28-30 Apr 2020
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

Key Drivers of Prefab and Smart Modular Building Construction

Modular building construction is one of the trends leading change in the building and construction industry today.

Several factors contribute to the rise in interest for prefab; not only the focus on sustainable buildings that cope with extreme weather shifts but also as a response to the decline in one of Australia’s top employing industries.

The Decline of Australia’s Automotive Manufacturing Industry

In the last couple of years, major automotive players closed down their manufacturing operations –  most notably, General Motors Co, Ford, and Toyota, where up to 40,000 are estimated to have lost their jobs. The Melbourne School of Engineering (MSE) zeroed in on the prefabrication market as one of the key drivers of employment in Australia. They foresee that an increase in the prefabricated sector’s market share to 15% can contribute 20,000 new jobs amounting to $30 billion of growth by 2025. Experts at the MSE are looking at how workers in the automotive industry can transfer their skills in the burgeoning prefab industry.

Less On-site Waste

The Waste & Resources Action Program (WRAP) from the United States stated that a 90% waste reduction is possible through off-site construction. Modular building construction units arrive at the project site complete and ready to install. They are made with the exact specification, in a controlled environment.

Apart from producing less waste, most of the modular projects are built with the purpose of being energy efficient. In fact, modular construction can reduce energy consumption during the building stage by 67%.


Modular building construction and housing must adhere to Australian Standards as well as achieve Bushfire Attack Level Ratings and Earthquake testing. Also, modular homes have a lifespan of up to 60 years depending on the wear and tear by harsh weather elements.

In 2017, the industry was abuzz following the announcement of the Modular Construction Code Board Handbook, a project of the Modular Construction Code Board in partnership with Monash University and the Victorian State Government, with the support of the Australian Steel Institute, Engineers Australia and PrefabAUS. The handbook addresses quality control and safety improvements.

Prefabrication at DesignBUILD

Prefab Buildings in Australia are on the rise, and more trends will soon take over the market. If you manufacture materials or systems for use in modular and offsite construction,  contact the team today to discuss opportunities to reach construction professionals with buying power.

About the Author: Spec-Net

This article was first published by DesignBUILD Media Partner, Spec-Net. The Spec-Net Building Directory commenced in 1994 and since then their news portal has grown to attract over 10 million visitors per annum. Their audience demographics are architects, designers, engineers, contractors, building companies, building manufacturers both commercial and domestic.

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