Our Modular System
For more information see our BLOG which records the history of testing and explains outcomes and targets. This is way more insightful.
Here we will summarize the advantages of what this system is about:
Rapid Construction - via a production line type process in a factory currently running 2 x 8 hour shifts, the time to produce a dwelling is exceptionally fast. This is not by cutting corners, but well thought out processes and machinery that can run autonomously. Weather and daylight do not affect the production schedule. Anticipated construction time for a 3 unit development is 2 months (from time of contract signing / construction deposit)
Superior Performance Properties
Fire - Our fire panel is designed to withstand 120 minutes of fire resistance. It will never ignite, however the BCA test requires heat of 1,100degC for 120 minutes which is very hard to achieve.
Ceiling Spans - with added carbon fibre we can have 9m spans for ceilings without the need of steel beams or similar. This is crazy!
Thermal - wall ratings achieve R4.3 without any external cladding. Being that the 110mm wall is almost entirely filled with a closed cell Polyurethane foam (same as what they use in fridges) it is clear why they are so well performing.
Acoustics - a dual panel party wall will far exceed the Rw +Crt 50 required for apartment buildings (by far better performance than required for a Class 1a building (normal house or unit).
Structure - Wall structures are 1.8x the strength required for an engineer to be comfortable to certify.
Water Ingress - All walls are made from composite panels and are watertight. Similar to a boat, water will not come into these dwellings as they are fully sealed (only the windows and doors which are manufactured by others).
Cost - so far we have managed to keep the cost of this system comparable to traditional construction! This is a superior product, done quicker than a normal builder for same price (wow).
Design - really we can build anything. This is where carbon fibre really excels - we can have larger span ceilings and modules joining mid-ceiling with no sag so anything is possible from larger luxury homes to apartments. Of course doing design from scratch with composite modular driving the design process is better.
Lifting - due to strength v weight, our modules can be lifted into position with a reach of 60m or more (depending on crane size). This is a very beneficial property of our system, as doing unit developments in normal suburban areas is fine.
Q: Is the system fire rated?
A: Yes, but only the selected walls that need to be fire rated are manufactured that way. A class 1 building (house or unit) does not need to be fire rated, except when within 900mm of an adjoining property / dwelling. When the walls are not nominated to be fire rated, they still will not catch fire or burn, but when we speak about fire rating this means 1-2 hours of burn at very high temps. Our fire rated panels will also work with apartments (class 2 buildings). Fire rating certification is not yet formalised - however initial testing indicates this will not be a problem.
Q: Is this system approved for construction by relavent authorities?
A: Not yet. As of Janurary 2019 we are in the final stages of getting this ceritification. As this system is so innovative, a process promoted under the BCA / NCC called "Performance Solutions" is to be achieved via a building surveyor who specilises in this type of activity. Once the performance solutions have been satisfied a report is produced - then a separate building surveyor will issue a building permit based on this and their own assessment. Each component as part of this performance solution needs to be certified by organisations such as CSIRO and others. This entire process is very controlled and stringent - so there should be no concern as the outcome has been overseen by many separate bodies.
Q: Are there toxic odurs or similar smells from the composites?
A: No. Not more than any other new house which has new smells from paint, carpet, etc. We have opted for more expensive epoxy resins which generally have no smell and then will cover with a typical Dulux paint. So nothing more than you would expect.
Q: How will the outside / cladding look?
A: Same as a traditional house. Our system allows for standard external cladding via batten system attached to our walls or direct fix. We have spent a lot of effort making our system look 'average' and typical. There are so many options here, cladding will not be a factor.
Q: Can I customise my house / unit?
A: Yes. Like any custom builder, we can do pretty much anything; however if outside our normal processes, then extra cost and time will be associated with this. We can always provide a 'blank' house and have the builder supply and install all the other cosmetic items on site to any spec you want. Options are endless.
Q: How does the inside look?
A: Like any other house. However due to our precision manufacturing process, we do not need and will not install skirting boards and some architraves as they are not required and the clean look without them is quite appealing (and more expensive for traditional construction). However, if you want skirts and arcs we can add them for a cost. All walls, doors, ceilings, etc are painted like any other house. All specs are exactly the same. So inside looks the same as traditional houses.
Q: Can I hang picture frames or similar.
A: Yes. There are 2 ways of doing this. 1 - using 3M products which eliminate the need for penetrating the wall skin with a nail or screw; 2 - we have changed the inner skin to be a rigid foam system which will be better for nailing or screwing into.
Q: Can I repair a damaged wall (like plaster).
A: Sort of... First, these walls will be a lot harder to damage. We dont recommend punching a wall in anger. If a wall is damaged, the process is very similar to plaster, however a filler (rather than plaster) will be required and some sanding before paint. Very similar really. The damaged skin doesnt need to be replaced assuming the (hole) is not too large.
Q: Can I renovate or pull down walls in a few years (or demolish).
A: Generally yes, however it would need to be done with engineering consent. Most walls will be load bearing in some capacity, so it will be less obvious than traditional houses to simply modify without some guidance. Modifying walls will be very hard as they are filled with foam and include power cables in conduits that will be hard to extract. But certainly fine to modify but will need guidance.