In the second issue of the magazine, we’re tackling a little topic called design. This is no mean feat. Design is so ubiquitous that trying to distil it into the written word is a bit like attempting to describe oxygen. A vital enabler of myriad activities, good design, like oxygen, is also invisible and intangible. And design faces unique challenges as it relates to the prefab / offsite space. Firstly, a mainstream perception persists of pre-fabricated structures as “cabin parks” and low cost housing, in other words somehow too utilitarian to be “designed” by architects. There are a number of highly skilled and innovative companies operating in this market and successfully de-bunking that idea. Meanwhile, design must also be harnessed for non-construction, non-aesthetic ends, such as sustainability, manufacturing and transportation. The question also arises of how to educate the designers of tomorrow to align their skills with the needs of OSC. And of course, innovative materials are enabling the design of components that look set to revolutionise the sector. Built Offsite issue 02 interrogates all these ideas in the main feature starting on page 12. Meanwhile the recent launch of the first draft of the Model Code for Modular Structures (see page 37) is significant. Rather than curtailing design, this document represents a framework that will support good design and the robust evolution of the OSC market.■

Belinda Smart
Managing Editor Built Offsite



The 3rd annual PrefabAUS conference held in Sydney in October was the ideal forum to launch Built Offsite and I am delighted that the response has been universally positive.  Attended by over 220 delegates, this year’s conference featured site visits, international and Australian experts, workshops, discussion panels, sponsor exhibits, and the Designing Affordability Exhibition from the United States.  All that plus enthusiastic networking aplenty at the Ivy Sunroom for the conference cocktail party. Marking another milestone was the pre-launch of the Modular Construction Code earlier this month.  This is the first such code in the world.  The Modular Construction Codes Board, Monash University and the Victorian government, together with industry partners are to be commended for this significant accomplishment. (For more about the Modular Construction Code see Our first PrefabAUS study tour is planned for May 2017 to Sweden, the leading exponent of panelised building systems. In Sweden around 80% of houses are factorybuilt.  More information about the study tour appears in the News section on page six. ■

Warren McGregor


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