Pre-fab attracts 100+ tenders
Over a month since KiwiBuild invited tenders to supply pre-fabricated houses, more than a hundred specialist manufacturers have applied to be part of the programme
More than 100 offsite manufacturers have pitched their services to the Housing and Urban Development agency since its invitation to help speed up the plan of building 100,000 houses within a decade.
For those in the prefabricated building industry, the opportunity to play a role in the Government’s plan to build 100,000 homes provides both an immediate work opportunity and launch pad to ramp up activity in the sector.
In the mixture of applicants for the KiwiBuild process are several overseas manufacturers, as well as the NZ Superannuation Fund, which is interested in “exploring investment opportunities in large-scale housing infrastructure development and modular/pre-fabricated housing”.
In a 2014 report, Prefab NZ showed that a typical one-off small to medium building project can expect to see a 60% reduction in construction time, and 9.3% saving in cost.
While the speed and efficiency of prefab could help KiwiBuild in reaching its target, the mass scale of its production, coupled with home buyers’ perceptions on this type of housing remains uncertain.
The size of a typical pre-fabricated home is smaller than a traditionally built house, which, for families seeking their first home, could be an issue. For those who desire a home which boasts its own unique design, prefab poses further shortcomings.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford said there was real opportunity to utilise the Government’s procurement power and the certainty of KiwiBuild’s targets to make the prefab industry more innovative and committed to the New Zealand market.
Twyford said it’s “about transforming how we build homes to reduce construction costs, deliver consistent high-quality design, increase capacity of the construction sector, and get homes completed faster”.
The procurement process is expected to take time; however, the Kiwibuild Unit is now working through the proposals from each applicant.