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 New Zealand’s largest housing provider, Kāinga Ora has a government mandate to lead change. That means we must be at the forefront of innovation and progressive action to build more homes.
Offsite manufacturing (OSM) is a construction method we are increasing across our build programme to provide more quality homes at a faster rate, and with the best outcomes for people and whānau, communities, and the construction industry.
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.
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: 17 October 2022