Innovative State Housing

Innovative State Housing

Bader Drive Apartment Render

In this project, Housing New Zealand (HNZ) has endeavoured to create a place that people would really want to live. At Bader Drive in Māngere, HNZ intend to create apartments and houses around a central hub. The design consists of five apartment blocks (59 apartments), a community space, and two terrace blocks (one with four apartments and one with two).

The brief of the project was to build a development with a blended community feel with a focus on providing a sense of place. It was also important to make provision for external service providers to visit the site regularly including: various groups, health visitors, and HNZ staff.

The project’s construction methodology is based on an earlier pilot project, The Grounds, in Hobsonville Point, which sought to create a fast, high-quality design solution for a three-level apartment building. Adopting this method as a baseline meant that all of the learnings from the Hobsonville project could be integrated into the Bader Drive project with the opportunity to further evaluate ideas and test new systems.

PrefabNZ case studies "How to prefab" includes Innovative Social Housing, download the case study here


The Māngere site is a large corner property that required quality urban design to ensure the development gives a good street presence. The tight design and construction timescale was the main challenge of the project.

HNZ design and quality requirements challenged the buildings to be durable and fit for purpose. These challenges were overcome through collaboration and a close working relationship between HNZ Urban Designer - Sue Evans, Development Manager - Jo Charlton, and Project Manager - Claire Peng. Prefabrication allowed construction work to commence while building consents were being finalised. Offsite construction also allowed for a higher quality of panels and components, which in turn reduced the need for re-work at site.


The project is predominantly timber construction with a range of cladding and insulation that comply with HNZ specification.

In an HNZ innovation, Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels were used for the roof and floor, while prefabricated sections were used for common and private deck areas. The external walls were pre-clad and glazed as panels and the internal walls pre-nailed as components. All major structural and non-structural building elements were manufactured in-factory which took approximately three months.

Apartments under construction


The panels and components were manufactured in Tallwood’s factory in Matamata, delivered to the site by truck and then lifted by mobile crane into place. Following the construction of each base slab, the preclad wall elements were installed in accordance with the construction drawings. Structural beams were then lifted into place and connected to the walls and structure. The CLT floors sat on top of the walls below, followed by a second lot of walls and then the CLT roof panels.

After the construction of the concrete slab, it took approximately six weeks for one building to be erected with the internal fit-out to follow.

Wall panel assembly

The local Building Consent Authority (BCA) adopted an alternative inspection mode, where they audited the contractor’s detailed Quality Assurance (QA) documentation on a weekly basis rather than undertaking a fixed inspection. This is in part due to high confidence in the innovative construction systems, the demonstrated competence of Tallwood and the robustness of their approved quality assurance system.

The project, at present, is successfully overcoming delivery, design and quality challenges. Prefabricated solutions are allowing for an accelerated construction programme to ensure that the delivery date will be met.

Wall panels being lifted into place


It has been noted that the quality of the construction is high and there have been minimal defects during the inspections from the HNZ QA Team.

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