Prefab, Sustainability and Affordability

Lecture Week 7 on 8/9/16 by Malay Dave

Research and Design Engagements:

CRC for Low Carbon Living

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120,000 horses existe din New York, NY in the early 20th century. These all produced waste (health and sanitation issues), required food and required shelter etc. Here comes in the evolution of the automobile, and the ceomplete redesign on that industry by Henry Ford and the moving assembly line with standardised and modularised approach to design to reduce manufacture cost, and therefore retail price.


This then brings us to sustainability in the built environment, and the need for new models.

The building industry is the “single largest contributer to climate change”

-(UNSEP, 2011)

  • materials – 30-40% of total flow in the global economy
  • waste – 40% of solid wast comes from this industry

Why do we have these issues?

  • functional gaps
  • management dicontinuities


Approaches the need for sustainable and affordable housing.

Globally, we require 3.5 million new homes every year until 2030. Imagine that. That, to me, is an inconceivable number and completely out of my scope of mind, which shows to me how huge this issue truely is.

Sustinability is showing the move from low energy, to net energy and zero carbon, or even positive energy production (i.e. negative carbon; sequestering carrbon)

Prefabrication can be either 2D prefab (flat pack), or 3D prefab (volumetric).

Barriers to prefab:

  • perception issues
  • difficult to renovate (up to $8b per annum in the industry)
  • initial factory set up costs are expensive
  • lack of awareness and skills in industry

Advantages of prefab: can work in any weather; can work in shifts;

Therefore, we can see an increased speed in on-site building assembly. Here is an example of a high performance building that was also tested for earthquake magnitudes off site:

And also (this one went up at a rate of 3 floors per day!! For context, a building of this size would generally take around a year to construct using traditional methods)…

This is also a little bit clever, fun and full of potential:


Further References

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