CONTENTS

KEY CONFERENCE TAKEAWAYS:

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS AND PANEL DISCUSSIONS:

FROM THE PRESENTATIONS…

A NEW BREED OF ARCHITECT: AR-MA
Robert Beson, Director, AR-MA: “We believe there’s a better way to procure buildings than the typical design and construction model. Traditional methods of design often mean that the more iterations a design goes through, the worse it gets.”

“We believe there’s a better way to procure buildings than the typical design and construction model. Traditional methods of design often mean that the more iterations a design goes through, the worse it gets.”
Robert Beson – AR-MA.

“Everyone in our office writes code. Modelling for everything down to the smallest detail is critical […] In our view any measurement that’s out by more than two millimetres is a disaster.”

FOCUS ON QUALITY: BEDROCK OFFSITE
David Michel, Managing Director and Founder of Sydney company Bedrock Offsite, which produces modular bathrooms, outlined ways in which his highly optimised company was maximising efficiencies, productivity and quality. Key to Bedrock’s success was a highly trained workforce with a long tenure, and a tried and tested production process. All these had emerged from a total re-think of construction methods, he said.

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t just going to be another builder under a roof.”

“We wanted to make sure we weren’t just going to be another builder under a roof.”
David Michel, Bedrock. 

As an example of Bedrock’s innovative thinking and enhancing both quality and health and safety for workers, floors and roofs are completed separately at waste height, while bathroom roofs are deliberately added last to maximise natural light for workers.

“We track our activities down to the minute and we’re proud to report extremely high levels of productivity.”

DIGITAL SMARTS – 3D PHOTOGRAMMETRY FOR MODULAR
John Lucchetti, Principal WGE Melbourne and a prefabAUS Director, presented on 3D photogrammetry (the science of determining measurements using photography) for modular construction.

“Using a number of cameras and three infrared sensors this method provides speed and clarity, and the result is an object file for BIM as well as a visual record. The application for modular is that it allows comprehensive overview, and it’s also useful for projects that are designed, delivered and built in different places.”

“Using a number of cameras and three infrared sensors this method provides speed and clarity, and the result is an object file for BIM as well as a visual record. The application for modular is that it allows comprehensive overview, and it’s also useful for projects that are designed, delivered and built in different places.”
John Lucchetti, Principal, WGE Melbourne.

“What’s important when you’re running a production line? Well you don’t want that production line to stop. So if you’re going through full production on your line, how fantastic would it be if you were able to upload models of your modules, roughed in for approval where the whole team could look at it and provide comments; essentially a defect inspection?”

“It won’t replace inspections but this is definitely tool we can use to supplement them.”

L-R: Dr George Quezada (Research Scientist CSIRO), Mark Farmer (CEO, Cast Real Estate and Construction Consultancy), Pamela Bell (CEO, PrefabNZ), Nick Deeks (CEO WT Partnership), Adam Strong (Managing Director, Strongbuild).

FROM THE PANEL DISCUSSIONS… (LED BY PREFABNZ CEO PAMELA BELL)

RE-THINKING THE CONSTRUCTION PARADIGM
Adam Strong, Managing Director of Strongbuild, confirmed that the retro-thinking of traditional construction projects was a common problem for offsite specialists. One of Strongbuild’s recent projects, Macarthur Gardens, came to the company as a traditionally constructed scheme which then had to be re-conceived as a timber project.

DRIVING THE MOVE TO OFFSITE
Sally Capp, Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia, confirmed that prefab was being discussed by members as a solution to current housing challenges. In particular prefab was well suited for infill developments in urban areas, with 70 per cent of the urban population requires housing in existing suburbs.

“Prefab needs to become part of the mainstream response and built into the strategic discussion.”

“Prefab needs to become part of the mainstream response and built into the strategic discussion.”
Sally Capp, Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia.

RE-SKILLING + LURING YOUNG TALENT:
PrefabNZ CEO Pamela Bell highlighted the importance of engaging young people in the industry and its future, confirming that PrefabNZ itself now has a guest position on its board for a person in their 20s.

Nick Deeks, Managing Director of property, project and cost management consultant WT Partnership, concurred that changing perceptions of what a career in construction might look like was key. His company has a significant intake of interns and, “once they see the environment in action, their impression of for example what a quantity surveyor is completely different.” In particular, attracting greater female participation in the work force was key, he said, and had led to a program of presenting to year eight girls at local schools.

AMPLIFYING THE OFFSITE MESSAGE
PrefabNZ CEO Pamela Bell commented that New Zealand company Fletchers sparked a media furore recently following news coverage of the completion of a three-bedroom house in a day. The story led to a flurry of enquiries to prefabNZ.

“All you need is one traditional construction company to change the way they deliver and you have another good news story.”

“All you need is one traditional construction company to change the way they deliver and you have another good news story.”
PrefabNZ CEO Pamela Bell.

The prefabAUS 2017 Conference took place from 11 to 13 September at The Glasshouse in Melbourne. The prefabAUS 2018 Conference will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre on 11 – 12 September 2018.


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