Made offsite to transform onsite
It’s not unusual for kiwis building a new home to use a building company that constructs the home at their facilities and then transports the nearly finished product to the home owners section to complete the final fit out.
Some of our public housing developments do the same thing, on a much larger scale.
Offsite manufacturing (OSM) is not new to Kāinga Ora, as one of its many benefits as a method of construction is a reduction in material waste and construction time, providing quality, warm homes at a faster pace than traditional builds.
Compared with many international building industries use of OSM in Aotearoa New Zealand is small, with about 10% of our builds utilising OSM techniques in contrast to around 80% in Sweden, 50% in Finland, 30% in the USA and 25% in the UK.
Traditionally, OSM transportable homes manufactured in NZ have been single story, however the demand for multi-storey homes and apartments has increased. We’ve now got a number of public large housing developments underway where the almost completed units that have been built in a factory are transported to and craned onto the development site.
Two such multi storey apartment buildings being constructed for Kāinga Ora using OSM units are in Pt Chevalier in Auckland and Johnsonville in Wellington.
“There is huge demand for public housing throughout the country and we are working hard to deliver new, quality homes for New Zealanders” says Nick Howcroft, Director of Delivery for Kāinga Ora.
“Using OSM is a smart way to build more homes efficiently. Working with the construction sector, we’re helping to build the capability of OSM in New Zealand. In some of our larger developments we’re using mass timber panels for walls and floors, and installing apartment units built offsite. Everything is built to code and for local residents it can be quite an exciting experience when the civil works and foundations are complete and the units start arriving to the site.”
Local residents of Hindmarsh Street in Johnsonville recently watched a crane lifting in units manufactured by Auckland based Evergreen Modular, a subsidiary of Property Partners Group.
Build Partners, also a subsidiary of Property Partners Group, is contracted by Kāinga Ora to construct the Hindmarsh Street public housing development project.
Franco Liebenberg, General Manager for Build Partners says “This development in Johnsonville is the first public housing development where we’ve used apartments manufactured by Evergreen Modular. The modules are delivered to the site practically complete with floors and kitchens already installed. Once they arrive on site we connect the final electrical and plumbing, and install the carpets. The apartments are clad onsite and for this particular development we are building the common entry stairs and decks on site.
“Early on in the design process it was agreed this development would be a mix of homes built using both traditional build methods and OSM for the construction. So while we were building the 18 apartments in our factory in Wiri, Auckland, our builders commenced the construction of 12 homes on site.
“Local residents were amazed to see the crane lifting in the units, and the site transformed quickly from an empty lot to six three-level apartment buildings. Once the OSM units were onsite it only took about six to seven days to install 18 apartments. It’s an impressive way to build more quality homes at a much faster pace.” says Franco.
In the next 12 months, 12% of all Kāinga Ora public housing redevelopments will use OSM as a method of construction, with developments already underway in Northland, Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton, Rotorua, Ōpōtiki, Gisborne, Westport, Morrinsville, Waihi, Hikurangi and Christchurch.