Josh Muskett: Podmatrix
Podmatrix is proudly Tasmanian; building quality homes for diverse customers, supporting local businesses and creating jobs for skilled tradespeople.
Need a house and don’t want to wait for a traditional build? At Podmatrix, the team are delivering everything from backyard studios within four weeks to double storey multiple-bedroom homes in turnarounds rarely achieved beyond the factory environment.
In January 2018, the Podmatrix brand was born. Many years before this, the foundations had been established when directors Craig Swan and Josh Muskett acquired the Clarence Lifestyle Village in 2013. Since then, they have built a company that today boasts 60 full time employees across their Cambridge and Devonport facilities.
Dedicated to using Tasmanian skills and suppliers, Podmatrix have produced high quality transportable pods including The Retreat at award-winning Pumphouse Point as well as their Shorehouse extension at Lake St Clair. Today, the team are tasked with anything from classrooms to one-bedroom getaways to custom builds for persons living with a disability.
“We’ve taken on another 10 apprentices this year to cope with demand,” explains Muskett. “We employ every trade and believe that employment is a far better option than contracting, giving our staff stability and a full-time wage. This in turn puts them in a good position for acquiring loans for their own homes, contributes to their super and so forth. It also gives us a reliable workforce and ensures we deliver on the high standard we have come to be known for.”
With more than two decades of building industry experience between them, Swan and Muskett have continued to re-invent, pushing new construction boundaries here in Tasmania. In 2018, they purchased Australia’s first 7-axis robotic milling machine for the manufacture of furniture and custom pieces. This state-of-the-art German robot has drawn much interest from University of Tasmania robotics students and will continue to provide opportunities for education and up-skilling in this fast-developing field.
Podmatrix have also been instrumental in supporting the Tasmanian Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy and Action Plan, which aim to improve affordable housing and help those most in need into safe and secure accommodation. The team has already delivered over 20 pods for the Backyard Units for Young People Initiative, providing dwellings for youth who may otherwise become homeless, allowing them to remain close to their family.
“This has been a really rewarding venture for Podmatrix,” says Muskett. “It allows families to stay together, yet gives youth the independence and space they need. For instance, we’ve been able to assist a family with a son who has autism and another where 10 children were living under the same roof. We’ve had phone calls with tears of joy. We are able to build each studio in four weeks – that’s delivered onsite and ready to move in. We’ve just delivered three in one week to some very happy Tasmanian families. It’s been great to have an impact in this space.”
Podmatrix deliver the same high-quality fittings and finish for every build whether it’s a transportable classroom, disability access unit or high-end tourism venture. For example, Tasmanian Oak entrances are serviced through Oakdale Timber and Podmatrix have supported other emerging businesses such as Launceston’s boutique timber provider, Woodley & Co.
With a range of generic plans on offer, Podmatrix can also design for a client’s specific needs with an in-house architect on hand. The team can manage a project from start to finish; initial concept to council approvals and installation. From welding fabricators to drafters, administration and accounting staff to joiners, carpenters to roofers, plasterers to painters, Podmatrix have the capacity to complete any build under one roof with no interruptions due to weather or unavailable contractors.
“We’re always on the look out for skilled workers,” adds Muskett. “We’re currently looking for joiners, carpenters, welders and painters to join our growing team. We’re a one-stop shop and eager for enthusiastic new employees to keep up with demand.”
When Muskett isn’t in the factory, he enjoys life with his family on a 120-acre farm nearby with his Scottish highland cows. Being from a family lineage that have worked in the Tasmanian timber industry for generations, he loves calling Tasmania home.
“It’s a great place to live and work,” smiles Muskett. “It’s only a 15-minute commute to work and we have such a good range of timber and product here in Tasmania. We also get to work with amazing designers such as Simon Ancher and have enjoyed collaborations with businesses like Hydrowood who salvage timber from beneath the surface at Lake Pieman. It’s a great time to be in the industry.”
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