Monday, January 24, 2011

Multi-story prefabricated housing for flood victims

The Queensland Government is providing housing for displaced residents in the declared flood areas. One option in some areas is prefabricated housing. Such housing is normally thought of as being flimsy, low quality single story, temporary disposable buildings. But there are systems for permanent, high quality, multi-story modular building. I suggest the Queensland, Victorian and Federal governments look at using these building systems for providing accommodation for flood victims. When no longer needed for flood victums, they can be used as long term, low cost accommodation for students and others.

One modular system, has been used for the Laurus Wing of Ursula Hall at the Australian National University in Canberra. Two wings of six story apartment blocks have been built for single students and couples using shipping container sized modules. The same system is being used at other Australian universities. This style would not be suitable for large families, but would suit individuals and couples. It could also be used to provide a type of accommodation for students and others which is not readily available in Australia.

2 comments:

cjohnson2 said...

news report in today's Australian (Tuesday 25 Jan 2011) has a counterweight to this idea: loose shipping containers were seen to be very dangerous, floating in the flash floods, being capable of damaging houses, trees, people and bridges. (they float well and they weight tonnes, more than the typical car or van seen floating). Nailing/concreting them down is not sufficient...

Tom Worthington said...

cjohnson2 commented January 25, 2011 5:38 PM:

>... loose shipping containers were seen to be very dangerous, floating in the flash floods ... Nailing/concreting them down is not sufficient...

Shipping containers have 3 "twistlock" connectors built into each of their eight corners. These are very strong, being designed to hold a stack of containers six high in place on a ship. The same connectors can be used to lock a containerised building together and to the foundations far more securely than for a conventional building.