Is prefab the new black in affordable housing?

prefab housing

WOW is the short description of my day at the Prefab CoLab on 8 Feb18.

There is so much opportunity ahead of us to provide affordable housing!

This conference was run by Prefab NZ at AUT and had about 250 participants.

Prefab is short for prefabrication or offsite construction of building components or full structures that generally leads to more reliable quality, faster builds at a lower cost.

Highlights:

  • Ministers Twyford and Salesa outlining how the government’s program aligns well with the prefab capacity (more below).
  • The frankness of the speakers about the challenges and opportunities.
  • The technological developments eg DFMA, AI, 3D print, https://scientificsg.com.au/home.
  • The industry contacts made that are likely to turn into partners/suppliers.
  • The energy of the participants.

Key Messages:

  • The scale of the problem/opportunity is huge and we can meet the challenge
  • Building Industry companies: “Modernise or Die”
  • The changes in housing need are driven by Necessity AND Discontent
  • Mass customisation is needed and affordable through technology
  • “If you don’t prefab you are a moron”
  • Need to diversify workforce, including robotics as insufficient manpower
  • Current Insurance, Finance and Regulatory challenges are being worked on

Key Points from the Government perspective

  • Kiwibuild – an extra 100,000 affordable dwellings over 10 years
  • Houses to be safe, healthy, durable, affordable, improved protection for renters
  • MultiProof – streamlined National Multiple-use Approval Service for volume builders
  • CodeMark – product certification scheme
  • https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/101956360/the-future-of-nz-housing-is-prefabs-and-180000-tiny-homes
  • We need 1-2 bedroom houses but industry is currently delivering larger homes and hence need to facilitate change…