It’s been said that all industry disruptors are innovators, but not all innovators are disruptive. With prefabricated construction, the question of whether this 21st century process has truly shaken up Australia’s building industry is one with no clear answer.
On the one hand, there has been a growing buzz around prefab design – the umbrella term given to any structural, architectural or service elements that are fabricated offsite in a factory. Some call it pre-built construction, others off-site construction. Then there’s modular construction, where individual prefab units are connected and built up to form an overall structure.
“Prefab is becoming extremely popular in Australia, with many large and smaller builders, suppliers and tradesmen embracing prefab in hundreds of different formats,” says Andrew Grimshaw, director of SBS Group.
“It gives builders and designers a completely different scope to create complex or simple structures off-site, which can be quickly brought to the work site and installed.
“This saves valuable time, labor and total overall efficiency compared with traditional methods of construction. Utilizing many different materials with smart engineering and construction techniques adds a vastly superior edge to today’s construction requirements.
“Whether its prefabricating steel framing or prefabricating kitchens or even plumbing piping, prefabrication is growing as the ideas flow forth.”
Companies such as the SBS Group, which prefabricates light gauge steel frames, is one such player in Australia’s blossoming prefab industry.