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SNUG competition shortlist of 12 tiny Kiwi homes released

The Porch SNUG

12 winning tiny home designs to be annouced at PrefabNZ's Snug competition Garden Party to find designs for homes small enough to be raised in urban back gardens.

Pamela Bell, chief executive of Prefab NZ launched the competition in March, which led to 86 entries to the competition from architects, though each team had to have one student, or an apprentice working with it.

The winners, including the "People's Choice" award, would be announced on November 15 in a back garden party in the Auckland suburb of Kingsland, Bell said.

The winners will get "pre-consented" by Auckland Council, which should make it easier for homeowners with generous back gardens to build one.


Pamela Bell, chief executive of Prefab NZ.

Bell said each of the entries, which had to fit onto a footprint of 35-65 square metres, was designed to be built, and had a manufacturer standing by ready to build them.

Prefab NZ is the industry body for off-site building companies, which manufacture homes in factories and workshops to be trucked to sites to be erected.

Bell believed prefab homes could play a part in solving the country's housing crisis, lifting efficiency, and in the case of the tiny Snug "minor dwellings", help provide more homes in our towns and cities at low cost.

"It's a home without the cost of the land. In Auckland, half the cost of a new build was the land. It was around 40 per cent in the rest of the country. It's really thinking creatively about what affordability looks like," she said.

Intensification is one of the mantras of increasing dwelling numbers in cities like Auckland and Wellington without forcing people to live ever further out on the cities' fringes, locking them in to long, gruelling commutes.

The 12 shortlisted designs range from more traditional-looking tiny homes, including the Whitebaiter inspired by traditional South Island rural cribs, to the Flip mini-apartment.

Inspired by the humble Jandal, the Flip (It was originally called the Flip, Flap, Flop, but the flop had to go as it had unfortunate echoes of the phrase "flop house") can be built either as a one-level tiny home, or a "two storeyed backyard apartment".

All but one are designed to sit on simple foundations, keeping the cost of erecting one down.

The Porch entry in the Snug competition.

The Porch entry in the Snug competition.

The on that isn't is the Porch design, which straddles a car port.

Size was the starting point for the Snug competition, but as well as being ready to roll off the production line, each entry also had to meet high environmental standards if it was to get past a judging panel including a representative of the Green Building Council.

Bell said the competition was also designed to help bring through younger designers, and Bell hoped it would help bring more digital natives, and women, into the off-site building industry.

Designers also had to think about how their designs would be manufactured, and built.

The appropriately named Easy was designed to be made in small, light-weight panels which two people could get into site easily, and build.

The Pī Honey entry in the Snug competition, designed to be built by robots.

The Pī Honey entry in the Snug competition, designed to be built by robots.

Another tiny home on the shortlist is the Pī Honi (Little Honey), the component parts of which are designed to be fabricated by robots.

"Two dynamic multi-tooled robotic arms allow tools and materials to be brought to each panel, as opposed to the panel progressing through a traditional production line," its entry said. Read here

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