Comparative study of modular construction methodologies within residential and commercial applications

French, Corey R. M. (2022) Comparative study of modular construction methodologies within residential and commercial applications. [USQ Project]

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_French_C_Goh_u1094721_ENG4112 Dissertation Report_Redacted.pdf

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Modular construction has become a stalwart across building industries globally. Offsite prefabrication of building elements, components, fixtures, and fittings have transformed the construction industry within Australia, and is expected to continue it’s development well into the future.

The ability for modular construction methods to relocate large portions of traditional on-site works into a well-controlled environment, such as a prefabrication facility or assembly factories, provides greater security for risk control – across programme, costs, contracts, safety, quality, and labour efficiency. In theoretical terms, modules typically arrive on site fully assembled and ready for installation upon premeditated and designed footing systems, with the capability of interconnectable components also forming an entire modular dwelling. Additional planning, transportation, cranage and assembly facilities are required to facilitate this methodology, offering potential efficiencies to improve sustainability over conventional methods of in-situ construction.

This dissertation is intended to provide a comprehensive comparison between modular and traditional means of construction, across residential and commercial sectors of Australia. A focused methodology can be found within, targeted toward fundamental construction elements including costs, programming, safety, quality, sustainability, technology, logistics, design, and aesthetics. Expansion for more in-depth elements have been considered, and detailed to the limitations of typical dissertation reporting.

An overarching objective was to provide a systematic comparison between Australia’s existing construction methods and those adopted within the modular sector, defining the capabilities, limitations, and opportunities for the future. This report is intended to provide a historic snapshot of the construction climate in 2022, hopefully providing a reference point for any future undertakings to reference in years to come, as the modular construction methodology advances.

Conclusive evidence produced in this report determined modular construction systems using prefabrication, offsite assembly, and modular componentry may have several advantages predominantly with cost, programmes, safety, quality, accuracy, and design complexity. Limited through the obligation of adept design proficiency, and a collaborative design development, processes must ensure all additional requirements and logistical matters are compliant and remain within regulations as the modular componentry will require transport, primarily on-road, restraining items to a dimensional restriction depending on State regulations and relevant permissible transport sizes. Parallel continuance of works on and off-site is a characteristic trait of modular methods, with labour, cost, quality, and sustainability efficiency all theoretically improved through prefabrication systems.

Limitations discovered within this report include modular methods’ inconsistency for weatherproofing, the potential for a lack of representation within Australian Standards and applicable Building Codes, the overwhelming quantity of trades involved with the construction sector and the research being limited to Residential and Commercial offerings.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Supervisors: Goh, Steven
Qualification: Bachelor of Construction (Honours) (Construction Management)
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 04:14
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 01:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: modular construction; Australia

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