Monash University, Melbourne
Victoria’s Monash University is ranked amongst the worlds’ most prestigious universities, recognised for excellence in teaching, learning, research and graduate outcomes.
In early 2016 Monash University unveiled its brand-new $145 million student accommodation precinct.
The precinct consists of 1000 studio apartments across four new residential buildings, with associated retail and informal learning spaces. Each of the buildings has its own individual architectural style, with designs from four different architects including Hayball, Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCB), Richard Middleton Architects and McBride Charles Ryan and master planning from MGS Architects and partners.
The project was executed by leading global contractor, Brookfield Multiplex, who, faced with a range of time, budgetary and locational challenges, employed modern methods of construction to achieve its goal.
One of the key initiatives to accelerating the construction process was the use of prefabricated bathroom pods – complete bathrooms manufactured off-site – that were installed into position once structures were complete. With the multitude of varying trades and materials required, the bathroom is one of the most specialised areas of any construction. This has seen the move towards prefabricated bathroom pods for student accommodation projects becoming increasingly popular.
Sandeep Patel, a Production and Engineering expert from Interpod Offsite, was able to work closely with the design team and developers in the design of the bathrooms to ensure that the build would work perfectly, as well as liaising with the sub-contractors throughout the project to ensure that the bathrooms were installed to correct specifications.
Construction on the project began in September 2014, with a final completion date set for February 2016.
The greatest challenge was meeting the strict completion deadline. With the academic year due to commence in February 2016, the construction was highly time sensitive. In addition to meeting the deadline, the challenges of working within a busy, “live” education environment also needed to be addressed, with the need to minimise disruption to the day-to-day of the university, including managing different trades, storage of materials, transportation in and out of the university and waste management.
Brookfield Multiplex chose to use the prefabricated bathroom pods to adhere to the strict timeline, as traditional “on site” construction of the bathrooms would have meant a blowout beyond the February 2016 deadline. Interpod Offsite was well equipped to adhere to the tight deadlines, with the requirement for at any point during the project to have a building’s worth of bathrooms (approximately 250) ready to be installed.
From start to finish, the project took just over a year, and was ready in time for the 2016 academic year, amazingly finishing two months ahead of schedule. In specifying Interpod Offsite prefabricated bathroom pods Brookfield Multiplex eliminated the risks associated with on-site bathroom construction which are a common cause of multi-unit building projects running late. Environmentally sustainable design is central to the project, with the building achieving a 5-Star Green Star rating. With better quality control, reduced wastage and sustainable construction methods, prefabricated bathroom pods help contribute to greater sustainability.