The BohrHaus concept from Professor James Murray-Parkes, Director of Science & Engineering at Brookfield, is based on the unique strength and impact resistance of standard freeway safety barriers, whose ‘M’ section profile, coupled with timber, creates a construction elements suitable for taller buildings.
Professor McBryde, founder of Architectural Physics, has collaborated previously with Professor James Murray-Parkes, and told Built Offsite, “Our role is to assist in designing architectural applications for Bohrhaus. It’s great to work with a system that is so lightweight, efficient and flexible.”
“We’ve done a range of designs and are ready to start to test them and determine outcomes. This year we’re using it in international residential projects of two or three storeys and we’re also testing it in the local market in two buildings concurrently, so that we can compare and contrast how BohrHaus behaves.”
“The beauty of the BohrHaus system is that it’s so well thought out; it’s incredibly flexible to use and it’s very easy to adjust designs to work with this solution.”
Professor McBryde said it was “staggering” that the architectural community was not embracing prefabrication, modern methods of construction (MMC) and offsite solutions more proactively. “We have a race to the bottom on our hands, with fees being squeezed and ever tighter margins, so the real question is: ‘Why would you not, as an architect, look at these solutions?”
Beyond working with BohrHaus, he confirmed he and his team are currently focused on assisting government agencies in understanding the importance and benefits of working toward long-term pipelines and procurement geared to foster offsite manufacturing. His practice is also concerned with innovation in which circular economy thinking/recycling intersect effectively with off-site methodologies.
“That’s an area in which we are actively working; DFMA and re-assembly for re-use. It’s an essential aspect of new construction methodologies, to readily repurpose components for different applications. Think Lego.”
He highlighted what he identified as “pain points” in furthering offsite and MMC. “Procurement policies are possibly the main issue, and of course, finding project proponents willing to try new ways of delivering their products. For those that see the benefits implicitly in innovation, it’s hard to understand why some can’t. Our task then is to demonstrate the benefits before financial risks are taken. Virtual and Augmented Reality are our friends here.”
The need to innovate was now more pressing than ever, he said. “Since the Opal building issues came to light six months ago, newspaper headlines show we have a ‘burning platform’ on our hands. It’s time to implement initiatives that deliver predictable and consistent high quality in the building industry. Offsite manufacture is the way forward.”■