Fletcher Building Ltd held an official opening on Wednesday for its Clever Core prefabricated home factory in Wiri, which the company expects will reduce onsite build times from 22 weeks to about 6-10 weeks.
The company will produce the core structural components of a home in the factory in as little as a day. Manufactured wall, floor & roof components, which contain locally sourced insulation, double-glazed windows & allowances for wiring & plumbing, will then be transferred to build sites and constructed into the weathertight core of a house by specially trained builders.
Fletcher Building chief executive Ross Taylor said the new facility was a significant advance in New Zealand’s housing development capability and would support a faster rollout of housing: “Our Clever Core facility will produce core components for at least 500 new homes each year, including 100 by the end of this calendar year.
“It uses ‘design for manufacture & assembly’ principles to streamline the design, consenting & manufacturing process. This not only significantly speeds up build times, but also enables greater quality control and significantly reduces building waste, by as much as 80%/home built.
“Clever Core will initially support our Fletcher Living developments, but we plan to extend the offering to group home builders & retirement home operators. Once production is at scale, we believe Clever Core will play a pivotal role in helping the industry deliver more quality, healthy homes that Kiwis love, faster.”
The Wiri factory will employ 35 people, from technicians & engineers to carpenters, many of them employed through Fletcher Building’s Switch Up programme, which gets young, first-time jobseekers into paid work & training opportunities.
Fletcher Living’s developments at Ormiston, Swanson & Beachlands are the first to receive Clever Core structural components, which will speed up delivery and allow people to move in before Christmas. Mr Taylor said these houses would be indistinguishable in appearance from their traditionally built neighbours once the exterior claddings & facia are added and internal fitouts completed.
He said Clever Core was working closely with Auckland Council to ensure that this new approach to consenting componentry would meet the council’s precise standards and establish clear ‘record of works’ documentation.
Attribution: Company website.