Role of prefabricated modular housing systems in promoting sustainable housing practices

Oxley III, D 2006, Role of prefabricated modular housing systems in promoting sustainable housing practices, Masters by Research, Civil and Chemical Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Role of prefabricated modular housing systems in promoting sustainable housing practices
Author(s) Oxley III, D
Year 2006
Abstract The use of modular construction systems for residential purposes currently represents a very small proportion of all housing construction. The focus of these systems is on niche markets typified as cheap alternatives, homeowner involvement in construction or adaptations to construction constraints (build time availability, site access, etc.). Governments, regulatory bodies and industrial members are progressively moving towards increased environmentally sustainable practice. This progression is evidenced by the development of design and construction rating tools and the introduction of statutes and regulations governing construction and design. This work investigates the improvement of residential construction practice in terms of environmental sustainability outcomes through the use of modular housing systems. Two key aspects of environmental sustainability identified are embodied energy and material waste reduction. A modular system has been investigated because methods and procedures that directly relate to these two areas are well addressed by such systems. In order to validate the potential of modular systems in this environmental regard, three main areas have been addressed. The first is the ability for modular systems to generate the type of floor plans currently offered by Australian high-volume builders. Second, the environmental improvement potential offered by modular systems is addressed. Lastly are the issues of structural performance and the means of the tailoring of prefabricated modular systems to residential construction standards. Through the treatment of these three areas, potential benefits of modular systems are identified, with future work necessary to implement such benefits highlighted. The need for such improvements is noted, and a framework for evaluating future developments in this area of research is presented.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Civil and Chemical Engineering
Keyword(s) Prefabricated houses
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