Proposals for KiwiBuild off-site factories to be sought

Jun 25, 2018 | News

“Cabinet has decided the Government will seek interest from both local and overseas companies to come forward with their plans,” Phil Twyford says.

“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.

“Since KiwiBuild launched in November, we’ve been approached by a number of highly capable international and domestic companies who are already using innovative methods such as off-site manufacturing to build quality houses quicker and more efficiently.

“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 is significantly more productive so more homes can be built from the available workforce. It will help address some of the constraints the construction sector faces until we can train enough local builders.

“Innovative new products used in off-site manufacturing such as cross laminated timber can dramatically speed up the time it takes to build houses – an estimated two to four times faster.

“Housing NZ’s use of locally sourced and manufactured cross laminated timber has resulted in their houses being built in four to five months instead of 14-18 months.

“PrefabNZ said earlier this year that off-site factory-built houses and apartments could see more than 7000 additional homes build every year from 2020.

“Ultimately this could mean we see large-scale factories established in New Zealand, working alongside existing off-site manufacturing companies and creating more jobs, more skills and more houses.

“Off-site manufacturing will be a game changer for New Zealand housing,” Phil Twyford says.

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