Prebuilt
15–11–2017

The times are changing: Why prefabricated housing is back in vogue

Prefabricated housing suffered something of a tarnished reputation in the 20th century due, in large part, to the proliferation of government-built housing after the Second World War.

The many thousands of cheap, boxy dwellings thrown up to accommodate the booming post-war population were desperately needed at the time, but left a perception that modular houses were of a poorer quality than conventional builds.

However, times are changing – thanks to improved technologies, a greater interest in sustainable building practices and growing market demand for fast, cost-effective construction, prefabricated housing is finally coming of age.

 

Innovative companies such as Archiblox, Modscape, ARKit and Prebuilt are showing just what can be done with such projects, producing designs with a degree of architectural finesse that rival traditional high-end builds.

Victoria-based Prebuilt offers residential prefabs throughout Australia, working in close partnership with well-known architects such as the celebrated Glenn Murcutt – winner of a slew of international awards including the prestigious Pritzker Prize – Ramon Pleysier of Pleysier Perkins and Sean Godsell.

Prebuilt’s Laura Batch says the close involvement of respected architects, combined with prefabrication’s advantages in terms of pricing and time, means that more home builders are considering the modular option.

 

“We have really moved away from the rectilinear square, modular look,” she says. “[With prefabricated housing] you can produce really high quality architecture in an extremely short time.”

The timeframe from the initial client brief to finished product is usually about nine months, says Batch, with the on-site component taking up just six weeks of the total. (That compares to an average of about 12-18 months for a conventional build.) Because the modules are constructed in the factory, then transported to the site for assembly, the risk of expensive weather delays is minimised.

One of Prebuilt’s recent projects was a house in Sydney’s Rose Bay for media executive Pippa Leary and her family. Leary and her husband Bruce Lee, also a corporate executive, commissioned a Pleysier-designed, Prebuilt-constructed home because of the relative economy and speed of the construction process.

 

The prefabricated modules, which were assembled about five months after Pleysier’s design was complete, took just two months to transform into a house once in situ.

Leary says a major consideration when briefing the architect was their desire to make the most of the aspect of the site. “It was important to us that we captured as much northern light as we possibly could,” she explains. “The light is amazing, because there are so many louvres. When the light hits them, the house is filled with rainbows.”

The facade features a curved wooden wall that echoes the balconies on the neighbouring block of art deco apartments. The black and cream colour palette of the exterior reflects Pleysier’s signature use of dark colours.

 

The design includes a courtyard off the kitchen with retractable awnings, and a picture window in the children’s room that opens to a tree.

 




Laura Batch says the involvement of respected architects, means that more home builders are considering the modular option.Laura Batch says the involvement of respected architects, means that more home builders are considering the modular option. Photo: Supplied by Prebuilt

Thanks to improved technologies, prefabricated housing is finally coming of age.Thanks to improved technologies, prefabricated housing is finally coming of age. Photo: Prebuilt

Pippa Leary and Bruce Lee at home with their family.Pippa Leary and Bruce Lee at home with their family. Photo: Nicholas Watt

Victoria-based Prebuilt offers residential prefabs throughout Australia, working in close partnership with well-known architects.Victoria-based Prebuilt offers residential prefabs throughout Australia, working in close partnership with well-known architects. Photo: Prebuilt

27–10–2016

Prebuilt Commercial- Latest projects

Prebuilt Commercial have been working very hard over the last year, creating the several exciting projects such as the Melbourne Quarter display suite, St.Peters College and Salesian College.

View more about our recent commercial projects here.




06–10–2016

Prebuilt featured in Architectual Digest Russia magazine

Prebuilt’s Breeze house has been featured in the October issue of Architectural Digest Russia. The feature article is about 11 of the worlds best small houses. ‘To feel how big the world around us, it is best to live in a small house.’ Prebuilt is featured along side some of the most iconic prefabricated houses available worldwide such as- the shelter house by VIPP, Minimod House by Mara and Koda House by Kodasema.

Read the full article.




 

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26–09–2016

Breeze House Installation

In mid September Prebuilt installed Breeze House #3 in the small township of Fish Creek. This Breeze house features extensive decking and carport, aluminum window shrouds and silver top ash sliding screens all prefabricated by Prebuilt.




installation-fish-creek

28–06–2016

Prebuilt featured on 7 News.

Prebuilt had exciting guests visit the factory today and the media were in tow! The Minister for Public Transports office visited Prebuilt’s factory in Kilsyth to view one of the seven train stations Prebuilt is prefabricating for the Level Crossing Removal Project. Brendan Donohoe from Channel 7 Melbourne reports live from Prebuilt. Click the image to the right to watch the full video.




7news

14–05–2016

A Small Footprint Packs a Punch

This week Green magazine invited us to Green Talks 9 : Small Spaces, with Melbourne architect Andrew Maynard.

The audience packed in to the Allpress back alley café in Collingwood, with Green enthusiasts spilling out the front door into the courtyard. Andrew spoke to the jam packed audience about fostering sustainable environments by embedding sustainable practices. He spoke about design principles as political assertions, challenging cultural expectations and the boundaries of prescribed behaviours associated with prescribed spaces. The discussion was not limited to working within the confines of a minimal footprint, but how the constraints and opportunities of a small building footprint can produce interstices and overlapping domains, which become playful and engaging architectural assets.

Engaging with social, cultural and spatial context is key to encouraging sustainable practice. It is impossible to separate the design and construction industry and professions from environmental impact and political association. What we physically build in many ways is not just a product, but provides the setting and affords the tools in which we make future progress. A sustainable architecture is an architecture which is conscious of its contribution, just as we the occupants need to be conscientious of how we produce our built environment.

As prefab builders we at Prebuilt embrace the opportunity to overcome the challenges which come with past generation’s attitudes and hang-ups, and champion an approach which values the efficient treatment of resources, with an inherent multidisciplinary approach to the production of space.

It is the design and construction industry’s responsibility to also ensure client engagement with sustainable values and question inherent conservatism. Instead of resorting to commoditised ‘greenwash’ solutions and superficial add-on technologies where the budget allows, by embedding sustainability in our methodology we can foster a culture of sustainability.

 




A Small Footprint Packs a Punch