Research collaboration on remote housing construction boosted by government funding allocation

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PROJECT OVERVIEW

In collaboration with three Australian universities, iBuild will be the leading industrial partner for an Australia Research Council awarded project to develop a building assembly system for the construction of housing in remote regions with harsh climates.

With funding support from the Australian Government through ARC, the research teams from Monash University, University of New South Wales, and Western Sydney University, iBuild and other industry partners will look into using fibre reinforced composites, a lightweight and durable materials, for the construction of housing in remote areas.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The project team will aim to develop a building assembly system using fibre reinforced composites, a lightweight and durable materials, for the construction of housing in remote regions with harsh climates. The project team will look into establishing design and construction approaches with BIM techniques to assist industrial manufacturing and end-user practices.

FUNDING SUPPORT FROM FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

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iBuild Remote Housing Project Collaborative Universities

REMOTE HOUSING NEEDS

Adequate and proper housing is a challenge yet to be resolved in many remote regions across Australia. The lack of affordable housing and appropriate support services persists. Overcrowding and poor living conditions continue to affect many Indigenous communities. Population growth and the current rate of housing supply in remote communities have advised the significance and severity of the problem. This issue is not confined to Australia, as the global population is expected to grow from 6.9 billion in 2010 to 9.6 billion by 2050, remote housing and resourcing have already been considered with strategic priorities for many governments.

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CHALLENGES IN REMOTE HOUSING CONSTRUCTION

Construction of housing in remote regions has significant difficulties and challenges that need to be overcome by the building industry. There can be limited or even no access to major machinery or equipment (such as a crane) for construction because of the high costs of transportation or leasing in these regions.

As a result, heavyweight construction materials such as concrete and hot rolled steel are either excluded from designs or incorporated at great cost to projects. Many remote regions in Australia are in climates where extreme humidity, mineral content of air, and diurnal temperature range combine to form harsh environments for building materials. Thin-walled steel and timber used in traditional housing in such environments suffer accelerated rates of material degradation and detrimentally change structural properties, making them unsafe and needing replacement far before their typical service life. Labour and time are other critical constraints for building activities in remote regions as a result of their geographic nature and long distance to supplies. These constraints further remove traditional craft-based labour-intensive construction methodology and wet-in-wet processes.

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