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Modern codes needed for modern homes

Media release

Modern codes needed for modern homes

Media release
HIA release consultation paper on regulatory barriers for prefab homes.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has today released a consultation paper on identifying and breaking down the regulatory barriers holding back greater uptake of modular and prefabricated construction in new home building.

“Builders, trades and home owners are looking at innovative ways to build – for speed, accuracy and finish. However, our current building codes, standards, planning and building regulations, and financial systems were created with traditional homes and construction methods in mind” said, HIA Chief Executive Industry Policy Kristin Brookfield and member of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centres (AMGC) Pre Fab Innovation Hub Steering Committee.

“These regulatory barriers can be time consuming and add further costs to building projects. They can also result in inconsistent outcomes for industry and consumers, with the potential for non-approval. 

“For manufacturers and suppliers looking to bring new materials and construction systems to market, there is often a hesitancy by designers, planners and building surveyors, to accept these alternatives because they don’t fit the mould.

“Given the likelihood of a steady increase in fast-tracked building solutions entering the Australian market, we expect a vast number of construction projects including housing, will move to off-site ad modular or system-based construction methods over the next 5, 10 and 20 years.

“It is critical that there is a clear understanding of the regulatory barriers that exist today so that we can set the industry up for success by identifying the potential solutions sooner rather than later. Examples like more tailored building codes and standards, overcoming planning rules that control the size and location of homes or the types of external finishes used, or looking at modern forms of home building contracts that recognise the ‘off-site’ pathway, are all things we are aware of. 

“We know there are a range of hurdles standing in the way of prefabricated and modular construction system and we want to hear what the industry is experiencing so we can work together to find the right solutions.”

HIA’s project forms part of series of projects being undertaken through the AMGC Pre-fab Innovation Hub.

The Pre-fab Innovation project was announced by Karen Andrews, former Minister for Industry, Science and Technology in June 2019 to support Australia’s manufacturing and building and construction industry. The Australian government, through the AMGC, announced a commitment to create the Pre-fab Innovation Hub in July 2020. There are seven projects underway to build the Hub.

The consultation paper is open for submissions, along with a short survey, from today, 1 December 2021 until 27 January 2022 for all interested parties to review and provide comments.

For more information:

Kristin Brookfield

HIA Chief Executive - Industry Policy
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