Issue #6: Spring 2015

Welcome to the Spring Issue of the Metrapanel Newspanel

Spring is a time for the new growth to push through the hard ground and flourish. Resilience is a big topic in the industry at the moment, whether it be through shoddy workmanship as demonstrated in this article, regarding the rise in failing building inspections in Auckland  Or resilience of the product to the increased frequency of climate change related extreme weather events such as the flooding, storms and even tropical cyclones. The June/July Build Magazine has a fantastic feature section on this topic. 

Metrapanel has been put to the test recently with five houses that were built in Port Vila, Vanuatu by Thermawise. On March 6th 2015 tropical cyclone Pam ripped through this area of the pacific.  Winds officially reached speeds of up to 270km per hour. Unofficially there were reports of a tug boat in Port Vila Harbour that had its anemometer fail at 440km per hour.  Our BRANZ appraisal has Metrapanel rated up to a very high wind zone, this is the equivalent to 180km per hour. So it offically withstood one and half times its rated wind speed, and unofficially two and a half times its rated wind speed.  Grants customer spent a week preparing their five properties before leaving them whilst the cyclone passed through. Two of their tenants moved to other houses where the roofs had been ripped off, but when they came back to their own homes the next day, they found their own five houses perfect, with no structural damage whatsoever.  Many people had been coming up to the property owner to enquire if their houses survived as there was a lot of skepticism when they were building. Congratulations to Grant and his team at Thermawise.  

We feel that producing a modular panel system for 25 years is something to celebrate.  The industry is volatile with turnover of companies in a short time frame and we feel one of our main advantage is standing the test of time and having a proven track record.  We are proud of the history of the panel system spanning 25 year and have developed a video encompassing the journey for you to view. 

Highlights from the last quarter were:

- 6 week turnkey solution perfected for an average 160-180sqm home and proving popular for developments
- New installer enquiry has been huge, particularly in Auckland and Waikato.  If you are interested in finding out more, visit the COME ON BOARD section of the website.
- Metrapanel hosts an intimate 25 year celebration event
- ICS installed 309sqm of ceilings in one day
- Four residential testimonials video’s live on Youtube
- Metrapanel Installer a step ahead, buying land and providing house and land packages that are even more affordable than the affordable housing price caps
- Kbuilt offer investor opportunity for show home 

In the Media

Metrapanel feature in the Element Magazine:

Metrapanel feature in the BOINZ Straight Up Magazine:

Metrapanel feature in the Waikato Business News:

Metrapanel feature in the North Waikato News:

Metrapanel features in Lifemark’s September newsletter:
Metrapanel have teamed up with some of their top installers to showcase what the industry has been looking for; a proven 6 week turnkey solution without compromising on quality.  A strong prefabrication sector will deliver genuine benefits for the whole New Zealand construction industry, encouraging innovation and improved efficiency through this streamlined building process, improving quality and affordability. 25 year panel system manufacturer Metrapanel has proven this statement with three of their Platinum Installers perfecting a 6 week turnkey solution for an average 160-180sqm house with a team of three, and no compromise on quality. Further efficiencies can be made in a factory built environment such as BuiltSmart’s long standing establishment producing 45-153sqm transportable houses in only 4-6 here to read the full newsletter.

Metapanel features in Prefab September newsletter:
Following their recent 25 year celebrations, PrefabNZ member Metrapanel has been working on perfecting a six week turnkey solution for an average 160-180spm house with three of their Platinum installers.  With quality and efficiency being the here to read the full newsletter

New residential testimonial videos live on Youtube:

In the Office

Metrapanel has a strong focus on establishing and developing solid working relationships with Strategic Partners, this last quarter we have been heavily involved with…

Homes designed for a lifetime.
Metrapanel’s partnership with Lifemark™ was established in 2013 and since then it has gone from strength to strength.  During this time Metrapanel has developed our own Envirolife Plans which are both Lifemark™ and Homestar Certified, and Lifemark™ has been involved with Metrapanel Team Events and have been very cooperative in spreading the word about Metrapanel.  Lifemark™ is an independent seal of approval awarded to homes that have been designed and built to achieve specific quality design standards which make them easy and safe to live in – for a lifetime. Supported by the New Zealand Government, Lifemark™ advocate design standards to improve the state of NZ housing, providing design solutions for one of the nation’s most pressing needs – our ageing population. The Lifemark™ is their seal of approval is a set of common sense design standards to deliver quality, reassurance and trust based on 5 key principles; Accessibility, Adaptability, Usability, Safety and Lifetime Value.

