Breaking barriers: Victorian housing provider set to deliver affordable homes with modular construction

Affordable housing provider implements innovative solution harnessing modular construction for regional Victoria.

Haven Home Safe (HHS), a prominent Victorian affordable housing provider, has partnered with modular construction specialist project managers, Sensum, and offsite construction manufacturer, Arkit, to address the pressing need for affordable and social housing in Horsham, regional Victoria. (main pic: Haven Home Safe modular construction build scheduled for Horsham.)

Their collaborative agreement aims to construct 25 dwellings using innovative modular construction methods, providing sustainable, cost-effective, and high-quality homes to help alleviate the housing crisis in the region.

The $8.1million project is funded by Homes Victoria as part of the $5.3 billion Big Housing Build and delivered in partnership with Haven Home Safe.

To ensure successful delivery, HHS selected Sensum as the project manager, leveraging their expertise in modular construction. The tendering process, which included traditional and modular builders, resulted in modular builder, Arkit, being chosen based on their competitive pricing, in-house design capability, and proven track record in previous projects.

The Horsham location presented challenges in securing skilled trades, making modular construction an attractive solution.

Jack Haber, Head of Development at Haven Home Safe.

Jack Haber, Head of Development at Haven Home Safe, said, “There’s a real shortage of building capacity in regional Victoria, and utilising modular construction will deliver high-quality, affordable and timely accommodation to those in need. The development had been delayed for a number of reasons, and in collaboration with Sensum and Arkit, we’re delighted to have it back on track.”

The approved masterplan for the Horsham development, and its relative uniformity of design offers excellent opportunities for standardisation, making it well-suited for social housing. Furthermore, Arkit’s commitment to sustainability through their timber construction methodology aligns with the project’s green building requirements, including Silver Liveable House Australia Standard and 7 Star Green Star confirmed Haber.

Haven Home Safe’s 25 dwelling modular construction project to be built by Arkit.

Arkit’s efficiency in pricing civil works and site work, including landscaping, proved superior to larger traditional onsite builders. Their inclusive pricing approach and ability to quickly deliver a fully complying tender were key factors in their selection.

Nick Strongman, Director of Sensum, said, “The main reason it worked here was the fact that it was regional and the design lent itself to modular as well. We tendered the project to three modular builders and three conventional builders. And, the best value for money was the modular option.”

Arkit’s total delivery price was 8% lower than traditional builders, making them a cost-effective choice for the project.

Delivery of the 25 dwellings is scheduled for June 2024.




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