Issue #8: Autumn 2016

Welcome to the Autumn Issue of the Metrapanel Newspanel.

Although the Metrapanel team were faced with a terrible accident in January, which has devastated us all, we are now able to start looking forward to the year ahead.
The opportunities for prefabrication in the construction industry are exponential, with NZ consents at a record high since 2005 comprising 2,379 new dwellings in February 2016, and the retirement and social housing sectors forecasting a shortfall of 75,000 homes, as well, the new city focus being on multi-unit development, and non-residential activity also at its highest. Along with new classrooms required to accommodate the predicted 107,000 extra students by 2030.

Construction in NZ is boosting the GDP and interest rates are decreasing. Therefore, the need to diversify to combat record high house prices and housing for the surging migrant flows is significant - Metrapanel is the answer!

Highlights from the last quarter were:

  • New BRANZ appraisal obtained
  • Metrapanel is now LIVE on the EBOSS Library 
  • Being a component in the winning Unipod entry
  • ISC website goes live
  • Launch of 3 new plans to keep up with the changing demands of modern family living
  • Getting out and about spreading the word with ICS at the Site Safe Conference; Custom Construction presenting at the PrefabNZ New Plymouth Cluster Meeting; Laing Properties showcasing the use of the Metrapanel IT walls in Housing New Zealand apartments on the Housing Matters – Beacon and PrefabNZ tour.
  • Metrapanel feature on TV3, Story Programme, Tuesday 19 April 2016
  • Custom Construction exhibit at the Taranaki Home and Lifestyle Show

IN THE MEDIA

TV3, Story Programme 19 April 2016

New Zealand Commercial Design Trends Series NZ Vol 31/11

The Whakatane Beacon, 26 January 2016

Metrapanel, a component in winning Unipod entry
An innovative design by Wellington’s First Light Studio has emerged as the winner of the PrefabNZ UniPod design competition. The UniPod is an open-source universally accessible bathroom pod that is designed specifically for multi-unit residential applications, think social housing, retirement villages, and apartment buildings. Metrapanel is specified as both the 36mm ceiling panel and the 36mm double skinned service cavity walls

"As a young company dedicated to producing future-thinking architecture that enhances the wellbeing of people and the environment, we are thrilled to win PrefabNZ’s UniPod competition. Accessible bathroom design too often brings to mind sterile materials, cold grab-rails and clunky fixtures, so we’ve enjoyed the opportunity to show that a universal bathroom pod can be beautiful as well as functional, durable and economical. We focused on creating a bathroom that not only allowed for easy, comfortable use and movement but which would be a truly enjoyable space to be in." says Anna Farrow of First Light Studio

Click here to view their winning entry

Metrapanel is now LIVE on the EBOSS library
EBOSS is an online library of product catalogues from 225 of New Zealand’s leading architectural product suppliers.  It is the most widely used architectural product database in New Zealand. Launching in 2007, architects and architectural designers quickly adopted it as the Internet resource for architectural product literature and drawings. In recent years EBOSS has seen significant growth in registrations from the large New Zealand trade audience.  Metrapanels’ decision to become a part of the library was a simple one – to get in front of as many specifiers as possible and arm them with the technical information and knowledge to go back to their clients with confidence in the product they are recommending.

Beacon Housing Matters with PrefabNZ Prebuilt Site Tour 
Housing Matters is a series of workshops and site visits to bring investors, designers, developers, builders, researchers, regulators and planners together to share information, explore case studies, develop opportunities for collaboration, and focus on solutions for quality housing development in Canterbury. 
 
Metrapanel Platinum Installer - Laing Properties were involved in a recent event on 9 March in Christchurch, they wish to thank all those who attended the event.  It included an opportunity to visit a recently completed HNZ apartment complex by Laing Properties using the Metrapanel inter-tenancy wall system. These units highlight the advantages of the Metrapanel IT wall system, STC rating of 61, 30min two way fire wall.  The HNZ apartment block viewed has a multi-use consent.  Laing Properties carried out the project management and build of this project.  The Metrapanel System is BRANZ Appraised for up to 2-storeys based on the scope of the Design and Construction Manual.  If your requirements are outside of this they will need to be engineered based on the site specifications. 

IN THE OFFICE

Metrapanel has a strong focus on establishing and developing solid working relationships with Strategic Partners and this last quarter has become an associate member of…

RVA
The Retirement sector is a growth area that Metrapanel is focused on. Having built six retirement villages and four hospitals over time, Metrapanel have been able to perfect the offering, alongside Installers and Developers to achieve strong case studies and testimonials. Now an associate member of the RVA ‘Retirement Villages Association’, Metrapanel is involved in opportunities directly with retirement village owners and have been able to educate through speaking engagements.  The Retirement Villages Association’s strength and position in New Zealand comes from its combined village membership which accounts for more than 95% of all registered villages in New Zealand. 

With a total industry investment approaching $106bn (and growing daily), the RVA is the industry’s authoritative voice in New Zealand, looking after members and the well-being of more than 32,000 retirement village residents The Retirement Villages Association has forecast that operators will need to build 800-1,200 dwellings annually to meet rising demand as New Zealanders age, based on an average village of 150 dwellings, this would mean a further 30,000 homes would be needed by 2030.

