So how does Australia compare to other countries adopting this method?
Known as the ‘world leader’ in prefabricated building, Sweden typically use the prefabrication method using Timber framed roofing and floor elements. The method has become so popular, an estimated 84% of Swedish homes have prefab elements according to the Global Construction Review . These statistics allow major construction companies to see the pressure consumers are putting onto the building industry to use more streamlined solutions that create less waste.
Researchers from Brisbane’s Queensland University of Technology state that other nations have fallen behind “because they have lacked the demand drivers that leading countries do, including extreme weather, earthquakes or environmental activism.” Named the most sustainable country in the world, ranked by Earth Org on the Global Sustainability Index, Sweden’s environmental activism points towards being the leading factor driving the prefabrication industry upwards. Commonly known as using less waste, prefabricated building directly adheres to Sweden’s ESG framework which prioritises sustainable living and waste-to-energy plants.
Singapore have adapted the same approach but with different driving factors. Since 2014, the Singaporean government has made prefabricated bathrooms a requirement on all government-owned residential projects. The reason for this requirement was to combat the rising cost of foreign labour as the building industry faces labour shortages and often relies on imported workers. Prefab bathrooms are seen as a method to control the high costs involved in construction without damaging the countries building economy.
Looking past government requirements, ADDP Architect’s in Singapore are using what they refer to as PPVC (Prefabricated Prefinished Volumetric Construction) to build the ‘World’s tallest prefabricated skyscrapers.’ According to ADDP, an estimated 80% of each housing module will be built off-site, ADDP have used the prefab method as a major selling point. With sustainability and innovation at the forefront of the business’ core values, the reasoning for this method was to minimise dust and noise pollution while decreasing wastage both on and off site. They’ve set a high standard for competitors when looking at corporate social responsibility within the industry.
Prefabricated bathroom pods seem to be the most common trend for prefab use in Australia, being placed in large scale construction buildings such as hotels and apartments. Based in Melbourne, SYNC manufacture high quality prefabricated bathroom pods off-site, for a faster, simpler and more sustainable construction solution.
As the industry currently stands, prefabrication is used for a range of benefits with labour skill shortages being the main driver compared to the environmental pressures seen overseas. However, in the future this may change due to the ongoing push for the construction industry to be more conscious of sustainability.
So why should Australia look at increasing the use of prefabrication methods to reflect the increases seen overseas? Luckily for the industry, bathroom pods enable a range of client’s core values from sustainability to quality. SYNC, a leading bathroom pod manufacturer in Australia, facilitates these benefits by:
- Ensuring delivery and price certainty even during times of volatility, this is also achieved by relying less on the unpredictability of overseas supply.
- Auditing and quality assurance of all facets of pod manufacture especially critical items like waterproofing and hydraulics are transparent, the consistency and quality can be seen and measured on ground level and in one place.
- Utilising the philosophy of lean manufacturing which is reducing waste, carbon footprint and better build quality.
- Delivering mass customised, high-spec bathrooms which don’t compromise architectural freedom. Customers are able to construct bathrooms and details that would otherwise be difficult to achieve due to SYNC’s technology and manufacturing abilities.
- We have in house capabilities to design prototype, validate and manufacture components quickly and as a system and relies less on overseas supply that can be unreliable.
Australia’s infrastructure has always been at the forefront of innovation around the world, following the advancement other countries have taken to adopt prefabrication, the construction industry needs to continuously look at ways prefabrication methods can modernise their approaches.