PrefabNZ promotes commercial offsite to Building Officials

PrefabNZ Top 5

PrefabNZ promoted commercial offsite construction to the Building Offical's Institue of NZ in the September issue of Straight Up magazine. PrefabNZ members can access the magazine from our web Member Resources .

1. Prefabrication a critical component in alpine construction.

No stranger to utilising prefabrication techniques in difficult locations, Stanley Construction have successfully constructed the new twin elevator shaft at the Happy Valley Learner ski area at Whakapapa on Mt Ruapehu.

The timeframe was very tight: 12 weeks to construct the 24m high elevator building, along with an 18m span bridge at the top linking the building to the upper level. Utilising prefabricated components and techniques, the client’s timeframe was achieved.

During the construction phase the ski field was open for business, limiting the size of the construction site, and for safety reasons, crane usage. A large part of the structure was prefabricated out of position, or offsite. “Having so much of the componentry built offsite was important to accelerate this project,” said Craig Davison, Project Manager. “In these alpine environments …clever planning is critical to keeping the project to programme.”

The final stages of construction were completed overnight so that the new elevator complex was operational the next morning. For more examples see Projects at

2. Offsite construction on the rise: 111 Dixon Street apartments.

Arrow International is building this new apartment building with maximum use of off-site manufacturing in its construction. The 20-level development secured a 35% height bonus consent via Wellington City Council’s Design Excellence rules – thanks to the design by PrefabNZ members Archaus Architects.

The structure is mostly steel around two large concrete sheer walls which go up all levels. They will use the Doka climbing wall formwork system, then assemble the steel components as they arrive to site, which is standard. However, the design negates the need to prop the floors as they build up, which has significant advantages for a modular approach.

The exterior cladding will be manufactured off-site, lifted into place and clipped to the exterior with brackets designed and tested by their engineers to ensure compliance.

The 47 balconies and 228 bathrooms will all be manufactured offsite and craned into place. Not having to prop the floors becomes a significant advantage, the bathrooms can be positioned before the next floor is started. Investigations are almost complete for offsite fabrication of the internal walls, modular plumbing and sprinkler systems.

3. The Grounds - breaking prefabrication in Auckland

Tall Wood develops products and typologies that are intended to be duplicated. This is not a copy and paste approach, but a recognition that there is value in certainty: in how a building will be made; its parts and assemblies, and how that goes together in the most predictable and repeatable way to consistently achieve compliance.

The Grounds is evidence of this - a community of 42 apartments and a commercial space on Hobsonville Point Road comprising 4 three-level buildings using as much as 70% prefabrication. They use Cross-Laminated timber (CLT) floors and roof, offsite manufactured external walls and balconies that utilise LVL and glulam to contribute to a very quick 8 month build time. Tall Wood worked closely with their consultant team, (Peddle Thorp, Enovate, Xigo, eCubed, Olsson and AE Services) to create a project that will bring a new level of quality and affordability to Auckland’s much needed housing supply.

Tall Wood and its partners are actively working on taking the learnings of The Ground and applying it to other sites in Auckland and New Zealand. See

4. Clusters – collaborative events for urban-environment devotees

PrefabNZ is thrilled to welcome Members of BOINZ to attend the regional Cluster events. These collaborative events bring together professionals from across the construction industry for thought-provoking, quick-fire presentations. Sharing knowledge, ideas and innovation with those active in the green urban environment.

Why do people come to Clusters? “Networking, meeting new people, connections + industry presentations.”

What do they love about Clusters? “Informal but informative events around the country, variety of topics, range of speakers + great site tours.”

Join Members of:

  • New Zealand Green Building Council
  • New Zealand Institute of Architects
  • New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors
  • Architectural Designers New Zealand
  • Institution of Professional Engineers NZ
  • Building Officials Institute of New Zealand
  • PrefabNZ
  • and New Zealand Institute of Building

The next Clusters are:

Wed 18 October in Dunedin. 4.30 – 6.30pm

Thur 23 November in Rotorua. 4.30 – 6.30pm

For more information and to register see:

5. Tallest engineered timber office building for Wellington

The news that property developer Sir Bob Jones will build a tall timber commercial building in Wellington is a big step forward for engineered-timber in commercial building. PrefabNZ is proud that it’s Members, Studio Pacific Architects are designing this record breaker. What is exciting the engineers here is that in demolishing the existing building, they will leave the existing foundations in place and bolt the new lightweight building structure directly to that. Timber buildings are lighter than concrete or steel buildings, and with good design will perform better in an earthquake. PrefabNZ will be keeping abreast of the process they will be taking with engineers at Dunning Thornton Consultants, in the design and installation of the glue-lam components and CLT panels. See more at

Meet/ learn/ innovate with us today

PrefabNZ delivers strategy, policies and outputs for the innovative construction industry. We’d like to work alongside you to de-risk innovation. Please, join us at an event or get in touch today at

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