The kids are alright: Students' plans for affordable housing

An Australian-first inter-University design competition saw Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) students’ team up to face the challenge and deliver industry-leading built environment design solutions to solve Australia’s housing affordability challenges.

With concepts integrating the latest wave of offsite manufacturing industry practices (4.0).

GALLERY  

The inaugural Fleetwood Challenge Cup was established to support the next generation of built design professionals for the rapidly changing construction industry.

Connecting industry and academics, the competition was developed in partnership with industry association prefabAUS. Cross-disciplinary teams were asked to address Australia’s looming shortage of affordable housing by using offsite construction and prefabrication methods to develop high quality, aesthetically pleasing, and affordable housing solutions suitable that could be relocated cost effectively over a 50-year period.

As a lack of housing diversity and affordability continues to prove a major grappling point for many Australians, a team of Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) students from the University of Melbourne have taken on the challenge and won. With a reimagining of the great Australian dream of owning a home, using a holistic approach to offsite manufacturing.

The students’ ‘ecoShip’ project was chosen for its thoughtful consideration of the entire project lifecycle. The innovative solution allowed the team to effectively consider the core values of affordability, functionality and sustainability whilst also supporting social and community benefits. Applying the framework of Industry 4.0 through offsite manufacturing their modular design solution, the ‘ecoShip’ is designed to deliver time, cost and quality benefits unrivalled by more traditional construction methods.

“The offsite manufacturing and prefabrication industry has changed significantly – the gains it can offer now in terms of sustainability, flexibility and customisation provide the industry with new options for design balanced with affordability. The creative use of design materials by students to deliver innovative solutions has surpassed all industry expectations” Fleetwood Australia’s Managing Director and CEO Brad Denison explained.

A Judging Panel drawn from Australia’s most respected AEC companies assessed 10 ground-breaking designs submitted from The University of Melbourne, Curtin University, the University of Queensland and Monash University.

From a field of amazing and compelling entries submitted by top Australian universities the team from The University of Melbourne were pleased to have come away victors this year.

“Being part of the Fleetwood Challenge Cup has been a fantastic and an extremely valuable experience which has given our team the opportunity to apply knowledge into practice to help solve a real-world problem!” The University of Melbourne.

Images via Fleetwood and University of Melbourne


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