The start of 2020 wasn’t exactly what we’d all hoped for, with bushfires of unprecedented scale followed by flooding taking a terrible toll in many parts of the country and now, growing concerns over Coronavirus. But there is cause for optimism. Plans are afoot for prefab and offsite specialists to collaborate on built solutions that will go some way to remedying the destruction caused by the bushfires. It is understood prefabrication specialists including Arkit are offering pro bono design and documentation services to people who have lost their homes in the fires. For bushfire affected communities, prefab homes look set to offer solutions, particularly for those who’ve lost homes in remote areas that construction workers and tradespeople might find harder to reach.
In other inspiring news on the sustainability front, it has just emerged that two leading building product manufacturers have received a Cooperative Research Centre Projects $2.7 million grant to help transform plastic waste into lightweight prefabricated building products. Bondor, together with Pipemakers Australia, will work with M Modular and the University of Melbourne to help improve the productivity of Australia’s construction industry. The project will cost $8.76 million in total and will run until mid-2023. The $2.7 million grant is funded as part of round 8 of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-Ps). The intention is that the initiative will have a substantial impact on the environment by reducing the volume of plastic waste lost to landfill.
In terms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the impacts on our sector have yet to be fully realised. As we go to press, PrefabAUS has confirmed it’s maintaining “close contact with the Government and all relevant authorities keeping a watching brief as the situation evolves over time. Some businesses will be impacted by disruptions in the global supply chain due to the effects of the virus, while others have onshore suppliers and are well positioned to continue delivering projects. In the spirit of delivering, this issue’s main feature (page 19) collates insights from seasoned players about how to get to grips with new building methodologies. Extending this theme, our opinion piece on page 32 features unique perspective from Dale Clark, a former prefabAUS Director and industry stalwart.
Finally this issue formally welcomes prefabAUS’ incoming CEO Anne Wilson (for more detail, see page 7) and farewells outgoing prefabAUS CEO Warren McGregor. The team at Built Offsite commends and thanks Warren for his significant industry contribution. We wish you all the best for the next chapter Warren.■
Managing Editor Built Offsite
Built Offsite is actively seeking product related stories, case studies and other leads on industry developments. We’re also enthusiastically fielding candidate suggestions for our opinion pieces. If you have a story or suggestion, please email me at email@example.com. All communications will be treated as ‘in confidence’ unless/until otherwise agreed.