The University of Melbourne will soon be home to an advanced centre for prefabricated housing, in a move some say will transform the Australian building industry.

The University has been awarded $4 million establish the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing.

The prefab centre will be led by Professor Priyan Mendis and Dr Tuan Ngo from the Department of Infrastructure Engineering. It is funded for four years and includes support for six post-doctoral fellow positions and 14 PhDs.

Professor Mendis said the Centre aims to unlock the potential growth of Australia’s prefabricated building industry by creating a co-operative training system between industry and universities.

“The Centre will enable the next generation of engineers and architects to apply advanced manufacturing ideas to prefabricated modular buildings,” he said.

“This emerging highly trained workforce driven by the needs of the customer will identify innovations in the use of advanced materials, design for manufacturing and assembly.”

Ideas from this project are expected to help the budding prefabricated building industry produce innovative and customer-specific building products required for future Australian markets.

The ARC Training Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing is a collaborative venture involving four Universities (The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Curtin University of Technology and Monash University) and nine Partner Organisations (mostly companies).

More details are available here.