A novel means of home construction is being renovated that will slice building and energy expenses and is promoted as a manner of helping Australia achieve its net zero target by 2050 while delivering more cost-effective housing.
The revolutionary building technology will see prefabricated modular “smart homes” constructed with revolutionary materials such as titanium composites and carbon nanotubes embedded in the joints.
These joints will then be enabled to contain movement-generated energy, whether it’s from the environment – like wind and temperature – or the occupants exploring the home, evolving into a source of energy that powers the structure.
The majority of Australian homes are presently individually designed and built on site. Yet this revolutionary research project pursued by Infratech Industries and the Centre for Infrastructure Engineering at Western Sydney University would involve the smart homes constructed off-site at a large scale via inventive joint technology, supplanting the requirement for the labour- and material-intensive building core utilised in conventional building building.
The financial and environmental implications are major, according to the researchers.
It would quicken the building process as most of the house would be manufactured in a factory, enhancing the efficiency, speed and quality of the build – all essential to reducing the cost of delivering housing. Yet each joint in the house proceeds to power it, lowering operating expenses for the residents.
Infratech Industries director Felicia Whiting proclaims this the future of housing building.
It would resolve many climate issues, waste issues and save energy ultimately, Whiting said, continuing it would be a sustainable solution to building and housing–using new materials in ways that can improve residents’ lives.
She says it’s about the planet, advancing toward a net zero planet with little labour on-site to install via robotics.
The joint research project is aimed for completion in late 2023 and will stand as the world’s premiere self-powered modular building system with no need for a structural core.
The simple act of moving or walking around a modular house can elicit minor movements that can devise a chance for energy to be harvested, Whiting said.
Environmental factors that include robust winds causing vibration or differences in temperature on the skin of a structure can be changed to electrical energy, providing you possess advanced energy-absorbing materials and smart building structures in place.
If we can show that these systems work and the technology can be successfully integrated into new buildings, it will reduce the burden on our power grids and the requirement for centralised power generation plants, she said. We could construct sustainable pop-up communities anywhere.
The head of Western Sydney University’s Modular Prefab Design Laboratory, Pejman Sharafi, stated this system would revolutionise Australian housing construction in the next 10 years.
The business is advancing towards manufacturing, from project-based to product-based building efforts. They’re shifting to become like automotive products automobiles, Dr Sharafi said.
He says that if you wish to construct a Toyota every time for every individual it will cost you a million dollars. With economies of scale, when you design once and produce multiples of them it will affect the expenses, the efficiencies.
He stated that while the application of the joint technology to generate energy was new, blending it with manufacturing the home off-site was game-changing.
As opposed to working on-site, he said, 90 per cent of the construction is manufactured offsite. The only thing that needs to be done on site, he said, could be likened to Lego building.
Image source: istockphoto.com