Exporting Prefab Components│The Smart Export Series

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The prefab market will be one of the key drivers of future growth in Australia’s construction industry.

Currently making up 5 percent of Australia’s $218 bn dollar construction industry, its value is expected to triple over the next five years.

Asides from the significant time and cost savings, we believe environmental considerations will be a key driver of demand of the prefabricated construction market. Leading construction companies in Australia such as Lendlease making are sustainability targets a key priority in the undertaking of new building projects.

The prefab market is still in its early stages of development here in Australia. We believe this sector offers a great opportunity for overseas exporters of prefabricated components to enter, particularly given the relatively low level of domestic production and competition. If you are a new entrant to the prefab construction market we can provide you with export advice to market entry. 


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Prefab components that have lighter and stronger structural components will be a strong preference of demand in Australia. Sustainability and eco-friendly materials will also be a strong advantageous point for exporters. Over the last years, demand for timber materials has been gaining strong momentum and is one of the most popular prefabricated building materials used in Australia. Exporters should consider exporting timber components as this has been reportedly short in supply in Australia.


In Australia, timber framing costs around $1300 – $1500 per square metre. The market price for modular homes is around $3000 – $4000 per square metre. Of course, logistics as well as type of materials used would influence cost and exporters would need to take this into consideration when pricing their products.


We suggest exposure through tradeshows or targeting construction magazines would be a good way to penetrate the Australian market.  News such as Wuhan constructing a 1000 patient hospital in 10 days during the peak of the nation’s COVID-19 outbreak have made the general population more aware and curious of prefabricated construction. We think there’s no harm in targeting mainstream media companies such as the Australian Financial Review as this could definitely help create build a more positive consensus and preference towards prefabricated buildings amongst the general population.


As building construction companies are quite saturated in Australia, we believe that entering the market through a distributor would be the best way to maximise supply potential.


We believe the significant benefits of prefabricated construction on the long-term growth of Australia’s construction industry will be enough to entice companies to adapt their workforce and project approaches in favour of this new construction method. Exporters should orientate their prefab components to be light, high quality and eco-friendly as this will be the type of materials highly demand in the future. 

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