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Innovative Mass Housing for 2012

Hybrid Housing

Having been in the housing sector for a while now Quicksmart Homes are soon to release details of their commercially available Hybrid house solution.

Through intelligent design, innovative manufacturing techniques and the highest quality finishes available Quicksmart have used their experience in the hospital, student housing and hotel sectors to produce an unrivalled product for low rise mass housing.

Saving at least 20% on traditionally build products as well as increasing speed and certainty on site Quicksmart Homes can offer product to builders and developers in large volumes and on short lead time from accumulated stocks from Q2/2012.

Quicksmart shall continue to provide product through existing business to business channels but as the product increases in capacity throughout the year a retail channel partnership is under negotiation. This will allow the general public to take advantage of the cost savings and superior quality of the Hybrid technology.

We look forward to providing a better place to live for everyone in 2012.

Pop up container stores...

We've been busy the last couple of months putting together another hospital and also putting the finishing touches to our revolutionary housing solution. Come back to the site in a couple of weeks and we'll put up some photos of our latest offerings.

In the mean time we at Quicksmart Homes like to keep ahead of the curve in the general modular industry and also elements that we use and can see will bring advantages to what we do.

Our team visits innovative suppliers, trade shows and talk to other designers and creatives to ensure they're always keeping in tune with the market. We even read the occational book.

In terms of markets there is a lot of action in the pop-up container store design and implementation and whilst it's not really our bag we've been persuaded to design one for a certain big name high street chain. We had a couple of spare units in storage that we use for mock ups and when one of them was being scheduled for termination our friends suggested we might put it to a good and socially responsible use.

Having huge experience in complex container based modular buildings Quicksmart get asked a lot to provide pop up container stores but normally the one off market is not our bag.

This one appealed to our inner creativeness and it was an opporunity to recycle one of our elderly units into the wild - re-skilled and re-tooled!

We've seen some pretty cool ideas from around the world too. There are some fantastic designs and applications out there with some beautiful applications.

We've also been working hard on making our products more energy efficient and more environmental so www.inhabitat.com has been on our bookmarks every day for new inspiration. Have a look.

Coming soon - more hospitals, low cost housing and that pop-up container store.

Quicksmart's Quickshack

Hybrid Housing

Quickshacks and container housing.

Here at Quicksmart we've always tried to keep design excellence and innovation at the forefront of what we do. Being able to lead the sector with new and exciting ways to build quicker, smarter and cheaper than anyone else. The design team here are young, passionate and can tear away at new schemes and projects; but at the end of the day there's only so far you can go with a hospital or a hotel design.

So we've finally bowed to pressure from the team and letting them loose on designing a product that serviced what Quicksmart originally started to do - build high quality modular homes. The Quickshack is the result of that.

Using the relevant cutting edge technology from our mining, hospital and student housing sector designs and production techniques the team have developed an outstanding product. The price point of $100-120,000 also reflects the level of quality that Quicksmart is renowned for as well as offering a great place to live.

Quicksmart will continue to develop the designs as we continue to speak to customers (we're not daft enough to think we'll get it right every time!) and with the first few orders being fulfilled in November we hope to show the world what you can do with a well designed and manufactured container housing design.

Quickshack FrontQuickshack Rear

Container Housing done properly...

Hybrid Housing

Container housing - properly done.

Sustainable communities and housing is something that Quicksmart Homes has held as their primary mission from the outset of the company. QSH was formed to provide small footprint eco-housing in a fold out format - complete photos of the first one we will post next week when the weather is better - some tasters below...Hpod1

Taking the idea that truly sustainable housing should be light on the landscape QSH designed the modules to highlight the functionality of the building but allowing the practicality of the design to keep our vision clear.


Hpod 2Hpod 3HPOD 4Quicksmart Homes is launching our latest product in a few weeks. If you would like a preview please drop us a line now ( info@quicksmarthomes.com) and we'll send you out some images of what  our team have been up to...

Sustainable Modular Housing

Hybrid Housing

Quicksmart's designs for resort buildings surpasses most environmental standards for insulation, water attenuation and in this particular case, camouflage. Having a design that is not only environmentally sustainable but also fitting well into the surroundings was part of the brief for Quicksmart's most recent project design.

Green roof technology hasn't really caught on in Australia but with more efforts being made to save water and collect surface run off the value of green roofs is certainly worth considering. On this particular project is also helped with the large amounts of rainfall that the location has every year and reduces the impact of the surface run off into the local infrastructure.

But green roofs are heavy and most traditional lightweight housing has real issues with supporting this highly sustainable product application. But not Quicksmart Homes.

