Pre-fabricated housing to help slash construction time

Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has ambitious construction targets over the next few years; we have to build more quality, sustainable and cost-effective homes within shorter time frames. And we have to do all this without compromising on health and safety.

To this end, we’re boosting our use of prefabricated construction systems. These methodologies for designing and delivering homes are already providing more options, and greater capacity, to safely deliver quality accommodation at scale and with pace.

For HNZ, prefabrication essentially means that much of the construction process happens off-site, using proven manufacturing processes, and typically indoors.

“This is not a new space for us and we have used prefabricated and modular solutions before, notably following the Christchurch earthquakes and also in established Auckland neighbourhoods,” said Patrick Dougherty. “However the recent rapid advancement of these construction techniques makes them increasingly attractive due to the speed of delivery and enhanced safety of building off-site."

HNZ aims to help the domestic market scale up in this segment by offering long-term high-volume programmes of work.

“New Zealand remains a relative newcomer to the international prefabrication market with many European and Asian countries well ahead of us on the pre-fabrication curve,” said Andrew Booker, HNZ’s GM of Innovation and Development. “We can learn a lot from the mature international players and lever that learning to sustainably grow the domestic industry.”

Late last year HNZ established a Modular and Prefabricated Panel, aimed at getting access to a greater range of innovative construction methods and build partners to work with. The panel already has a strong membership of 12 prequalified supplier delivery partners and remains open for additional members to join.

Find out more about how to apply for Housing New Zealand’s panel, at link).

We are currently establishing criteria to determine which projects in our overall pipeline will be a good fit for prefabricated manufacturing technology. A series of pilot projects are also underway.

Read more about our cross-laminated timber used in an Otara prefab redevelopment

Keith Hay prefab homes being trucked onto Orakei transitional housing site

High-quality Keith Hay prefab homes being trucked onto an Orakei transitional housing site.

Crane lifting a modular house into place

Five of the homes were built off-site.

Modular house being lifted into place by crane

It is anticipated the homes will remain at the site for 3 to 5 years.

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