2018 news and events

National Association of Steel-Framed Housing

Ken Watson, Executive Director of NASH presented to the Centre group on NASH’s activities, the benefits of building with steel, current innovations, NASH’s contributions to the steel industry including NASH design standards, research activities undertaken in partnership with universities and other research organisations, and a series of case studies. This event also provided the opportunity for the CAMPH research team to discuss some of the challenges and opportunities for light-gauge steel in prefabricated construction that affect designers, fabricators, builders and suppliers.

Growing an idea into a multimillion dollar business

Neil Despotellis is an innovator, builder and small business entrepreneur, as well as Founder and Inventor of Surefoot Footings. Neil provided a presentation to the Centre on the many lessons learned from his involvement in Surefoot. This included a discussion about inventing, patenting, running and selling Surefoot which has become an international venture operating in Europe, China, New Zealand and Oceania. Central to Neil’s presentation was the close collaboration with research organisations including the University of Melbourne. The presentation included not only Neil’s experience in developing a highly successful business, but also a technical discussion covering a disruptive footing technology including efficiency, speed of installation, price, among others.

Seismic performance of steel structures

Mr Keunwoo Lee, PhD student visiting from the University of Sydney, provided a presentation to the technical group on his two Master degrees that investigated the seismic performance of steel structures. His presentation included a discussion on mid-rise modular structures including cyclic testing for connections, as well as numerical investigations of the seismic behaviour of steel haunch joint. The feedback received from the Centre is helping to shape Keunwoo’s research topic for his PhD.

Alejandra Cortes

Patently Creating Value

The Centre technical group received a presentation from Ruth Feltoe—Specialist Lawyer, Legal Services at the University of Melbourne. The presentation explored the pathway to commercialisation, different forms of Project IP and information relating to patents. This presentation was relevant to many research projects in CAMPH that seek impact through real world application.

Alejandra Cortes

Seminars on: Growing Chile’s prefab industry and Blockchain

The CAMPH team has regular fortnightly meetings at the University of Melbourne. At the last meeting, presentations were provided by:
Ms Alejandra Cortes on the energy context of building and construction and public policies, programs and prefab initiatives in Chile. Alejandra is a Lecturer and Researcher at the Faculty of Architecture and Planning in the University of Chile.
Dr Bill Humphries on Blockchain: enabling BIM, IoT and supply chain transparency in the prefabrication construction sector.

Seminar on ‘Strategies to progress in academia’

Prof Jamie Evans, Deputy Dean (Academic) in the Melbourne School of Engineering, The University of Melbourne provided an inspiring and entertaining presentation to CAMPH early career researchers, post docs and PhD students on ‘Strategies to progress in academia.’

CAMPH acoustics presentations

The CAMPH team has regular fortnightly meetings at the University of Melbourne. During the latest meeting there were a series of presentations on the theme of “acoustics”. Presentations were provided by Dr Phil Christopher and PhD candidate Sareh Naji on acoustic modelling. A presentation on in-situ acoustic testing was provided by Dr Amitha Jayalath, and PhD candidate Bernie Gibson presented on a novel approach to attenuate sound in multi-storey timber buildings.

CAMPH workshop 2017

CAMPH ran a highly successful workshop on the 14th of September at the University of Melbourne which was an opportunity for CAMPH Chief Investigators, Partner Investigators, Partner representatives, postdoctoral research fellows and PhD students to come together to discuss research in progress, explore opportunities for collaboration, and to plan the future of CAMPH.

An update on activities during the first 12-months of the Centre was provided, followed by guest presentations by Dr Kirsi Jarnerö and Dr Mikael Ludvigsson (Smart Housing – Sweden), Ms Joyce Ferng (Associate Director ANZ Modular Lead – AECOM), and a round table discussion including Dr John Stehle (Director of Advanced Science and Engineering, KPMG), Ms Joyce Ferng and Dr Jonathan Barnett (Technical Director, RED Fire Engineers).  The afternoon session included 20 presentations by CAMPH postdoc research fellows and PhD candidates, including video presentations from interstate and Sweden.

The workshop improved collaboration among the large CAMPH team and strengthened research in the many projects being run within the Centre.

Symposium: Aftermath of Grenfell Tower Fire: Are Australian Buildings safe?

4.30–6.30pm 4 July 2017

The Grenfell tower event one of the worst disasters in the world, which has touched many lives. Australian cities will especially be affected as our population is concentrated in urban cities and many medium-rise and high-rise buildings have been constructed with non-compliant products.

