XLAM growth brings prefab prediction

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Prefab buildings touted as part solution to housing shortage - A Nelson- based company that helps make prefabricated buildings has invested $35 million in the business, as it anticipates a boom in the market for prefab homes.

XLam is New Zealand's only manufacturer of cross laminated timber (CLT); panels of layered timber boards used to make certain prefab buildings, which are buildings that can be largely constructed off-site.

The company expects a more than 30 per cent increase in domestic capacity as a result of a $5m upgrade at the Tahunanui plant, which is currently capable of producing enough CLT to build more than eight houses a week.

A $30m XLam factory opened in Australia in March, would also be able to supply timber for the New Zealand market, chief executive Gary Caulfield said.

Demand for the company's products and services had risen dramatically in the last 18 months, and the business was investing in anticipation of further growth, he said.

"Prefabricated buildings offer the potential to address New Zealand's current housing shortage, providing safer, high quality, faster builds."

"We can manufacture a 12 unit apartment block in four days here, and drop it off on site, and somebody can take three months to fill it in."

Savings from faster build times offset higher material costs, Caulfield said.

"We're doing a lot of work with Housing New Zealand at the moment. We've taken the time-scale to build 12,14 apartments from 16 months down to six months. In a commercial sense you pick up a year earlier to market, a year more rental."

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Source: Stuff News

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