BROAD Group has once again taken modular construction to new heights and in record time. First it was the T30 Hotel in 2012, a 30-storey building constructed in 15 days, and now a 57-storey building erected in 19 days.
But what were some of the key considerations this time round that allowed BROAD Group to improve the process?
Ahead of Modular Construction & Prefabrication 2015, (Sydney, 25-26 August, 2015), Juliet Jiang, VP of BROAD Group, spoke to Modular Construction Australia to explain how modular construction influenced the design scope of the project, and where sustainability played an important role.
With 19 atriums (each at 10 metres’ height), 800 apartments and office space that can accommodate 4,000 people, J57 is in fact a mini prototype for the 220-storey Sky City.
“By using modular construction, we were able to reduce the use of concrete by 15,000 trucks. This was very important not only to save on materials, but minimise the environmental impact. Dust levels during construction were almost non-existent compared to traditional methods,” Ms Jiang says.
From a sustainability and design perspective, the building is five times more energy efficient than its conventional counterparts. J57 features 20-cm thermal insulation for walls; four-paned super white glass windows; 100 per cent filtered fresh air 24/7; and a combined cooling, heating and power system that makes the building extremely energy efficient.
Additionally, the air conditioning machine room is located in the basement of the building – air conditioning operating costs are next to nothing because of the waste heat. All the above-mentioned items have contributed to 12,000 tonnes of CO2 cutting compared to other same-sized buildings. This equates to 660,000 tree plantings and 46 tonnes of air pollutant reduction, which makes the building free from ‘sick building syndrome’.
BSB & modular prefabrication
BROAD Group’s subsidiary company Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) is the enabler behind the success of modular construction for J57.
One of the biggest factors in this formula has been quality control of the module prefab process in a factory environment.
This approach has paved the way for teams to control cost more thoroughly, eliminate construction material waste, prevent industry budget traps and operate against quick funding turnovers.
“BSB technology is an exciting part of our modular construction investment. The building costs can reach up to 30 per cent in savings, while also dramatically improving the construction quality. BSB involves standardised design, modular production, stringent product management and highly-skilled workers. And at the end of the day, only one company is responsible for all quality assurances,” Ms Jiang notes.
Underpinning the manufacture and construction strategy is an essential commitment to sustainability and longer life spans – part and parcel with BSB’s performance criteria.
For example, cold galvanising anti-corrosion technology is applied to steel materials, while tight thermal insulation prevents condensation corrosion. The duration of each treatment extends to 50 years. Additionally, all steel materials can be re-used post decommissioning.
This dual focus reflects an exciting trend that more companies are pursuing – using modular construction to balance cost and performance against sustainability.
BROAD Group used ‘3rd generation technology’ to construct J57, which is an important precursor to the planned 220-storey Sky City (J220) that will involve ‘4th generation technology’. Modular construction is progressing through leaps and bounds, with new capabilities coming through from both a technology and process perspective.
At Modular Construction & Prefabrication 2015, Juliet Jiang will present an exclusive case study on J57, examining in particular the use of modular prefabrication to increase the rate of construction, reduce capital and operating costs, and minimise the environmental impact.
She will be joined by specialists from companies including Laing O’Rourke, AECOM, Mirvac Design, and Wood & Grieve Engineers among others.
Images sourced from BROAD Group.