Queensland Government and Torres Strait Council collaborate on modular housing project

Co-designed modular homes by Queensland Government and Torres Strait Council cater to cultural and environmental needs.

The Queensland government, in collaboration with the Torres Strait Island Regional Council, has developed new modular home designs to address the housing needs of some of the state’s most remote communities. The “Homes for Queenslanders” initiative aims to construct more homes faster and boost social housing, with a focus on designs that cater to local cultural and environmental requirements. (main pic: Artist’s impression of Queensland’s new modular homes by Bark Architects.)

The new factory-built modular homes, ranging from one to four bedrooms, were co-designed with input from the local community to ensure comfort and suitability. The modular homes feature adaptable bedrooms and an additional breezeway that can serve as storage or functional space. The prototypes are currently being constructed at the Queensland Rapid Accommodation and Apprenticeship Centre (RAAC) in Brisbane, with plans to manufacture them at a new facility in Portsmith, Cairns.

Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, expressed pride in the culturally and environmentally considerate design of the homes. “The new designs are made of timber to ensure homes are more resistant to the salty, humid air of the tropics,” she said. The modular approach also allows for easy modification of bathroom pods to extend the building’s life.

Housing and Public Works Minister Meaghan Scanlon highlighted the importance of modular homes in remote areas. “Having a factory in Cairns and a battalion of local builders combined with specially-designed homes for the region means we deliver more homes on the Torres Strait and roll them out as soon as possible,” she stated. The rebuilding of QBuild, following staff cuts by the previous government, is central to this effort, according to a government release.

TSIRC chief executive officer, James William, emphasised the community-led design process and the potential for training opportunities in collaboration with QBuild. “This initiative is crucial for nurturing a sustainable future, fostering skills that contribute to maintaining not just these newly improved homes but also other dwellings across our diverse communities,” he said.

The partnership aims to streamline project delivery processes and enhance the liveability of communities in the Torres Strait. With ongoing discussions and collaborations, the modular homes project seeks to improve the sustainability and liveability of these remote areas.

Sign up to the Built Offsite Newsletter