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RP1031: Development and optimisation of low carbon, affordable, medium-rise modular structural system using innovative connections

Project leader name: 
Professor Saman Fernando, Swinburne University of Technology
Project status: 
Project period: 
04/2016 to 04/2018

This project aims to develop a robust, innovative and repeatable framing solution at the maximum transportable size of 16m x 4.5m x 3m. The framing will be steel based, with possible infill structural panels for walls and floors. This will require the development of innovative inter/intra‐modular structural connections to enable minimal access fastening for medium‐rise construction.

The solution will facilitate scalable open spaces within buildings, and provide the ability to transfer lateral loads between modules. It will address the following constraints and requirements:

  • Irregular site shapes;
  • Very limited site access;
  • Fast on-site assembly, in‐life adaptation, and post‐life disassembly;
  • Joining of conventional and new sustainable materials to maximise their effectiveness
  • Maximum safety;
  • Proven reliability; and
  • Affordability.

A 20‐storey building with the largest possible spans will be considered as a test case.

Publications related to this project

Fact sheet

Innovations in modular building systems are limited by the low availability of well-designed module connectors. We have developed a universal, bolt-less connector for modular buildings of all shapes and sizes of up to 40 storeys (including public housing, condominiums, hospitals, hotels, offices...