We’re not happy with cost and time of the architectural design & build process so are constantly looking for ways to improve the delivery of projects. Reducing the cost and time of architectural builds was one of our founding principles and something we continually strive to improve on.
It’s often about matching the right way to build with the constraints of the site, brief and budget. The holy grail is to offer certainty of timescale, cost, quality and spec. We’re making great progress towards these aims as we introduce more pre-fabrication to our mix and use different construction systems, many often inspired from houses abroad, and all fully compliant to the NZ building code of course.
This year is a very exciting time for us as we move into prefabrication facilities and ramp up our use of off-site fabrication. We are often presented with sites that are difficult for builders, suppliers, trades to work on, which slows down the process and leads to multiple inefficiencies, not to mention scaffolding costs and health and safety worries!
Moving the bulk of construction off-site speeds up construction, improves quality (no rain to swell timber), reduces the cost of labour and trades and leads to a faster, better quality product. Depending on transport and crane costs it is usually less expensive to build, though the cost to build also depends on the complexity of the design, something that is often hard to quantify!
We are also doing more construction with different foundation systems such as ‘screw-piles’ and structural insulated panels (SIP). The goal is to make construction more akin to modern production line assembly – clean, accurate, fast and lean – just like Nat our Construction Manager (there are two of them so you can figure out which one…)!