PrefabNZ's Pamela Bell's top sixteen from 2016

1. WOW – how about Chris Moller on Grand Designs New Zealand?! PrefabNZ is so proud of our Deputy Chair and founding member. Showcasing a huge range of innovative construction techniques to the nation: from precast panels to imported SIPs, to light-gauge steel backpack housing to locally-grown CNC-fabricated Click-raft mezzanines – big ups to local content!

2. The UNIpod unveiling – yes you saw it here first at CoLab 2016 – an open-source utility pod, universal bathroom on one side, designer kitchen on the other. Huge congratulations to our competition winners FirstLight Studio and to prototype lead Stanley Group, plus all the other amazing partners that brought the concept to reality. You can see the UNIpod next at the NZIA's in:situ 9 -11 Feb and INEX 31 Mar - 1 April 30 in Auckland

3. We ‘heart’ young disruptors – like Makers of Architecture, showing the mainstream old-school that you CAN be the manufacturers AND the designers – just watch them!

4. Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Architecture and Design's new digital research laboratory featuring a massive robotic arm – brought to life by Kevin Sweet and the forward-thinking team led by Joanna Merwood-Salisbury

5. BRANZ’s ‘counter-sync’ closed door conversations about mobilizing a revolution – here’s a few snippets

This is a complex industry—we need to take the time to explore further...

Let’s take action, the answers are in the room!

This industry needs more of the leadership that provokes different ways of thinking!

6. The limited edition commemorative HIVE CH book was launched at CoLab 2016 – documenting Christchurch’s first Home Innovation Village and advocating for a permanent housing village – see Pam’s Architecture Now Try before you buy piece – bring on the light rail, light meal and wine

7. Kiwi CLT hits the trans-Tasman BIG-time – go XLam and welcome as a new Platinum Partner at PrefabNZ – you are prefabulous!

8. Our friends over the ditch at prefabAUS dialed-in to the Australia Research Council funding for the Centre for Advanced Manufacturing of Prefabricated Housing, aka CAMP.H at the University of Melbourne – how awesome is that ?!

9. The good folk at BRANZ backed an investigation into disruptive business models in the construction industry – reported by two smart cookies, Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Dr Ant Pelosi

10. PrefabNZ unveils its new-look responsive website and map-based Directory – have you updated your listing lately? – see

11. Slick infographics – it’s not that we think you can’t read, but as they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ –

12. Retirement housing development pipeline goes ballistic – see the updated RaSHpipe infographic and the latest Jones Lang LaSalle report via our friends at the Retirement Villages Association

“…the Auckland region captures approx.. 45% of the development pipeline recorded as at the end of 2016, with 7,146 units, followed by 14% and 2,190 units in Canterbury, and 9% and 1,343 units in the Bay of Plenty.”

13. The world went crazy for tall timber with CLT the unofficial sexiest material around – check out Vancouver’s Brock Commons, the tallest wood building at the end of 2016

14. New PrefabNZ board members Ree Anderson, Leah Singer and Lauren Christie – we're stoked to be promoting gender and age diversity. Now we need an ethnic shake-up – make sure you throw your hat in the ring when we call for board nominations after CoLab in April – see

15. Loads of international reports point to offsite construction as an integral part of the solution to the global affordable housing crisis

16. Rounding out the year with new awesomeness at PrefabNZ – hello to Alice, Brittany and Heidi – our new super-power-team tackling communications, membership, partnerships with secret powers – kapow!

Top-three sneak-a-peak for 2017:

Thanks to the good folks at BCITO, CHH Woodproducts and CareersNZ, we’ve created the ‘hiTECH’ video that will place prefab construction technology on the map as a career option for young people

Swedish-goodness – multi-family, medium-density, engineered-timber, housing expert

Collaborative CoLab – thanks to friends at NZIOB – join us March 21-22 in Auckland for more interactive fun and brain-strain

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