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Blismas, N, Wakefield, R and Hauser, B (2010) Concrete prefabricated housing via advances in systems technologies: Development of a technology roadmap. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 17(01), 110.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Australia; cement and concrete technology; housing; innovation
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0969-9988
  • URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/09699981011011357
  • Abstract:
    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to discuss the roadmapping methodology and its application to concrete prefabricated housing in Australia. Design/methodology/approach The paper describes the concrete and housing industries of Australia collaboration in a project to develop a technology and innovation roadmap that will advance the concrete industry's supply chain capabilities by identifying and mapping innovation necessary for prefabricated concrete house construction. The roadmap lays out what is necessary for an off-site systems-based approach to housing construction in Australia. The systems-based approach to prefabricated concrete products is a relatively new and developing extension of the concrete industry supply chain in Australia. New manufacturing technologies and innovations, which are emerging locally and from overseas, make these potential extensions possible. For the long-term sustainability of the concrete industry, it is critical that it better understands how to adopt cooperative innovations in prefabrication to realise these benefits in the housing industry and advance Australia's competitiveness. The first phase of the mapping involved the development of an industry-maturity model that determined the current state of the industry, and plotted this against the desired route for the future. Numerous industry-based workshops and interviews gathered the views of the industry towards existing concrete housing systems, and where their main difficulties are in relation to adoption. Using these data, a technology roadmap is developed, together with three options on how these might be realised using the roadmap. The options offered through the roadmapping process form the basis for ongoing experimental trials of concrete houses in the major cities of Australia. Findings The system-based approach to prefabrication is seen as innovative and the industry needs to understand how to adopt cooperative innovations in prefabrication in order to be competitive. Originality/value The paper offers insights into the technology roadmapping process in Australia, offering an exciting prospect for moving the industry into a new model of delivery.