IT seems impossible, but a new four-storey apartment building in Rockingham is expected to take just three days to piece together.
Currently the building blocks are somewhere out at sea on a cargo ship from China, but they are due to arrive in WA soon where they will find a new home at the corner of Wanliss Street and Attwood Way.
Rockingham business Stackit uses modular construction, which consists of preassembled modules bolted together to form builds such as apartment blocks and hotels.
Stackit part-owner Ian Duperouzel said the modules will arrive at the Rockingham construction site fully kitted out with kitchens, carpentry and bathrooms complete, right down to tiling and shower screens.
“Modular building is not a new concept, it’s been around since the 1920s and ’30s,” he said.
“But using them for high-rise buildings is a newer concept for Australia.
“The modules are preassembled in China, where they start to look like sea containers.
“They are then bolted to a bulk cargo carrier and shipped to WA.”
The apartment building will also boast Rockingham’s first car-stacker.
“It will have a rotary car-stacker, so in the space of four car bays we can fit 16 cars,” Mr Duperouzel said.
“It adds value to the building as most units will now have two car bays.”
Mr Duperouzel said siteworks at the corner block have been under way for some time so that by the time the modules arrive, they can just bolt into place on the formwork.
About 30 modules will fit together to form 13 apartments that will sit above commercial tenancies.
“The ground floor will suit professional services such as financial advisers, accountants and dentists,” Mr Duperouzel said.
“Above that will be a mixture of one , two and three-bedroom apartments, in a stepped formation for visual appeal.”
Speed and efficiency aside, he said there were other advantages to modular construction.
“Builds are also safer for several reasons; it is at lock-up stage there is no risk of theft or damage,” he said.
“There is no need for scaffolding, just a boom lift or cherry picker.
“They are thermally and acoustically engineered and once assembled, the building is simply rendered.
“You would never know that it is made up of blocks put together.”
The cargo carrier is due to dock in Fremantle next Sunday.
Allowing a couple of days for customs checks and transport to site, the apartment block should be up within that week.