Can prefabs solve housing crisis?

  • 26/06/2018

KiwiBuild may rely on prefab houses for around half of the 100,000 homes needed, but the details are vague and sparse.

Prefab New Zealand CEO Pamela Bell joined The AM Show on Tuesday to discuss what's going on.

She said prefabrication is making parts off-site, away from the construction and muck and weather.

So how many New Zealand homes are built using prefabrication?

"If we count the number of prefabricated parts in a house, pre-nailed trusses, wall frames, window components - about a third," she says.

"It's a better way to control quality outcome. So it could be small components like  pre-nail, could be panels that come for your wall or floor, it could be pods like for bathroom pods, or it could be complete houses."

New manufacturers are joining the sector, increasing the number of prefabs that can be built each year.

"We're currently looking at being able to get up to 11,000 housing units - and that's before even considering at traditional construction or offshore supply," she says.

"There's obviously a ramp-up period while people are expanding their lines or adding another line of manufacture, some people are even developing entirely new facilities, so there's a couple of years lead time. But I'm sure we can meet the Minister's benchmarks."