR TUAN NGO, RESEARCH DIRECTOR AT THE ARC TRAINING CENTRE FOR ADVANCED MANUFACTURING OF PREFABRICATED HOUSING (CAMPH) + BRENDAN POPE, HEAD OF INNOVATION AND MARKETING AT FLEETWOOD AUSTRALIA, REFLECT ON THE 8TH ANNUAL MODULAR AND PREFABRICATION CONSTRUCTION & BIM SUMMIT HELD IN SINGAPORE.
BRENDAN POPE – FLEETWOOD
Organisations seeking to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing business landscape see attendance at the right conference as an investment and development opportunity. The question is: how do you determine which ones will offer the best return on your time and investment? In the Australian context, the OSM sector faces unique challenges.
Manufacturers are delivering to a smaller market with a more diverse product offering compared to those operating in the US and UK markets. These circumstances cut both ways, allowing Australian firms an opportunity to demonstrate leading edge operations unlike international examples where the scale of demand can mask inefficiencies. For Fleetwood, part of striving to meet the challenge of operating in the Australian OSM sector is maintaining our knowledge and agility.
“In the Australian context, the OSM sector faces unique challenges. Manufacturers are delivering to a smaller market with a more diverse product offering compared to those operating in the US and UK markets. These circumstances cut both ways, allowing Australian firms an opportunity to demonstrate leading edge operations unlike international examples where the scale of demand can mask inefficiencies.” Brendan Pope, Head of Innovation and Marketing, Fleetwood Australia.
The 8th Annual Modular and Prefabrication Construction & BIM Summit, held in Singapore in late July presented a broad spectrum of speakers across several streams, themed around OSM sector project management, design, construction technology and BIM. The content delivered was diverse, from locally targeted presentations such as; Prefab Applications: ‘Employing PPVC (Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction) and Prefabricated bathroom units for higher efficiency in the construction process’ to topics with a global reach – Prefab Applications: Patents in Prefab Construction.
Content was delivered with flexibility that allowed cross-over between streams; building a program that closely aligned to each conference delegate’s interests. As such, it represented an answer of sorts to my question, how do you determine which events will offer the best return on your time investment? For me, it’s about understanding the knowledge gaps that need filling to enable your business to advance.
The recent Singapore conference went a long way in meeting that benchmark.
PROFESSOR TUAN NGO – ARC CAMPH
At the same conference I had the opportunity to present the work done by the Asia Pacific Research Network for Resilient and Affordable Housing (APRAH) funded by the Australian Academy of Science. This has seen the establishment of the first network to address construction productivity and housing affordability in the Asia-Pacific Region through the implementation of off-site/prefabricated construction, Building Information Modelling techniques, applications of resilient materials and building systems.
There is a vast market for affordable housing in the Asia Pacific; a large proportion of the 600 million population of South East Asia lives in sub-standard housing. Governments in the region are addressing this issue by promoting modular construction, and it was great to see presentations from different countries on these different initiatives.
In Australia, the prefab industry welcomes the announcement of a Pre-fab Innovation Hub by Karen Andrews, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. As part of the funding agreement with the Commonwealth, the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) will undertake a feasibility study for a manufactured building hub, which will describe the requirements for the hub’s establishment. If the Commonwealth approves this, the grant will allow the development and implementation of the Hub to deliver a number of outcomes: supporting links between construction + manufacturing to enable businesses to benefit from advanced manufacturing; supporting new technologies enabling industry transformation; growing the manufactured buildings eco-system to improve business capability to incorporate advanced technologies and processes within industry.■