Prefab housing on its way
In the week Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford laid out the land on how Prefab housing (housing built offsite to standardised designs, transported to the site then assembled on site) could be used to build up to 50,000 of the 100,000 KiwiBuild homes. This is not the first time we have heard this concept but this is the first time the idea has been fleshed out officially.
NZ and overseas companies asked to ramp up prefab ops for Kiwibuild
LAURA WALTERS – Last updated 09:07, June 25 2018
Twford has asked companies in New Zealand and overseas to express their interest in setting up, or expanding, off-site manufacturing factories to make KiwiBuild homes.
“Cabinet has decided the Government will seek interest from both local and overseas companies to come forward with their plans,” Twyford said.
“One of the challenges for KiwiBuild is there isn’t the scale and capacity in the construction sector to build the number of houses New Zealand needs.”
On Saturday, Twyford told The Nation he could not currently put a number on the number of prefab houses built under Kiwibuild, but within a few years – when the Government was building about 10,000 houses a year – “a substantial proportion” of the houses would be built in a factory using high-tech, high-precision gear.
He then said he hoped more than half the houses would be prefab, “but it’s very early days to be putting a number on that”.
Twyford said he had been approached by international and domestic companies, which were already using off-site manufacturing to build houses quicker and more efficiently, since the Government launched KiwiBuild.
“High-tech manufacturing of homes, as is done in Europe and North America, could allow us to build KiwiBuild homes at scale and pace.”
Off-site manufacturing was significantly more productive so more homes could be built from the available workforce, and it would help address some of the constraints facing the construction sector until New Zealand could find enough local builders, he said.
New products and techniques used in off-site manufacturing meant houses could be built up to four times faster, he said.
Earlier this year, PrefabNZ released a report, showing prefabricated factory-built houses and apartments could deliver at least 7000 homes a year from 2020.
Twyford said this meant large-scale factories could be established in New Zealand, working alongside existing off-site manufacturing companies. “Off-site manufacturing will be a game changer for New Zealand housing.”
Source and full article: NZ and overseas companies asked to ramp up prefab ops for Kiwibuild
For prefab to supply half of the KiwiBuild total supply is a good thing, having 7,000 of these homes pumped out a year when Auckland needs 14,000 a year is going to have be say ‘Ummm.’ Simply put we need to ramp up until we hit about 10,000 (providing prefabs can build our three storey walk-up apartments allowed in the Unitary Plan’s Mixed Housing Urban Zone) with the other 4,000 most likely mid and high rise apartments.
None-the-less hopefully we will see a large-scale factory over in Wiri (given the proximity to transport links and large residential sub divisions near by) that will be doing its part in pumping out houses (and providing needed employment in South Auckland). I notice Fletcher Living has a base over that the Manukau Supa Centre in Manukau and that Fletchers want to get into prefab housing. So I wonder if they might be looking at setting up a factory in the Wiri industrial complex next door to make the most of KiwiBuild? We will soon see.
In any-case good to see prefabs are being seriously considered!