Building the future with alternative materials

Written by Fox Modular | 15 March 2023 | Modular Homes

In the latest edition of The Urbanist magazine, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) explored the use of alternative materials in construction, and the impacts and benefits it could have for development across the country.

Fox Modular General Manager & Director Jess Berry was asked for her thoughts on the use of alternative materials in residential and commercial construction, with excerpts below:

Building the Future

The market conditions in WA over the past couple of years have helped to drive the need for, and acceptance of, the use of alternative materials here.

While the proclivity for building with double brick is commonplace, local alternative building material experts agree that things are changing.

“Recent conditions within the housing industry have caused a shift in the market acceptance of alternative building materials, which in turn has meant it has been quite easy to implement these materials into new projects,” Jessica Berry, Director of Fox Modular and PIQUE said.

“People are actively searching out alternatives to a traditional double brick home build, and at Fox we have seen a big increase in enquiries over the last couple of years,” Ms Berry said.

Alternative materials

“Alternative materials such as metal cladding have allowed for fresh new looks when it comes to the design of our homes,” Ms Berry said.

“We’re able to create homes that look completely different from the stock-standard brick or rendered homes you see lining Perth streets.

“Supply shortages in WA have also prompted a rise in alternative methods such as steel framing or timber in lieu of brick. At Fox, we use steel framing for its precision, and clad with a variety of options including timber, Colorbond, and fibre cement dependent on the chosen aesthetic.”

Gender balance

The other advantage that has come about from the shift towards alternate materials, according to Ms Berry, is a shift towards a better gender balance amongst trades.

Highlighting her point Ms Berry said that of the seven carpentry apprentices on Fox Modular’s books, five of them are female.

“Based on our experience, it seems as though females are much more willing to enter the trade, especially with a greater diversity of product available,” Ms Berry said.

It certainly looks like a bright future lies ahead for alternative building products in WA.

Reproduced with permission from The Urbanist magazine, issue #1 2023. To read the full article, please click here.


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