REDUNDANT car industry engineers, designers and managers have recently found new job opportunities with the cutting edge of a revolution in building and construction.

About 20 of those very skilled workers have been utilized by the Melbourne-based Hickory Group to operate in the design and creation of prefab house, and also components who go into conventional builds.

Australia lags behind other industrial countries in the use of prefab and modular construction though these techniques offer numerous advantages. Not simply may be the build time halved along with the cost reduced, this factory-based method of construction allows buildings to be placed in locations where construction staff is hard to find. And therefore means industrial jobs in cities and regional centres for workers influenced by economic restructuring.

Hickory Group has so far completed 16 prefab builds, including office towers, hotels or even a hospital in the last seven years. Some have been as tall as nine storeys, such as a Perth public housing project that was carried out just ten days.

It’s now begun making prefab bathrooms that have been sold to many other developers and slotted into apartment buildings all over Sydney and Melbourne. In just one of Hickory’s own projects in Collins Street, Melbourne, it produced more than 700 bathrooms for the 65-storey building.

The key benefits of prefab and modular construction are compelling, however, not everyone gets it. The government government’s industry “growth centre” agenda, which targets five key sectors according to advice from McKinsey as well as the Business Council, doesn’t mention this industry.

But Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, who saw certainly one of Hickory’s Melbourne buildings this month, told The Australian the technique presented an “exciting prospect”. Innovation in industry and the application of new technology as well as its impact on the workforce happen to be in the middle of the Powering Australia series this season.

Macfarlane met with Hickory’s joint managing director Michael Argyrou, who told him how former car industry designers and engineers were highly trained at finishing products into a extremely high standard. Macfarlane’s views about prefab were reinforced a couple weeks ago when executives from South Korean steel giant Posco told him these folks were developing their prefab capacity.

Argyrou said the Victorian government ended up being very supportive of its strategy. He stated former car industry managers and designers were in fact better at precision-oriented work than people who have a construction industry background. “They add a tremendous amount of value to the business; these are significantly better at it than what a construction guy can be,” he stated. Their skills were “very transferable” and also the company planned to integrate them to the business throughout the prefab components production after which “slowly adjust these to the building industry”.

Hickory had about 75 workers at steel warehouse and was looking to growing this business to around 200 workers within the next 2 years.

Modular construction is different from prefab because the property usually is available in a steel container. Within the last 14 days a modular home produced in Geelong and Mittagong continues to be assembled over a Sydney clifftop within the space of just eight days.

The look by Sydney-based Tektum was built-in the factory, loaded into a container and after that unfolded and assembled on-site at Bilgola Plateau.

Tektum’s co-founder Nicolas Perren said the business was applying car manufacturing techniques to home and building construction. But unlike many modular homes, the top-quality finish led a lot of people to conclude that this was a conventional build.

“Few from the visitors think that it has been transported on the standard truck and unfolded at your location with bathrooms and kitchen in position. Every one of them leave convinced here is the future of construction,” Perren said. Tektum has additionally built a residential facility for disabled people in Wodonga which is now chasing regarding a dozen new projects within australia and New Zealand. Such as a childcare centre, remote clinics in Queensland, a golf resort in NSW, community halls plus a 300-500 house development in Christchurch.

Curtin University’s Jemma Green, whose research is centered on sustainable housing, is impressed with Tektum’s design and says modular housing is a much more efficient and cost-effective construction method. She said the shorter build time meant significant savings for investors along with a better rate of return. There was clearly less waste in the manufacturing process and also the buildings also delivered better energy use. “Building conventionally is indeed disruptive in the city. It can be disruptive for your community, in the roads. Modular is a more rapid solution to a demand that exists,” said Green, a former investment banker with JPMorgan.

But Green was highly critical of the inflexible approach taken by banks which often refused to finance these builds due to the fact construction was happening within a factory as opposed to at your location.

The dog owner in the Bilgola Plateau home, who asked to not be named, said modular approach was more appropriate to the steep slope in the block because the container was dropped by a crane straight to the 06dexspky sub-frame and after that unpacked.

But he admitted there was clearly a perception problem. “A home is a major-ticket item. People think of it as prefabricated homes in comparison to a custom build. It really is a perception,” he stated.