Across the world, the building industry is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the transport industry. This need not continue since a green, prefabricated building can minimise energy use in all phases of the construction.

However, less than five per cent of new residential structures built in Australia are prefabricated green buildings whereas, in Sweden, the figure is 84 per cent. Whilst Australia is relatively lagging in lessening their greenhouse footprint by constructing green, eco-friendly modular and prefabricated structures;which are factory-built, transportable and built using manual labour and designed using precision technology – the method with all of its benefits is finally catching on and growing by the day.

‘Prefabricated’ is a reference to any part of a structure that has been manufactured and put together in a factory and transported in either complete or sub-assemblies to the building site. It is a rather comprehensive term relating to several differing processes, which include architectural, structural, and elements of services.

In Australia, prefabricated homes have been seen as temporary, low-budget housing, but that is no longer true, with architect-designed prefabricated houses and modules now being recognised as affordable and sophisticated choices.

Once the word ‘prefab’ elicited memories of schoolyard demountables, but there is now a wider range on the market, more manufacturers and upmarket designs. This is causing a new trend to emerge with luxury prefab homes bringing cutting-edge technology and high-end materials together to produce visually unique and pleasing buildings.

With draughts causing up to 20 per cent of heat loss in winter in on-site constructed buildings, prefabricated structures can be twice as effective at retaining heat because they are sealed more efficiently, reducing energy leakage.

The construction factories often have superior quality control procedures and are more able to position insulation for more efficient energy use.With better insulation, power bills are cut by half in most cases when compared to uninsulated or poorly fitted bats in conventional builds.

One of the major problems with regards to on-site construction is waste. It’s estimated that around 19 million tonnes of waste is generated from the building sector in Australia and 45 per cent of it goes to landfill. Fifty-five per cent is recycled, with Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia implementing strategies aimed at zero construction waste.

The on-going nature of pre-fabricated structures allows for more research and development to enhance their performance making them more able to withstand natural disasters for example. In Japan during earthquakes factory built houses endure the shocks better than on-site builds.

Costs are less as well with pre-fabricated buildings, with studies in the United Kingdom showing savings of up to 10 per cent when compared to on-site builds. Also, in bad weather factories can go on working, whereas on-site construction is often interrupted by foul weather. As a result everyone loses money, and deadlines are missed or extended.

The indoor nature of the manufacturing process of pre-fabricated structures means all components are protected from the extremes of weather, theft or even vandalism. There is also an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) element to pre-fabricated building, since safety is much easier to control in a factory where much of the work can be carried out at waist height, and employees are taught how to properly operate machinery.

For more information and quotes on your prefabricated home, granny flat, shed, office or any other special-use structures to lease or buy, call Fox Transportables. This privately-owned West Australian company manufactures fabulous custom-built, transportable buildings and you can select from their wide range of designs.

Phone (08) 6377 8335 or 0449 634 100.

Fox Transportables Pty Ltd

12 Beringarra Ave, Malaga WA 6090