AUSTRALIA’S INDUSTRY BODY FOR THE OFFSITE SECTOR HAS COME OUT IN SUPPORT OF INCREASED SOCIAL HOUSING CONSTRUCTION AS PART OF AUSTRALIA’S ECONOMIC RESPONSE TO COVID-19
PrefabAUS said the move aligns with widespread commentary encouraging the deployment of available land.
The body has identified the potential for offsite construction to support governments, building, allied industries and training organisations through the crisis.
“At a time when the world is pandemically challenged and working toward a road out, the opportunities that prefabrication offers make it more viable, relevant and necessary in a world that must focus on cost effectiveness, issues such as pressures on hospitals, healthcare, education, homelessness and requirements for all forms of crisis accommodation,” prefabAUS CEO Anne Wilson told Built Offsite. “With a global economic downturn due to COVID-19, prefabrication is increasingly more valuable in transforming our built environment delivering productivity gains, reduced waste and greater affordability.”
Offsite was positioned to provide quality, costefficient and sustainable residential, commercial and institutional buildings, a statement from prefabAUS confirmed. New technologies and advanced manufacturing processes could improve design and construction efficiencies by lowering project costs by up to 30%; reducing project delays by up to 40%; cutting CO2 emissions by as much as 50% and minimising construction waste by up to 80%.
Workers from conventional building projects could be redeployed and reskilled on offsite design and construction projects, while offsite could also rapidly accelerate the design and construction of Indigenous housing and BAL-compliant new homes and other buildings for bushfire-affected communities.
“It can minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread through testing, safe work practices and reduced numbers of outside workers and time spent in communities. This is in addition to creating jobs and new skills for community and local contractors.”
“prefabAUS appreciates existing government investment in offsite construction e.g. $4M in 2015 for the ARC Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing, and Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews’ March announcement of the Building 4.0 CRC1. The Victorian government recently included $209 million in its state budget for an additional 1000 public housing properties announced by Victorian Housing Minister Richard Wynne. Further state, federal and industry initiatives and investment can lead Australia out of the current economic crisis.”
prefabAUS co-founder and Chair Damien Crough commented: “There is enormous potential for offsite construction to rapidly increase quality, affordable and sustainable construction through project time and cost savings. Collaboration with industry, government and research partners can save and create many thousands of jobs during these very difficult and uncertain times”.
“THERE IS ENORMOUS POTENTIAL FOR OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION TO RAPIDLY INCREASE QUALITY, AFFORDABLE AND SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION THROUGH PROJECT TIME AND COST SAVINGS. COLLABORATION WITH INDUSTRY, GOVERNMENT AND RESEARCH PARTNERS CAN SAVE AND CREATE MANY THOUSANDS OF JOBS DURING THESE VERY DIFFICULT AND UNCERTAIN TIMES.” DAMIEN CROUGH, CHAIRMAN, PREFABAUS.■