Quicksmart Homes' structural roof designs suit green roof application without any adaption or additional supports. Quicksmart's modules are designed to withstand the highest wind loadings, including cyclone ratings, and the addition of green roof loadings is well within the capacity of the Quicksmart modules. Quickmart have also designed, mainly for remote worker housing, the facility to collect large volumes of rain water in sub-tanks under the module structure thus remocing the need for cumbersome tanks and additional foundations and slabs.

QSH Eco House 1

Building in a sensitive environment is perfect for Quicksmart's new design for hotels and resorts. Designed to be delivered in a number of configurations the 60sqm units can be joined together, placed apart and joined with a public area or situated on their own.

QSH Eco House 2

This isn't the first eco project Quicksmart have been involved with and Quicksmart's student housing project at the ANU in Canberra was awarded an environmental award. Also, Quicksmart's first modules were very much in the sustainable market place and one of the 'originals' has just been re-erected on a site in the Southern Highlands of NSW. We'll post photos when we've finished them.

Taking the efficiencies of our production runs for hospitals and hotels Quicksmart's housing products benefits from commercial grade finishes at domestic construction pricing.

Backyard container housing...

Hybrid Housing

Container housing in your back yard - or in this case our front yard - courtesy of the reality TV industry is not what we expected a couple of weeks ago. So we kept a close and careful eye on what they were up to on our beautiful sunny patch of Sydney.

Five twenty foot containers arrived and were landed on wooden bites and then left for the weekend. The erection team, after thorough investigation, revealed that the boxes were to be transformed by a group of couples under the careful supervision of professional designers and tradesmen.

Great idea and terrific exposure for container housing.

We shan't spoil it for those of you who enjoy the reality of people doing such things and we won't comment on the results (or show you the ending) but here are some photos...

Backyard Containers

Our only comment.... and the reality shot that will probably get edited out of the show...

Skippy come home?

Just remember - this is a sustainable exercise and factory production reduces waste, time and cost.

What we wanted to do was show the producers what Quicksmart could have put together out of the type and amount of waste materials in the skips (and we counted about 5 - one per house).

Still, eggs and omelettes and from what we could see at our excellent local cafe/eatery the TV industry knows how to spend those advertising dollars.

Building without a budget - still a dream in the real world - but that's entertainment.

Disaster Housing 2

The natural disaster event toll for 2011 hopefully won't get any bigger with Christchurch and now Japan's seismic activity setting rescue services and government rebuilding programmes monumental tasks.

We discussed disaster housing in previous issues and Quicksmart Homes' unique design for a temp to perm housing solution for Christchurch. Now the subject is getting more air time as Japan announced large modular home building programmes to provide shelter for it's homeless citizens.

Japan is a technologically advanced and well organised place and it's industry and management have long been a marvel in the Western world. What stands itself apart from other countries in this situation is it's planning for the worst.

The day after the earthquake Japan's government announced substantial orders for modular homes to replace housing in the main prefecture. The Japan Prefabricated Construction Suppliers and Manufacturers Association mobilsed the highly automated and productive housing providers around Japan to manufacture and erect the buildings. A total of 33,000 houses have been ordered so far for the three main prefectures affected by the tsunami and quake.

The 14 main housing members of the association had delivered an erected some 200 dwellings in the first prefecture by the end of the second week of deployment and have increased productivity in other factories to increase delivery and erection as quickly as possible. They are now rebuilding at an incredible rate.

Japanese Housing

Organisation and clear planning.

So if the Japanese can do it, why can't the UN or Red Cross?

The Japanese scale of disaster calls for multiple deployment of very simple housing. Standardised product ready for production with agreed pricing and organisation to back up the planning. Japan also has very organised, compliant and determined citizens.

The world wide requirement is for culturally diverse products in varying places with differing logistics. Japan is very different theatre of operation to say Northern Pakistan or the jungles of Borneo.

We wish the Japanese people the best of luck and determination and hope they can recover from the recent disaster and rebuild their towns and villages as quickly as possible.

Dead as a Donger

Industrial & Resources

Mining accommodation, or any worker housing for that matter, doesn't have to be as bad as it looks. The donger is a long serving incumbent of the Australian resources heritage. But with resources workers now touting rock star salaries and competition for their services hotting up the accommodation mine sites offer is now becoming a major source of potential negotiation.

There are some nice offers out there. From fully serviced resort sites to the new trend in housing and village environments the market is starting to turn. But the bottom line will always rule the roost and whilst resources companies are keen to push the better living environment they are often distant to the actual site management of the camps.

