One solution gaining great traction nationally and globally which could be considered for Christchurch is the use of prefabricated design solutions. Prefab is a way to create innovative, high-quality buildings on time and within budget.
Prefabrication can potentially offer more for less: more quality for less time on site, more tangible outcomes and less risk, and more energy efficiency for less resource use.
Historical and contemporary prefabricated housing examples suffer from widespread misconceptions, but technology, materials and design are taking the design and construction world by storm, and are proving a key approach to improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity.
Prefab buildings are ideally placed to respond to the Canterbury rebuild as they can deliver built solutions on time, on budget and with a high quality design.
And particularly for Canterbury and the ongoing earthquake risk, prefab housing offers a quickly deployable solution. It is reinforced with structural bracing to withstand transportation so it is very strong and can protect occupants from future earthquakes.
There are a number of RMBF members who have partnered with PrefabNZ, along with other developers and designers, to build the PrefabNZ Canterbury Housing Innovation Park.
The park is a selection of buildings which will showcase permanent materials and quality architectural design using prefab/offsite construction technologies.
The development of the park recognises the importance of quality architectural design that considers “whole-of-life” design using the Lifetime Design concept.
The Lifemark by Lifetime Design is an innovative design-led solution which incorporates common sense design principles that cater to people at every stage of life.
These principles include level entranceways, wider doors and hallways, accessible power points and lights, bathrooms with strengthened walls that can accommodate future handrails and a shower seat, and kitchens with enough space to move around easily.
The park will be a “living billboard” or a “store-front” of houses that can be sold off the plans. It is a great opportunity to show the people of Christchurch, New Zealand and even the world how a city can be rebuilt on time, on budget and designed to cater for the future.
It will open and be free to view from late February 2012.
For more information go towww.lifemark.co.nz.