Victoria University trade students are building transportable wooden homes for customers who haul them to every corner of the state as granny flats, beach homes and starter houses.
Aspiring carpenters build about a dozen of the modular houses each year at VU's Newport, Melton and Werribee Campuses. They are strictly supervised over the 11 weeks it takes to complete the industry-approved homes, which contain up to three bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and lounge room with a cathedral ceiling.
The project has been part of VU's carpentry program for 15 years, and is now a major assignment for pre-apprentices. More recently, plastering and painting students have also become involved, as well as building design students.
The take-away homes have been delivered state-wide from suburban blocks in Taylors Lakes to beachside properties in Venus Bay. Orders are growing as word spreads, and there's now a waiting list.
Construction Industries live works manager David Delahunty said VU is among the state's only training organisations to offer carpentry students opportunities to work on real homes rather than models.
The students are very precise because they know this will be used by paying clients, he said. They are very proud and protective of their work since this is the first time they've done something this big from start to finish.
The homes are built at-cost, with clients paying about $700 a square metre compared with about $900 a square metre charged by commercial builders. However the focus of VU's program is solely on student learning, not profit-making, Delahunty said.
We're not competing with professional builders even though the job we do must be signed off by external inspectors and includes warranties the same as a commercial job, he said.
The homes are constructed with sustainable timbers and designed with six-star-rating energy efficiency.
A photo of carpentry students at work on a transportable home is available.
For more information about VU's student-built transportable homes:
David Delahunty, Live Works Manager,
Construction Industries, Faculty of Technical Trades and Innovation
Ph: 0435 657 569.
Ann Marie Angebrandt, Media Officer,
Marketing and Communications Department, Victoria University
Ph: (03) 9919 5487 or 0403 556 001.