80 retirement villas constructed with Metrapanel
“We have experienced no problems or damage with villa’s constructed of this material, which has resulted in tens of thousands of dollars saved in unnecessary repair costs when refurbishing villas. We would highly recommend this product to any future purchasers”. Henry Van Dyk, Trust Board Chairman, Rangiura Retirement Village and Home for the Elderly

100 homes and a private hospital constructed with Metrapanel
“The walls have an excellent smooth internal finish and because the walls are 36mm thick it is very difficult to sustain damage and therefore the repair and maintenance of everyday use is minimal. Our residents often comment on how warm the houses are in the winter and cool in the summer”. Claire Neshat, Manager, Althorp Village

IN THE FIELD

From Retirement Villages and student accommodation, to the first home buyer and architecturally designed homes, Metrapanel can be used to provide a durable structure built 30-50% faster than traditional methods.
A variety of projects captured over the last quarter are:

The clients were a young family, who wanted a future-proof, smart, functional, modern and energy efficient home. This 122sqm home was originally based off of a standard plan but altered and redesigned by Forever Architecture and constructed by Fusion Homes.  The strength, speed of construction, premium finish and the size of the panels, which meant no plaster joins in their bedrooms, were the main influences in their decision to build using the Metrapanel System.

Perched high on a steep site in the Port Hills of Christchurch, this unique home is supported by a strong timber pole foundation and steel subfloor.  The site itself proved challenging, with the construction of robust retaining walls and City Council and Engineering requirements for hill builds in Christchurch.  When first entering the home you notice the spaciousness, with the raking ceiling in the main living area and also featuring high windows for additional light.  Both the master bedroom and bedroom two have French doors that open out onto a deck, highlighting a fantastic view across the city.  With a bathroom for the children and an ensuite off the master bedroom for the adults, this home is compact, however utilizing the Metrapanel System provides extra floor space throughout.

In January, Metrapanel sent another four villas down to McKenzie Village in Geraldine. Metrapanel has been proudly associate with the McKenzie Village for the past five years, Maxim Construction is the local Metrapanel Installer in Geraldine having completed 45 units in this village to date.

Over the past two years we have completed 158x2 storey apartment units for HNZ in the Christchurch region alone.  The final five units were delivered in February.  These units highlight the advantages of the Metrapanel IT wall system, STC rating of 61, and 30min two way fire wall.  

IN THE COMMUNITY

Andrew Boyd, a long standing member of the Metrapanel Board of Advisors and also the Chief Executive of HealthShare Ltd, is a very busy man.  He manages the regional shared services organisation that supports five District Health Boards, 12,000 health and care professionals and 884,000 health consumers within the Midland Region.

He has decided to step out of his comfort zone by abseiling down the iconic Deloitte Building, in Hamilton on 12 June. He is raising money for the Foundation for Youth Development who facilitate inspirational, effective programmes proven to bring positive changes to the lives of young New Zealanders. 

"I've jumped out of a perfectly well functioning aircraft and bungy jumped off bridges, but I have never walked down the side of a slippery glass office block. I trust the Abseil Team will find some particularly strong ropes to support the HealthShare team 'drop their boss'.  ”said Andrew

Current Andrew has raised over $1000 for FYD but they are looking at raising $30,000 from the event.  Click here to follow the link if you are wanting to donate.  Good luck Andrew from the Metrapanel Team.

Click here to read the article in the Waikato Times

IN THE INDUSTRY   

The Metrapanel System is already here and has been for the last 25 years! Having provided and installed panel for over 9,000 homes nationwide, with a strong history boasting only positive experiences and a current network of 15 Licensed Installers and 126 Certified Builders, we have a factory capacity to take on extended growth throughout New Zealand, however we are still looking for some more key installers to hand these opportunity over to.  Please contact Melissa Savage if you have any queries or would like to discuss this opportunity in further detail. 

Where can you see Metrapanel out and about:
• Metrapanel, ICS and Laing Properties are exhibiting at the BuildNZ Expo 4 – 6 August

IN THE PRODUCT RANGE

Literature Update
The Metrapanel System updated BRANZ Appraisal #364 (2015), Issue Date:21 December 2015, along with the latest version of the Design & Construction Manual V1 are available now.  You can access both documents through the Technical Library on the Metrapanel website.

Please note, these MUST replace any previous versions you may be using.  If you have any questions or require a login for the technical library contact Rachel Ferregel.

New Plans
Along with Installer feedback, we have now completed three new plans.  Regular requests had been received for design options incorporating two lounges for the predominant target market of growing families.  Whilst still meeting the focus of a sophisticated modern suburban style home. These are available to view on our website on both mono-pitch and hip and gable roof line plans. 

Matipo
This 4 bedroom, 237m2 plan boast a generous living and dining area with a separate office and 2nd closed off living area and laundry.

Hihi
This 3 bedroom, 215m2 plan has a large open plan kitchen, living and dining along with a 2nd living area and separate office.
Kokako
The 3 bedroom, 174m2 plan is a great for a first home or investment property.   This compact design features an open plan living area that opens onto a central courtyard.

IN THE TEAM

Click here to view Metrapanel Licensed Installer Profiles and Show Home locations.

New Certified Builder Training
We held our first North Island training for the year on the 8 April, this was attended by 12 builders from three different installers from as far away as Geraldine and Whangarei.  It is great to see more and more builders enhancing their skill set and knowledge by becoming Metrapanel Certified.  We now have 126 Certified Builders throughout the country.

If you are interested to learn more about becoming a Metrapanel Certified Builder or a Metrapanel Licenced Installer please follow the links and send your Expression of Interest to Metrapanel System Business Manager, Melissa Savage

Factory Accident
Metrapanel has had a rough start to the year.  We had a fatal accident in our factory in January, and we are devestated to have lost a friend and colleague...

“ We thought of you today, but that is
nothing new.  We thought about you
yesterday, and the day before that too.
We think of you in silence, we often
speak your name. All we have are
memories and pictures in a frame.
God has you in His arms now,
and you’re forever in our hearts… “

NEXT UPDATE IN August 2016 – Winter Issue!

Until then, have a great few months and feel free to give Melissa Savage, Business Manager a call direct on 07 828 2077 or email melissa@metrapanel.co.nz , to discuss any projects or opportunities you would like to investigate with Metrapanel.