The Magic of Modular
In case you missed the news, we made TV history this week with Channel 9’s Matt & Kim to the Rescue.
We’ve been inundated with questions on just how we did it, so we thought we’d share here.
The home we built for the Flavelle family on the TV show was done using modular construction and gave them a massive 80m2 of extra living space in a matter of hours.
The same type of construction can be done on pretty much any home in WA and you can choose if you want it added as a ground floor extension (as we did for the Flavelle family) or as a second storey to your existing home.
Modular construction is a proven building technique that has been used on the East Coast for many years and here in WA it’s used on most of our commercial buildings. Think major shopping centres around Perth for example. It’s an exciting time to be able to bring this building method to transform residential homes in WA too and here at Summit Homes Group we are proud to be leading the charge.
So, just what is modular construction and how does the magic happen? Let us show you exactly by taking a behind-the-scenes tour in our onsite facility at Myaree, because that’s where the magic starts.
1. The steel that is used to build modular homes starts as one long and large flat sheet. The sheet is 178mm wide and is supplied as a massive coil weighing just over 1 tonne and measuring 1km in length. That’s the equivalent of five lengths of Domain Stadium! It is delivered on the back of a truck from Bluescope, fork-lifted off and stored securely in our onsite facility at Myaree. At any one time we can have up to 4 tonne (or 4km) of coiled steel in stock.
2. Once the client’s design is signed off, it is independently engineered and detailed drawings are produced showing how each individual steel component is to be made.
3. The engineered drawings are transferred digitally into a machine that takes the steel coils and turns the flat sheets into a reinforced, fully engineered C shape which form the walls of the home. At this time, the machine also punches holes into each piece so that the plumbing and electrical cabling as well as the screws that will hold the frame together are in place. It takes less than 10 seconds to produce a length of 5m and all finished pieces are numbered and stored together on racks.
4. Assemblers start putting the pre-cut steel together. It is first assembled flat, with each wall frame sitting on top of each other. To build a granny flat, this process takes approximately two hours and a new home is about double that.
5. A carpenter then erects the wall frames onto an engineered structural steel floor frame so the home becomes 3D. This process takes about a day.
6. Over the next 2-3 days, the wall frames are clad in Masterwall, rendered and the roof is applied. Once finished, the home weighs about 8 tonnes. Masterwall is an insulating wall cladding system that has proven thermal properties when compared to double brick.
7. Clients who are building a granny flat or a home extension will have all of the internal finishes like tiling and plastering completed at this time to minimise the disruption to the family. Clients looking to build a brand new two storey home will have the internal finishes applied at the building site at the same time as when the lower floor is being finished (to maximize efficiency of the trade teams who are located on site).
8. The home is lifted onto the back of a truck with hydraulic jacks. Larger modular sections can essentially be split in two and driven on two trucks. The modular section is then driven to the client’s block in line with traffic management plans which have already been approved by Main Roads.
9. On arrival, it is craned into place, taking anywhere from 4-6 hours. Carpenters and riggers secure the floors and make the upper floor watertight over the next 4 hours.
10. Any remaining internal works are completed on site using existing trades (that are working on the lower floor) to maximise efficiency and ensure consistency of finish.
The whole process sees the new home built in a controlled environment in just one month, installed on site in a matter of hours and finished within a matter of days.
If you want to transform you home using modular construction, visit Summit Home Improvements at www.summithomeimprovements.com.au or call 6365 2901.
If you would like to discuss installing a granny flat on your property using this construction technique visit www.summitgrannyflats.com.au or call 6365 2921.