Modular Prefab Design Laboratory (MPD-Lab)

PejImageTwo major challenges of the built environment today are rapid urbanisation and the need for sustainable development.  In order to address these two major issues, there is a growing interest in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry in developing design practices for methods that allow for greater efficiency and precision, are environmentally responsible, make better use of resources and workforce, and provide shorter construction cycles to obtain efficiency from large scale mass produced buildings. Modular construction through manufacturing prefabricated systems is one solution for the construction industry that has long been criticized for shortcomings in efficiency, quality, affordability, sustainability and socio-environmental responsiveness.

Today’s project-based construction sector needs to be radically transformed to a product-based industry. Instead of building uniquely designed structures on the jobsite, companies need to design standardised sub-elements and building blocks, and conduct their production at offsite construction facilities, while the elements are manufactured separately and then combined with customisation options to meet bespoke requirements, more like automotive manufacturing. Off-site manufacturing through modular prefabricated systems is proving, increasingly, to be a viable and effective approach that can offer significant construction time and energy efficiency, lower life cycle costs, greater quality control in a closely supervised environment, and reduced waste. Application of such efficient construction methods can also address the existing gap between demand and supply for housing worldwide.

Our research programs and consulting services in MPD-Lab aim to translate the current research and knowledge in the area of offsite-manufacturing and industrialised construction into practice, and to remove major roadblocks preventing widespread application of such technologies in construction, and transformation to a sustainable product-based manufacturing ecosystem in Australia and beyond. MPD-Lab conducts leading-edge research that focuses on Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). MPD-Lab is also available for R&D, consulting and teaching programs and services relating to the area of off-site construction, digitalisation, platform-based design, and manufacturing using modular prefab systems.

MPD-Lab works in collaboration with other partners in academia, industry and government. Please feel free to get in touch, if you are interested in pursuing collaboration or consulting services.

Pejman Sharafi

Associate Professor
Centre for Infrastructure Engineering
School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment
Western Sydney University