25 Feb 2014

Plan for prototype fabricated house

8:00 am on 25 February 2014

Fletcher Building says it expects to have a prototype fabricated house within the next 12 months.

New Zealand's largest listed company, which is undertaking much of the Canterbury repair and rebuild work, has been looking around the world at the technology of mass-produced houses.

The housing market is under pressure due to demand for houses, particularly in Christchurch and Auckland, where much of the immigration inflow is concentrated.

Fletcher Building chief executive Mark Adamson says one of the big issues is whether these houses would be accepted here. He says the technology is possible and the funding is available to support it, but the company needs to ensure the marketing and product is right so it has resonance with the New Zealand consumer.

Mr Adamson says the project team is expected to develop a prototype house within the next 12 months.

He says Fletcher Building will probably use its own residential building section as a test and construct some of the houses on its existing land lots, in order to test the market.

Mr Adamson says the bulk of the materials, if not all, will come from New Zealand.