Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
50 Delegates Attend Modular High-Rise Construction Workshop at CTBUH Conference
Sunday, 29 October 2017

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See more workshops from the CTBUH 2017 Australia Conference

SYDNEY – The Modular High-Rise Construction Workshop, kindly hosted by Multiplex and chaired by Professor James Murray-Parkes, Science & Engineering Director, Multiplex Engineering Innovations Group, was very well-received. In the half-day workshop comprising five prominent speakers, the challenges, developments, and future trends of modular construction were presented to around 50 CTBUH Conference delegates. 


Workshop Sponsor
James Murray-Parkes, Science & Engineering Director, Multiplex Engineering Innovations Group, presenting the Handbook for the Design of Modular Structures.

Murray-Parkes kicked things off with a strong endorsement of modular construction, while also explaining how the lack of cohesion and availability in technical references for the practice drove him to unite consultants and contractors to write the handbook. The Victorian government understood the need of a standard for the industry, he added, and has been supportive with its development. He also elaborated on some of the principles in Handbook for the Design of Modular Structures, of which he was principal author.

Attendees listening to Angus McFarlane, Structural Engineering Leader, Engineering Excellence Group, Laing O'Rourke, presenting on Modular Construction & Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA).
Following Murray-Parkes was Angus McFarlane, Structural Engineering Leader, Engineering Excellence Group, Laing O'Rourke, who argued that traditional construction and conventional design comprise a “serial mistake,” as they are inefficient, unsafe, and environmentally unfriendly. New  construction methods should be based on the principles of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and modular construction, as they are efficient, safer, and more sustainable, he said.
John Stehle, Director of Advanced Science and Engineering, KPMG, commenting on “Modular Construction in Australia.”
John Stehle, Director of Advanced Science and Engineering, KPMG, shared his views on modular construction in Australia, as well as the advancement of modular construction using timber. He emphasized that despite modular construction having many advantages, it is not suitable for all designs.  Fortunately, parametric design or physical modeling, he said, will greatly help in the decision-making about the best construction process to use. 

Simon Lincoln, Partner and Architect, Make, outlined various modular construction projects that he had been involved with. Like Stehle, Lincoln also stressed that modular construction is not suitable for every project. However, he also presented salient issues to common modular construction hurdles, such as acoustics and module transportation.

While building information modeling (BIM) can bring modular construction to a higher ground, Jos Hoonhout, CEO, Vericon Ingenieurs BV, presented on how BIM can also change the way we do business.  BIM can let people from everywhere in the world walk through a design in virtual reality, saving time otherwise spent coordinating showings and meetings, Hoonhout explained, adding that the technology is also useful when integrating design into fabrication and construction, especially for complicated structures.

Simon Lincoln, Partner and Architect at Make, discussing “Pure Modular.”

The last of the presenters, Joseph di Pasquale, PhD candidate, Politecnico di Milani, discussed how evolving social behavior could potentially impact the real-estate market in such a way that modular construction becomes the primary way of life. He talked of the possibilities of hybrid modular construction to break down houses into smaller components in order to create plug-in/plug-out housing pods, giving the owner or tenant the flexibility to mix and match the pods to suit their needs. 

Following Pasquale’s presentation, the workshop ended with an informative questions and answers session.
Delegates participating in the question and answer session.

Name Company
Andrew Lian Alda Consultants
Paul Coffey Aliaxis
Bas Nolta Aliaxis
Anil Thacker Archsurveyors
James Nguyen Bonacci Group
Marc Blondeau Bouygues Batiment International
Taehun Ha Daewoo E&C
Jerry Jackson Dassault Systemes
Matthias Roik HALFEN
Mark Charles Borland Hongkong Land Limited
Jitendra Patel International Metallurgy Ltd
Phil Gardiner Irwin Consult
John Stehle KPMG
Angus McFarlane Laing O'Rourke
Mark Garland LCL Builds
Steve Waters LMW Design Group
Sean Clifton Magnusson Klemencic Associates
Simon Lincoln Make
John Marshall Marquee Development Partners
Jacqueline Wong Monash University
James Murray-Parkes Multiplex Engineering Innovations Group
Yie Sue Chua National University of Singapore
Haran Vela Otis Elevator Co.
Joseph Di Pasquale Politecnico di Milani
Shonn Mills Ramboll Group
Riccardo Pedroni Ramboll Group
Simon Cloherty Robert Bird Group
Justin Hettinga Robert Bird group
Ahmad Abdelrazaq Samsung C&T Corporation
Simon Lee STM Developments
Steve White Studor Limited
Ken McBryde Sydney Architecture Studio
Michael Dickson U. of Queensland, School of Arch.
Sophie Giles University of Western Australia
Paola Favaro UNSW - Built Environment
Simon McCarthy Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec
Hiroaki Komatsu YKK AP Façade Pte Ltd
Bang Ting Tan YKK AP Façade Pte Ltd