Alda Consultants Director Andrew Lian Bio was a speaker at the conference, which took place in January at Monash University in Melbourne. His presentation outlined solutions increasingly coming on stream to answer specific demand in the offsite space.
“Modular suppliers in Australia are challenged to sustain their businesses when market forces demand that they constantly modify their standard products to comply with diversity in Building Codes between different States, adapt to bespoke designs from customers and adjust production to cater for low volume orders. Furthermore, the variable cost of logistics and transportation adds to the complexity of offering a standard price for their products.”
To overcome the variability in logistics and transport, some modular suppliers have incorporated the standard ISO Container corner casting into volumetric modules to take advantage of the container intermodal network to transport their modules, he said.
“Now new patented components compatible with these corner castings are being used as structural connections to improve speed and safety in logistics, transport and installation of high-rise modular buildings.”
The presentation included case studies demonstrating the application of such components in projects in Singapore and Malaysia.
“An invention patented as the Candle-Loc by Desmond Poh of Singapore uses a lifting lug that fits into the standard corner cast for lifting the modules, eliminating the need for secondary lifting frames, bolts and shackles, thereby reducing installation time. For axial load transfer and to connect vertically, a machined threaded stainless-steel rod is slotted through the top of the corner cast and tightened from the top of the module.”
“For lateral load transfer and to horizontally connect modules, a cast moulded tie plate is used which is secured rigidly by clamping when the module is bearing on top of it and the vertical rod is tightened. There are no bolts or nuts to secure the tie plate. All fixing is carried out safely from the top of the module without any access externally from the façade or internally within the module. This allows the module supplier to fully install the façade at the factory before delivery.”
Alda Consultants is a Perth based, international modular design advisory. Director Andrew Lian has over 30 years of architectural experience and is an expert in Modular Design and Construction. He holds an MBA and is a registered architect in Western Australia. In ahis role as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia he is involved in research and applied DfMA. He is a sought after speaker and educator on DfMA. ■