In London, lives have been lost and many people have been hospitalised, and the burnt blackened tower has left an important question mark on fire safety and fire protection systems in buildings. It is assured that help is being given to all the homeless survivors, but this catastrophic fire is a tragic warning for the occupants, developers, architects, engineers and all people involved in the construction industry in Australia and around the world. Unfortunately, the Grenfell Tower fire is very severe as the combined effects of many critical factors of fire safety amplified the damage.

Built Offsite: a new publication for the prefab construction industry

Australia’s building industry is on the precipice of deep structural change and offsite construction is at the very heart of that process. Prefabrication or offsite construction is changing the way buildings are designed and built. By 2020 the offsite building sector is forecast to account for 10% of all GDP construction; a figure in today’s statistics that represents $3.2 billion. Built Offsite magazine gives process a voice and will bind the industry together in a sharp, well-written and researched voice that is published to be used.

Built Offsite is published bi-monthly six times per year, and is available in one and two year subscriptions.

ARC CAMPH officially launched

Senator Scott Ryan officially launched the ARC Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing (CAMPH) on 4 November at The University of Melbourne. Attended by around 130 representatives from industry and research, the proceedings also included presentations by Centre Director Prof Priyan Mendis, Research Director Assoc Prof Tuan Ngo, University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Prof Davis, ARC Executive Director Dr Cameron, Partner Investigator Tom Vassos and Centre Chief Investigator Prof Colin Duffield. Following the official proceedings, the Centre’s postdoc and PhD students provided displays showcasing the research and training activities currently in progress.

The overwhelming message was that Australia’s building industry needs to innovate, collaborate and transform to meet the demands on the 21st Century including the growing need for affordable housing. The Centre is working with industry to develop innovative solutions for a broad spectrum of projects to promote prefabricated construction.

ARC CAMPH Research and Training Committee workshop

The Centre’s Research and Training Committee assembled on 4 November following the official Centre launch. Collaborating Organisations include The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Monash University and Curtin University. Collaborating Partners include prefabAUS, Amoveo, ARC Reinforcing Co, CIMC, EnviroSIP, FWPA, Habitech, Kirk Architect, Modulum Homes, Prebuilt, Tektum and Timber Building Systems.

An afternoon workshop for the Chief Investigators and Partner Investigators of the Centre’s Research and Training Committee explored opportunities for collaboration and strategies to advance the Australian prefab industry. The discussion covered the many innovative research projects being undertaken by the postdoc and PhD students.

ARC-CAMPH at prefabAUS 2016 conference

The ARC Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing is proud to have been a part of the prefabAUS 2016 conference. Hosted by the University of Sydney (Collaborating Organisation to the ARC Centre) the conference was an opportunity for leading minds from Australia and abroad to come together to share insights and explore opportunities for collaboration.

The conference included presentations by Centre Research Director Assoc Prof Tuan Ngo, Centre Industry Engagement representative and prefabAUS Chairman Damien Crough, and PhD candidate Mr Tharindu Samarasinghe.

The ARC Centre congratulates prefabAUS (Collaborating Partner to the Centre) on this year’s highly successful event and looks forward to participating in future conferences.

Modular and Offsite Construction Summit, 29 September – 1 October, Canada

The Industry Engagement Manager of the ARC-CAMPH Training Centre and Founding Director and Board Chair of PrefabAUS, Mr Damien Crough, will be providing a keynote speech at the Modular and Offsite Construction Summit in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  The title of Damien’s keynote speech is “Changing perceptions of prefabrication through research and collaboration”. The presentation will examine how prefab has evolved, including via technologies borrowed from the automotive and aerospace industries, to build modern building systems.

Presentations at Modular Construction & Prefabricated Construction ANZ 2016

The ARC-CAMPH was well represented at the 2016 Modular Construction & Prefabricated Construction ANZ conference held between 30–31 March in Sydney.  Research Director, Assoc Prof Tuan Ngo provided a keynote address on “Challenges and innovations in designing for resilient and sustainable prefabricated modular buildings”.  Industry Engagement Manager, Mr Damien Crough provided a presentation titled “Research and collaboration as the key enabler to industry growth”.  Warren McGregor, CEO of prefabAUS also provided a keynote address on “Offsite construction isn’t waiting for you — so you’d better be ready”. The conference provided an opportunity for focused discussions on how modern methods of construction can achieve productivity breakthroughs and accelerate delivery.

PrefabAUS and ARC-CAMPH welcomes BCA Singapore

prefabAUS and the ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing (CAMPH) welcomed a large delegation of representatives from Singapore’s Building & Construction Authority.  An afternoon workshop and evening networking event provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the latest technologies and strategies to boost productivity, improve quality and safety in the construction industry through modular construction.  The discussion provided a tremendous knowledge-sharing opportunity and helped establish a commitment to ongoing international collaboration.