A prefab house by ARKit

25 June 2013 — The Greens have called for investment in prefabrication to deal with a national housing shortage and homelessness crisis that has 105,000 without stable housing and close to 7000 on the streets each night.

The Greens want an “emergency package” of 7000 extra homes to be built nationally to address homelessness, with at least 50 per cent to be modular, at an estimated cost of $232 million.

Senator Scott Ludlam said prefabricated homes were an ideal solution because they were cheaper and faster to build, and more energy efficient than conventionally built homes, which could help insulate people from electricity and gas bill shocks.

“Modern, modular housing offers a significant opportunity to deliver new and affordable housing in a fraction of the time of traditionally built homes, as well as being a more environmentally sustainable product,” Senator Ludlam said.

He said that because prefab houses could be built to design they were suited to infill projects that had existing services.

“Another major advantage is that modular housing is far more affordable to run,” he said. “Its high level of insulation means the house uses just 10 per cent of the energy of a five-star home, so is much cheaper to heat in winter and cool in summer.

Senator Ludlam said modular houses could be built at up to half the cost of a conventional home, and at speed.

“For under $100,000, a two bedroom house can be manufactured and installed,” he said.

“A modern prefabricated house in suburban Perth was recently delivered in just 14 weeks, from the time of order to manufacture and delivery on site. The on-site installation of the house itself can take just 10 hours by four people.”

Senator Ludlam said that invigorating the prefab market would have economic benefits, creating local construction and manufacturing jobs.