Kāinga Ora is transforming its construction activities to be more efficient, productive and sustainable.
We collaborate with our development and build partners to create innovative approaches to boost the quality and speed of delivery of new homes while maintaining affordability and ensuring health and wellbeing benefits for residents.
Our innovation teams already collaborate with Scion, BRANZ, Callaghan Innovation and other industry leaders. Opportunities we have been working on for new technologies, processes and products that have disruptive potential include:
- In-house research and development programmes for building materials and systems
- A GIS platform to visualise flood, geotechnical and planning zones over 3D satellite imagery, allowing feasibility analysis of 3D building concepts
- Replacing individual build contracts with multi-year Construction Partnering Agreements, providing our partners with the certainty they need to innovate and scale up
- Speeding up consenting timeframes through standard, repeatable and pre-approved designs that are Lifemark and Homestar-rated
- Partnering with Piritahi to streamline the civil works needed to get land ready for building on in our large-scale developments.
We are expanding the use of offsite manufacturing as a construction method, as well as using modular design and high-tech building materials such as cross-laminated timber.
Many of our older homes are damp and hard to heat. We’re modernising our existing housing stock and building new, modern homes that are more energy and water efficient. This will make our housing healthier for homeowners and the planet. Our new homes are exceeding Building Code requirements. Energy efficient lighting, water efficient fixtures, insulation, and double glazing makes our homes warmer and less expensive to live in.
As part of our commitment to sustainability and our overall contribution to the environment, Kāinga Ora has actively stepped into the global green building movement by committing all its new homes will be built to 6 Homestar standard.
This means homes will be built to be warmer, healthier, more energy efficient for tenants and their whānau.
Homestar, which is run by the New Zealand Green Building Council, is a national residential rating tool to evaluate homes in terms of their warmth, as well as their health, sustainability, energy and water efficiency qualities.
Our move to 6 Homestar means our new homes will far exceed Building Code standards for warmth, dryness and health.
Kāinga Ora’s massive new builds programme means there are already more than 3,000 public housing homes being built with this rating around New Zealand.
Passive House is a performance based standard that is first and foremost about delivering on a promise: a comfortable, well-ventilated home that needs very little energy.
These homes regulate their own temperature through smart design, the use of high performing construction materials, and a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery.
For our customers, living in a Passive House means more affordable heating, fresh indoor air quality and comfortable and healthy temperatures year-round. Environmentally, it means we’re delivering high performing homes with significantly reduced operational carbon emissions.
Passive House is still a very new concept in New Zealand, and it takes a specialised design team to achieve the Passive House standard or equivalent performance.
Ngā Kāinga Anamata is a sustainability-innovation public housing pilot project, aimed at driving carbon emission reduction in New Zealand’s construction industry.
The project was gifted its name, meaning ‘homes of the future’ to reflect its aspiration of building tomorrow’s houses today, while maintaining a cultural lens and links to core Māori values.
The core focus of Ngā Kāinga Anamata is to achieve the Government’s 2030 carbon emission targets by 2024, sharing insights and influencing change in New Zealand’s built environment.
The project will deliver 30 new homes within five, three-level apartment buildings in Auckland’s Glendowie. Each near identical building will use a different construction technology, enabling sustainability insights to be gathered on a range of building materials and systems.
With such a large new build programme, and a mandate to provide better homes for our customers, Kāinga Ora has committed to measuring the performance of some of our new homes once built and occupied.
Working with consenting customers, we are beginning to collect data, which tells us how well the homes are performing in terms of thermal comfort and energy performance. We combine this information with a customer feedback survey, so that we have a complete picture of the home’s comfort and performance.
Collecting this information is part of our commitment to continuous improvement, and to delivering on our sustainability principles. It helps us identify opportunities for improvement, and will inform our future build standards so that all Kāinga Ora customers have access to warm, dry and healthy homes that are economical to heat and cool.
The first ‘pilot’ studies are underway in Porirua, with plans to expand the programme across the country.
In cities, we are building an increasing number of three-storey walk-ups made of cross laminated timber (CLT). This modern material has the structural strength of concrete or steel and can be cut into pre-fabricated panels in a factory – reducing construction time on site.
Watch this time-lapse video to see how quickly, quietly and efficiently a small CLT apartment building can be completed in established suburbs such as Auckland’s Ponsonby.
Page updated: 20 December 2021