Stackable, prefabricated modules have been revealed as part of the design intention for Perth’s upcoming baugruppen development at White Gum Valley.

The potential designs have been released ahead of an induction event to be held on 17 July, where prospective members will be able to select their home type and location within the development.

The project, at state land agency LandCorp’s WGV Innovation Through Demonstration project, will target a 15 per cent saving on market prices by cutting out developer profits. This should equate roughly to a price of $260,000 for a studio to under $700,000 for a three-bedder, though this will depend on modifications and whether a car bay will be included.

The project will also aim high on sustainability, with Josh Byrne as sustainability consultant and the development occurring within a One Planet Living community. Features include a shared solar system, water efficient appliances, passive solar design and electric vehicle charging.

While final configurations will be chosen by the baugruppen members, a number of options have been released, with architect spaceagency proposing “stacked homes”. These are modules that contain no shared walls (apart from studio apartments), with different configurations able to be stacked up on top of one another to accommodate the needs of the building group.

Shared facilities will include a guest apartment, community garden and outdoor living space.

Currently proposed modules are in studio, one bedder, two bedder and three bedder forms.

Studio apartments will feature 42 square metres of internal space, and a 13 sq m balcony. They feature a separate bedroom and cross ventilation. There will be two apartments in each module, with a shared wall between.

One bedroom apartments will be on the large size at 74 sq m, with a 12 sq m balcony and the ability to add a study.

Two bed, two bathroom homes will come in at 87 sq m, with a 13 sq m balcony, and the ability to swap out the second bathroom for a study.

Three bedders will have two-and-a-half bathrooms at 131 sq m over two levels with a 24 sq m balcony. A “supersized” four bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom version will also be available.

A indicative arrangement created by spaceagency shows 22 dwellings on the 2000 sq m site.

Spaceagency architect Michael Patroni said the idea behind the stacked modular homes concept was to create not only an efficient way of building, but as much flexibility as possible for the building group members to pursue different configurations and customisations.

“If [the customisation] doesn’t have effect on overall concept and planning, it can be entertained,” Mr Patroni said.

Size might be one issue where there might not be a lot of leeway, as each stacked module will have to correspond to the one underneath it.

The homes can be stacked up to four storeys under the planning scheme, and there will be multiple blocks on the site.

Mr Patroni said multiple blocks also increased flexibility, as like-minded building group members could join the same block and choose to go above and beyond on elements such as sustainability, for example.

“Groups or subgroups may want to pursue an initiative, rather than all people having to go with the majority.”

At the moment the development is providing for 16 car bays, which is less than a typical development of its size. Separating out and making transparent the costs of elements like car parks would likely reduce demand, Mr Patroni said.

CLT may be unlikely

The concept design proposes three different methods of construction – framed construction, structural insulated panel (SIPS) construction and cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction.

Mr Patroni said framed construction would be the most likely outcome due to cost and availability concerns regarding the other options.

“There’s never been a CLT building in Perth,” he said.

While there’s rumours XLam is planning to open a Perth construction plant, it would currently be difficult to source CLT effectively for the project.

Mr Patroni said the architects “haven’t even broken a sweat” regarding the project, though did note that the next stage, where they would be about 20 different clients to contend with, could pose “a challenge”.

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