Australian architecture firm offers shortcut to building

Modular systems are great news for developers and owners. But what about for architects?
Written by Sun Kim, Contributor

Australian architects Elenberg Fraser have created an off the shelf building system using pre-designed, pre-fabricated, pre-engineered modules. Their system, named Klik, promises to cut costs and increase profits for buyers and developers.

Klik is based on the Unitized Building modular system that builds apartment-sized units in a factory. Simon Johanson for the Sydney Morning Herald wonders if the system also cuts the need for architects.

The predesigned building system called Klik will allow developers to preview modular apartment buildings online and the firm hopes it will save 10 to 15 per cent of the cost and halve the time it takes to build, Elenberg Fraser director Callum Fraser said.
The system uses modular components that can be pieced together on an assembly line in Brooklyn, in Melbourne's west, using techniques similar to car manufacturing.

The Klik system simplifies decisions to four components including building footprints, unit types, interior finishes, and exterior facade materials. The flexible, simple configurations can be used for building single houses to high rise towers.

"If you're an architect or developer, you can deliver a 75-square-metre apartment using Klik for the same price you can deliver a 65-square-metre apartment using conventional construction,'' he [Callum Fraser] said. "Unitised building is something the construction industry needs to embrace."

Most commercial architecture firms (especially those who work in multi-family residential development projects) already practice some form of the component matrix that Elenberg Fraser have repackaged into their Klik system. Bundling the design shortcuts with prefabricated modules will cut costs and waste, but will it also cut down on design quality?

High rise by assembly line [The Sydeny Morning Herald]
Image: Elenberg Fraser

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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