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More than construction innovation: The interdisciplinary challenge of prefabricated schools

conference contribution
posted on 2024-06-24, 02:27 authored by Clare Newton, Sarah Elizabeth BackhouseSarah Elizabeth Backhouse, Ajibade Aibinu, Philippa Soccio

Australian education departments use relocatable prefabricated classrooms extensively to respond rapidly and economically to fluctuating student numbers and as emergency accommodation. Prefabrication has not been widely used for permanent school infrastructure, but this recently changed in response to unprecedented increases in student numbers. Permanent prefabrication is being commissioned by Australia’s two largest state education departments to roll out quality infrastructure quickly. These multi-billion-dollar government school programs represent a major opportunity for step changes in the nation’s construction industry with the potential for a shift from off-site conventional construction towards off-site manufacturing and mass customisation. The scale of the program has the potential to catalyse investment for cutting-edge design performance, mass customisation ability and the adoption of digital engineering, including building information modelling across the life cycle. The programs could also leverage recent research into learning environments for changing pedagogies. This paper provides contextual data on prefabrication in Australia and argues a case for prefabrication being conceptualised and evaluated not only in terms of construction innovation but also as a design conversation with users. This approach requires breaking down interdisciplinary boundaries given siloed structures within government education departments and, more broadly, within university research and industry practice.

History

Location

Roorkee, India

Start date

2019-11-28

End date

2019-11-30

Editor/Contributor(s)

Agrawal A, Gupta R

Title of proceedings

Proceedings of the 53rd International Conference of the Architectural Science Association 2019

Event

53rd International Conference of the Architectural Science Association

Publisher

Architectural Science Association

Place of publication

India

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