Modular Homes Are Set To Revive The Ailing Construction Industry. Rather Than Lay Bricks And Pour Concrete On-Site, Sections Can Be Manufactured In A Factory, Shipped To Their Destination And Bolted Together For Final Assembly. The Finished Product Can Look identical to existing or traditional Buildings, Yet 80% Of The Work Is Done Offsite. This Offers A New Way Of Delivering More Buildings, Faster And Of Better Quality.
Major construction firms getting on-board with modular
“We Are Looking At The Biggest Change In 100 Years,” States Ian Coffey, Whose Company Develops And Delivers Modular, Prefabricated And Shipping Container Homes For Customers Australia Wide. “It’s Been Talked About For A Long-Time, But Now There’s Real Momentum And We’ve Seen A Greater Number Of Companies Come And Talk To Us About This.”
The Australian Construction Industry Is Slow At Moving Into The 21st Century, Adopting New Technologies And Changing Its Business Processes, Including The Use Of Digital Design Tools, Such As Building Information Modelling (BIM). Construction Productivity Has Barely Budged In 25 Years, In Manufacturing It’s Doubled In This Time.
The Australia And The UK Now Lags Behind Sweden, Germany And The Netherlands When It Comes To The Merger Of Manufacturing And Construction, While In Japan More Than 15 Per Cent Of A Million Or So New Homes Constructed Each Year Are, To Some Extent, Prefabricated.
The many benefits of modular homes
There’s also a perfect storm brewing in this sector with an ageing workforce, a lack of new entrants and growing restrictions on free movement of labour as well as a structural decline. There were 12,000 small housebuilders in 1988 accounting for one in four homes, by 2017 this had dropped to 2,500 responsible for just 12 per cent of new builds.
“There are lots of cultural barriers to change. The big driver is the housing market and the current crisis. This will force the issue. We are going to have to build more and companies are going to have to release land and land banks to relieve the pressure or build houses on them affordably. There is a sheer weight of demand,” states Mr Quinlin.
There Are Benefits To Building Modular Homes, 50 Per Cent Reduction In Time, Lower Labour Costs, Less Materials, Which Means Lower Overall Costs
“The Market Is Now Catching Up. There Are Benefits To Building Modular Homes, 50 Per Cent Reduction In Time, Lower Labour Costs, Less Materials, Which Means Lower Overall Costs. There Are Now Quite A Few Factories Where These Modular Homes Can Be Built.”
However, Investing In Offsite Manufacturing From The Construction Industry Is Still In A Very Early Stage. Capital Costs Are High. Many Top Tier Companies Don’t Know What Their Strategy Is Or Should Be. The Government Is Pushing Modular Construction, And Digital Solutions Like BIM, But Is Yet To Mandate On It.
“The Issue Is Getting People To Realise There Is An Issue At All. Many Construction Firms Are Entrepreneurial And Privately Run. They Started As One-Man Bands. Getting Them To Change Is Challenging. However, The Fact That They Are Entrepreneurial Means They Can Turn On A Knife-Edge Quickly And Invest If They Have To,” Decries Mr Coffey.
Construction Needs Government Buy-In To Drive Modular Forward
Amongst Industry Players There’s Widespread Agreement That If The Government Legislated On Modular Manufacture Creating A Solid Pipeline Of Work There Would Be A Drive To Invest In Factories That Could Churn Out The Buildings And Infrastructure Of The Future.
“The Government Will Force The Issue In Time. The Issue Is That The Construction Industry Is Still Working On The Same Platforms As It Ever Has. Many Companies Don’t Know How To Manufacture. Shipping And Logistics Will Also Be Part Of This New Picture. Many Traditional Firms Just Don’t Have Business Systems That Support These Capabilities,” Says Mr Coffey.
That’s Where “Ocean View Homes” Bridges The Gap And Can Supply Modular, precission engineered Homes At A Much Faster Rate Than Traditional Builders.
“We Have Solutions That Works With Construction, Manufacturing And Logistics. That’s Why People Are Listening To Us.