Made to order

Prebuilt modular houses
by toby Horrocks

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few years ago, architecture firm Pleysier Perkins came to Prebuilt with their “Mod”

design, after which the drafting team produce plans. The owner of Prebuilt’s Merricks house is a former employee of Prebuilt, so she was very familiar with how it works. She says the whole process took less than a year, including getting planning approval for subdividing her land. In her design, the Merricks homeowner chose to minimise the use of steel and aluminium for embodied energy reasons. “I went with all timber window framing and timber footings,” she says.

The homeowner also selected her own finishes, like the tiling around the fireplace and the recycled timber floor boards. Prebuilt now offer her design as a standard floor plan. The Mod has a steel deck under the floor, but the rest of the structure is traditional timber stud framing. Because of the lightweight construction of their modules, Prebuilt crank up the insulation – R1.1 Air-Cell in the floor, R3.1 insulation in the roof, R2.0

in the walls, and every window is double glazed. “We generally hit 6.5 stars,” says Melissa Sydney. Even though the Merricks client installed an airconditioner last summer, “I didn’t use it once”.

design for a prefabricated house. Their five metre wide by 16 metre long modules are the maximum size you can fit on a wide-load truck without special permission, and can be arranged in just about any configuration. According to Prebuilt’s Melissa Sydney, “they are like huge pieces of Lego”. During the design phase, clients work with the Prebuilt design team to develop a site-specific

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Prebuilt Merricks
Designer Location Project type Cost Prebuilt Merricks, VIC Prefabricated house $330,000

Photography John Gollings

Sustainable features

WATER SAVING
• Biolytix waste water system (www.biolytix.com) Comprises underground greywater tank using a combination of charcoal filters, netting, microbes and worms to treat water. Piped to garden.

PASSIVE HEATING & COOLING
• CSR Bradford R4 Glasswool ceiling batts, R2 wall batts, Aircell R1.5 underfloor insulation • Shutters and pergola for shade

BUILDING MATERIALS
• Plantation silvertop ash and Carter Holt Harvey Shadowclad external cladding • Plantation pine framing • Recycled blackbutt flooring

GLAZING
• 4mm toughened double-glazed windows

LIGHTING
• CFL and LED

ACTIVE HEATING
• Nectre 15 pedestal wood heater (www.nectre.com)

OTHER
• Mega Anchor building foundation system (www.mega-anchor.com.au)

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