Funding announced for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing Research Centre
The Minister for Education and Training, the Hon. Christopher Pyne MP has allocate $4m for a new training centre at the University of Melbourne, Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.
This is one of nine new research hubs and training centres established under the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Industrial Transformation Research Programme, which will forge stronger research and industry connections.
Dr. Prakash Singh, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics, will lead one of four programs at the centre, focusing on supply chain and financing innovation.
The Centre aims to provide new knowledge, methods and technologies, as well as highly skilled PhD and postdoctoral researchers, to support the research and development needed to propel the prefabricated housing sector well beyond the current 3% share of the construction market. The Centre will train the next generation of industry-ready Australian engineers and scientists through creating a sustainable research partnership between university-based researchers and the Australian prefabricated building industry and composite material manufacturers. This will enable the development of sustainable, reusable, smart, and affordable building systems and contribute to creating a globally competitive prefabricated housing manufacturing industry in Australia.
The current prefabricated building market in Australia is a modest $4.5bn of the total $150bn construction industry. Projections for the ten year outlook indicate a potential market share growth to 10% or $15bn if current challenges can be overcome. The global market in 2014 was estimated at $96 bn. In Australia, demand for low-to mid-rise residential buildings, project homes and public housing are key drivers of demand in prefabricated construction. For example, over the coming decade, Melbourne will require 60,000 public housing units, and Sydney will require a further 80,000. High-quality, lightweight, prefabricated modular systems will contribute to housing stock with excellent amenity for occupants, at substantially lower cost when compared with traditional housing.
Expected outcomes of the Centre:
- Supporting a 10% growth of market share by 2025 which will create 20,000 new jobs by 2025;
- Construct up to 90% faster than traditional methods
- Reduce total costs by up to 50%
- Addressing shortage of affordable and end-user focused residential housing
- Achieve 100% re-use of componentry, recycle 80% of site waste
- Reduce transport, labour, and site preliminaries by 70%
- Expand export opportunities
- Secure and maintain competitive advantage in global value chains