Prefabrication – or Pre-fab as it is commonly referred to – can be described as assembling building components in factories, or other weather proofed sites, and transporting completed or partially completed assemblies to a construction site to form a finished structure.
Prefabricated homes have had an interesting history in Australia, often linked to Government initiatives. The post war era of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s saw a boom in mass-produced buildings. More recently prefabricated housing moved more in to the commercial realm, leaning toward applications as mining dongas or demountable school buildings.
Recognising that the quality of design and materials were aspects of prefabricated homes that could be easily changed, Happy Haus saw the potential to apply this method of construction to housing.
Happy Haus set out to change the perception of prefab homes by engaging some of Australia’s finest architects to design high quality homes produced in factory controlled conditions.
The first Happy Haus modular homes were designed and built using our modular building system to overcome issues such as the length of build time and location of our client’s properties.
when is prefab the right solution?
Every site is different and every Happy Haus unique. We’re experts in design and construction, finding the best architectural design and construction system to suit your aspirations, time frames, location and budget. There are both advantages and limitations associated with a prefabricated construction system, at Happy Haus we help clients work out the best solution for their project.
time = money
There is no denying that prefabricated building techniques save time. Recent two storey Happy Haus projects have been completed within a construction program of 12 weeks in the factory and around two weeks of on-site installation work (this can vary dependent on design and site conditions). Some of the time savings come from:
- all elements are built simultaneously in a factory environment
- foundations / footings can be completed whilst the factory program is running
- there are no weather delays.
The time = money equation can be quantified for clients when items such as the below are factored in to the overall build cost:
- finance holding costs
- alternative accommodation (rent) cost
- project draw downs
- potential for earning – in the case of investment homes or commercial projects.
An analysis of the savings also needs to be offset with those costs that are specific to offsite construction (think trucks and cranes) and will go a long way in helping to understand if a modular solution will work out to be advantageous to your project.
location and condition of site
Many remote and regional locations have a limited number of builders and tradespeople, which can lead to significant difficulties in finding the right company, at the right price, with the required quality. This is turn can lead to a lack of competitive pricing in the market.
With an off-site construction solution, using Happy Haus’ prefabricated building technology, all of the required construction professionals can work under the one roof, eliminating the need for trades to make multiple trips to site locations. This is especially good if your site is not in a metropolitan area. Our buildings arrive onsite approximately 90% complete, allowing for quick and simple installation, minimising the need to source on-site trades for extended periods of time.
Our modular solutions can also be a great way to deal with difficult sites. Provided we can access the building pad location (again thinking cranes and trucks), a modular build can overcome issues such as:
- sloping sites
- poor soil conditions
- narrow sites
- small lot sites.
low impact building
Environmental sustainability is a core element of the Happy Haus business philosophy weather a project is delivered via prefabricated or traditional on-site methods.
While many sustainability factors are common to any well-designed home, there are a number that are specific to factory built homes, including:
- the reduction of waste materials through the construction program
- minimising the impact to flora and fauna while building on the site
- the ability to produce high-performance buildings while controlling costs.
The commercial application of Happy Haus designs and the modular construction process have countless applications. The benefits derived by our residential clients are also highly applicable to the commercial property world.
Streamlined construction processes, efficient use of materials and reduced environmental impact make Happy Haus buildings the perfect option for your next commercial project.
Our team has experience with various building types suitable for metropolitan and regional locations whereby conventional building is inappropriate. This includes build for:
- sales displays
- education / kindergarten buildings
- administration buildings
- training facilities
- commercial extensions.
what does this all mean
Working with modular construction we have learned important lessons in relation to efficiency in design and planning, refinement of documentation, speed of build and logistics. This experience is invaluable for our clients and is used in our business on a daily basis.
While modular building and pre-fabrication remain in the Happy Haus DNA, it is not the solution for some of our clients. Many wanted to work with us despite our pre-fab option not being suitable and so Happy Haus established an on-site build option for our clients.