Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    Fast track to building innovative and affordable housing for WA

    13/10/2007 10:15 AM

    Housing and Works Minister Michelle Roberts has laid one of the first ‘bricks’ in the first of three display homes being constructed as part of the State Government’s $6million Innovation in Affordable Housing project.

    The project will involve building up to 50 homes throughout the State, including the three demonstration homes, using new and innovative building materials.

    The house Mrs Roberts inspected today, built by Qik-Bild, utilises a wall system consisting of hollow styrofoam blocks, filled with reinforced concrete.

    “It’s quite remarkable that a substance people usually think of as packaging for electrical appliances can be adapted for use as a building material,” she said.

    “The light weight of the blocks has benefits in transportation and once on site they can be laid far quicker than conventional bricks.

    “Construction time for this type of house will be around 14 weeks, compared with a construction time of around 40 weeks for a similar sized, single-storey conventional brick and tile home.”

    The Innovation in Affordable Housing project is being undertaken by the State Government in conjunction with the building industry and is exploring alternative forms of construction that can reduce construction costs and timeframes, in order to deliver more affordable homes and social housing options for Western Australia.

    In this year’s budget, the State Government announced a $417.3million boost over four years to help address affordable housing for Western Australians.

    Social housing stock numbers will increase by at least 1,000 dwellings over four years as a result.

    The Minister said an additional $238million was recently injected into new housing and land initiatives as a result of the State’s $2.3billion surplus, enabling an additional 120 homes for social housing and other initiatives.

    The display homes in Banksia Grove, built by Intamos, VDM Group and Qik-Bild, ranged in price from $120,000 to $130,000 for a three-bedroom home.

    The designs utilise innovative construction techniques, which included:
    • roofing made from an insulated polystyrene/colourbond sandwich panel;
    • a panel wall system consisting of a plastic foam core, and a laminated fibre cement exterior interlocked together with an aluminium perimeter; and
    • a glass-fibre reinforced, water resistant gypsum plaster load bearing wall panel.
    “The program will also look at ways to reduce ongoing housing-related costs, through lower maintenance and management costs and improved energy efficiency, ”Mrs Roberts said.

    The three display homes in Banksia Grove will be on public display for three months before being sold on the open market. The remainder of the first stage of the project will be built in Clarkson, Butler and Ellenbrook and added to the Department of Housing and Works’ housing rental stock.

    The second stage of the project will focus on regional locations, yet to be determined.

    Minister's office - 9213 6600