Minister for Housing Megan Woods, Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa and Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff attended the official opening of Clever Core on 16 October
Fletcher Building opens New Zealand’s largest offsite home manufacturing facility
Fletcher Building’s new offsite home manufacturing facility, Clever Core, is up and running following an official opening on 16 October with Minister for Housing Megan Woods, Building and Construction Minister Jenny Salesa and newly re-elected Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff.
The high-tech multi-million-dollar facility will accelerate the manufacture of quality homes at scale by producing the core structural components of a
home in a factory environment, in as little as a day.
Manufactured wall, floor and roof components, which contain locally sourced insulation, double-glazed windows and allowances for wiring and plumbing, are then transferred to build sites and constructed into the weathertight core of a house by specially trained builders. This reduces onsite build times by 60%, or from 22 weeks to around 6–10 weeks.
Fletcher Building chief executive officer Ross Taylor says the new facility is a significant advancement in New Zealand’s housing development capability and will support a faster rollout of housing. “Our Clever Core facility will produce core components for at least 500 new homes each year, including 100 by the end of this calendar year.
“It uses ‘design for manufacture and assembly’ principles to streamline the design, consenting and manufacturing process. This not only significantly speeds up build times, but also enables greater quality control and significantly reduces building waste, by as much as 80% per home built,” he explains.
“Clever Core will initially support our Fletcher Living developments, but we plan to extend the offering to group home builders and retirement home operators in the future. Once production is at scale, we believe Clever Core will play a pivotal role in helping the industry deliver more quality, healthy homes that Kiwis love, faster.”
Innovative approach to recruitment
The new high-tech site at Wiri will employ 35 people, from technicians and engineers to carpenters. Many of the new recruits have been employed through Fletcher Building’s award-winning Switch Up programme, which gets young first-time job-seekers into paid work and training opportunities. Specialist training will be provided for Clever Core employees in collaboration with industry training organisations.
The new facility is a significant advancement in New Zealand’s housing development capability and uses ‘design for manufacture and assembly’ principles to streamline the design, consenting and manufacturing process
“We are proud to match this ground-breaking facility with an innovative approach to recruitment, which is focused on supporting our next generation into the workforce,” says Mr Taylor.
Clever Core componentry is expected to bring unprecedented pace to Fletcher Living’s ability to deliver housing to its developments across Auckland. Its first order of 100 homes is set to be delivered and finished by the end of the year.
New approach to consenting componentry
Fletcher Living’s developments at Ormiston, Swanson and Beachlands are the first to receive Clever Core structural components, which will speed up delivery and allow people to move in before Christmas. These houses will be indistinguishable in appearance from their traditionally built neighbours once the exterior claddings and facia are added and internal fitouts are completed.
Clever Core is working closely with Auckland Council to ensure that this new approach to consenting componentry meets the council’s precise standards and establishes clear ‘record of works’ documentation.
The facility has been set up with state-of-the-art health and safety features and designed with exciting new technologies, including sonar controls on the overhead cranes, and purpose-designed equipment from German manufacturer Weinmann.
Clever Core by the numbers
- • One day – the time it takes to manufacture wall, floor and roof panels that comprise the ‘structural core’ of a home
- • 35 – the number of new jobs created
- • 60% – the reduction in onsite build time (from 22 to 6–10 weeks)
- • 80% – the reduction in construction waste through using precision-build technology
- • 500 homes – the number of new homes that will be built using core components produced by the facility
- • $15 million – the capital investment in the facility.