Quicksmart Homes were approached last year by a number of resources companies and have been working on a high quality range of worker accommodation. The offer is effectively a hotel grade room with great acoustics, something that is a major factor in close proximity housing, good furnishing design and a bathroom designed for the job.

Lighting is also a major factor in the designs and one of the key ambience providers in the rooms. They are small rooms but just because they are small doesn't mean that they need to be dreadful. The clever technology available to make people's lives more comfortable is now even more affordable and cross over applications of soft controls, colour management and night light tracking all add to the overall benefit of a cleverly designed environment.

Quicksmart Homes have produced high quality living accommodation for workers who can now be assured that whilst they live away from home they don't have to be uncomfortable.

Modular Housing and Container Housing

Student Accommodation

Quicksmart Homes' container housing modular project at the ANU in Canberra showed the world what can be done with innovative thinking and good interior design.

Quicksmart Homes designed, manufactured and delivered all the modules offshore with their unique production management system and then supervised the installation, integration and hand over of the modules as part of the whole building.

The modules were all specially manufactured by Quicksmart rather than the assumed method of refurbishing and adapting old shipping equipment. These have been much copied in the past 18 months but without Quicksmart's management and delivery methods there have been no successful conclusions.

Quicksmart Homes' ANU project also won the Sustainable Cities Award for commercial buildings which highlighted the excellent environmental potential for the Quicksmart product. By using the highest quality windows, high quality and compliant insulation and energy saving devices the modules can also be totally recycled.

The container housing model is still applicable in many areas and Quicksmart are still at the forefront of modular technology. Quicksmart's modular housing products as well as specialist designs for hotels and hospitals are all both cheaper and faster. High quality is the required standard in any building and Quicksmart's products are the highest possible.

Modular buildings can come in all shapes and sizes but unless they are cheaper and faster than conventional construction - and as good or better quality - there is no market in main stream development.

Quicksmart Homes provides products and buildings that are faster, cheaper and better quality than conventional construction and lead the technology in Australia and the rest of the world.

Modular housing for all?

Hybrid Housing

A report issued in the UK has suggested that the answer to the UK's, and perhaps the world's housing crisis lies in the prefabricated house. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has undertaken a study that shows that modular or pre-fabricated housing is the answer by providing low cost, high volume houses as replacement or new buildings for the low income earners suffering at the bottom of the housing ladder.

This is a very complex and flawed argument.

Firstly, in specific reference to the UK, market supply is not the problem. The problem is the planning approval system and the release of land.

Having low incomers living in modular houses that cost less than a luxury car is a factor of mass production, design and application. No planning authority, after the issues in the UK in the 1960's and 70's system building boom, would allow post war mass housing to happen again - and neither would the neighbours.

Post War Housing

The UK has a planning problem but the next, and the most poignant issue in all modular buildings, is cost.

Modular housing, to the standard that would be expected by the discerning customer of 2011, is more expensive that traditional building. The arguments for modular housing on small scale projects is generally not applicable. It's arguably not any quicker, quality control is only a factor of the management on the site and cost is certainly not comparable to traditional builds. The problem stems from local requirements for variations in design and the lack of fleibility in any cost effective modular mass production. They need to be cookie cutter houses to beat the price and the modern towns and cities call for variety and articulation.

So why do people try to do it? Modular buildings are funky and the architectural industry is fascinated with pre-fabrication. Their fascination stems back to their student days when the ideals of factory built buildings being delivered to new, perfectly designed towns and populated with new perfectly proportioned people seemed viable and very straightforward. As we all know, life is very different when you leave school.

Architects design a system, build one or two houses, discover it's twice the price of traditional building and fail to get any traction in the market.

There is an underlying trend here though, and it's positive for modular building. Architects are driving design innovation and delivering customers funky, fun and attractive buildings. The customers are happy and that, in all manner of ways, is what we all need to achieve. Take what the boutique suppliers can do with design, think about the process of manufacture and deliver a home that people will want to buy. Manufacturers across the world have been doing it for years and will continue to do it for years to come. They reach the price point by leveraging on other issues such as site access, skilled labour shortages and the fact that some customers want to build it because they think it's cool.

But that hasn't solved the problem. Deliver a low cost, small foot print sustainable home for less money than the construction industry can knock one up for - and deliver it at a town development scale to a timescale that is much less than traditional building.

Quicksmart Housing

Quicksmart Homes have developed their patented Hybrid House. This scales up prefabricated elements of a small footprint house and allows the overall cost of the building to be around the same price as conventional builds. The time savings Quicksmart are gaining are due to the scale. It takes as long to build one house as it does to complete 50 - if you plan it right. The sites in progress in Australia are already delivering beneficial gains in large scale developments.