An Australian-first inter-University design competition saw Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) students team up to deliver built environment design solutions to solve Australia’s housing affordability challenges.

With concepts integrating the latest wave of offsite manufacturing industry practices (4.0)—it is thought to be the future of construction.

The inaugural Fleetwood Challenge Cup was established to support the next generation of built design professionals for the rapidly changing construction industry.

Connecting industry and academics, the competition was developed in partnership with industry association prefabAUS.

“The offsite manufacturing and prefabrication industry has changed significantly – the gains it can offer now in terms of sustainability, flexibility and customisation provides the industry with new options for design balanced with affordability.

"The creative use of design materials by students to deliver innovative solutions has surpassed all industry expectations” Fleetwood Australia’s Managing Director and CEO Brad Denison explains.

Cross-disciplinary teams were asked to address Australia’s looming shortage of affordable housing by  using offsite construction and prefabrication methods to develop high quality, aesthetically pleasing, affordable housing solutions suitable that could be relocated costeffectively over a 50-year period.

A Judging Panel drawn from Australia’s most respected AEC companies assessed 10 designs submitted from The University of Melbourne, Curtin University, the University of Queensland and Monash University.

The University of Melbourne team took out the Fleetwood Challenge Cup overall award, with a holistic approach.

The students’ ‘ecoShip’ design was chosen as the most affordable, functional and sustainable construction solution, with features fostering social and community connectivity.

“Being part of the Fleetwood Challenge Cup has been a fantastic and an extremely valuable experience which has given our team the opportunity to apply knowledge into practice to help solve a real-world problem,” states the winning University of Melbourne team.

An AEC University of Queensland team secured second place, with an innovative Link_POD design, that provided multistorey living spaces to accommodate ever-changing accommodation requirements.

Third place was awarded to Curtin University, who developed a design called Infinity Apartments, a unique social housing concept.

A Fleetwood Industry Award was presented to another team from Curtin University for using a novel and inspiring approach to incorporate prefabrication, flexibility, relocation and adaptability elements and holistically integrating the use of architecture, engineering and construction design disciplines to address the challenge brief.