Christchurch, New Zealand, homebuilders form new company NZ Panelised to manufacture prefabricated walls, floors and roof panels; JV partners Spanbuild and Mike Greer homes plan to complete factory in Rolleston by December

WELLINGTON, New Zealand , March 6, 2014 (press release) – Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says Canterbury is leading the way for how the construction sector will work in the rest of New Zealand with innovative approaches to housing manufacturing starting to appear.

Mr Brownlee and the Prime Minister John Key today attended the announcement of a joint venture between two Christchurch-based companies to build and operate New Zealand’s first major panelised building factory.

Major building manufacturer Spanbild, and New Zealand’s largest privately owned group home builder Mike Greer Homes, today announced that their new company, NZ Panelised, will manufacture pre-constructed walls, floors and roof panels that will significantly increase the productivity and efficiency of buildings.

Mr Brownlee says New Zealand is facing unprecedented construction demand, half of which is housing.

“It makes sense for the construction sector to start looking more closely at alternative building methods to manage demand without compromising on quality.”

A panelised building is a structure built in panels and assembled to form the entire building. They are manufactured in a factory controlled environment and assembled on site, usually within three days.

“I’m supportive of any enhancements that can build homes faster, cheaper and on time,” Mr Brownlee says.

“This pre-fabricating approach will have significant economic and sustainability benefits, not just for Christchurch and Auckland where demand for housing is very high, but ultimately for all New Zealanders looking for affordable and attainable housing.”

NZ Panelised is making a significant investment in a world-class factory using German equipment. The factory, to be completed by December 2014, will be built at Rolleston’s Izone industrial park and progressively employ up to 75 staff supporting production of up to 1000 houses and buildings a year.

Mr Brownlee says although the opportunity for building innovations and solutions always exists, there’s no doubt the Canterbury earthquakes have provided the impetus for traditional building methods to evolve.

“I’m excited to see this kind of innovation happening between Christchurch businesses.

“It creates certainty out of uncertainty and will have enormous benefits for housing construction and homeowners across New Zealand.”

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