Lifemark™ has also just released their Welcome Partner 2015 documents, including all design materials, partner logos, brand guide and now the new Certification Process which has a mini checklist for assessments. Lifemark™ has had great exposure over the last 8 months with the take-off of their Consumer Campaign. Their series of ads ran alongside TV3’s on-demand service and featured in prime-time spot, Grand Designs. The campaign saw a 35% increase in traffic to the Lifemark™ website.

Element Magazine in the NZ Herald has been the most recent exposure which included a feature on how to ‘Future-proof your home’ with the article focusing on how with a bit of forethought, planning and function, a home that has been Lifemark™  Rated can age with you. Metrapanel teamed up alongside Lifemark™ for the feature article as one of the highlighted partners.

Six week turn-around key for the current market
A strong prefabrication sector will deliver genuine benefits for the whole New Zealand construction industry, encouraging innovation and improved efficiency through this streamlined building process, improving quality and affordability. 25 year panel system manufacturer Metrapanel, has proved this statement with three of our Platinum Installers perfecting a 6 week turnkey solution for an average 160-180sqm house with a team of three, and no compromise on quality. Further efficiencies can be made in a factory built environment such as PLB/BuiltSmart’s long standing establishment producing 45-153sqm transportable houses in only 4-6 weeks.

Laminex Taupo thinking outside the box for waste disposal
The Laminex Taupo plant produces particle board from wood waste. Once manufactured, the board is given a sand to final thickness which produces a fine dust similar in consistence to flour.  Some of this dust is used as a fuel in the sites furnace, however; during the warmer months and at times of high production, an excess is produced which for 40 years has been dumped in a local landfill. The private local landfill that had been accepting this waste was due to close in March 2014, the local council landfill didn’t accept this product so Laminex was on the hunt for a viable alternative.  After looking into possible alternatives, bricquettes were agreed to be the most effective.  When compacted, the bricquettes become 2.5 times the density of the raw dust.  A machine was brought in from China and brought up to New Zealand standards along with a few design alterations was ready to go.  Around 1,350 tons of sanderdust per year is now converted from a waste product to a useable biomass fuel source. This was 70% of all Laminex NZ’s entire waste to landfill. The briquettes have undergone thorough laboratory testing for emission levels from burning.  We love Laminex’s commitment to sustainability and commend them on always thinking outside the box.

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:

After installing Metrapanel for many clients and completely understanding the full benefits of the panel system, Danny from Tobeck Builders has now built his own architectural designed 2 story, 5 bedroom, 226sqm executive family home using Metrapanel as the chosen construction system.


True Vision Construction has developed this 51sqm 1 bedroom/1 bathroom METRABatch also perfect for a farm cottage or granny flat.  It is made up of two separate units 7m long by 3.6m wide which can be easily split apart and moved to another site if the owner wishes. It also has a large open plan user friendly kitchen and spacious lounge.  


St Marys Pro Cathedral
A unique project now underway with Fusion Homes and Opus Consulting which will provide a new choir room and office facility for the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament Choir and Music team.  The choir and music team were displaced from its original rooms at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament due to the February 2011 earthquakes.  This new building will provide a state-of-the-art facility for both local and visiting artists. The build is in the early stages at the moment but check out the St Marys Pro Cathedral profile on the project page of our website, to see it all come together. 

Hopetoun Alpha Residence
Eru Cameron from On2It Builders did a great job completing 40 apartment storage lockers for Summit Construction.  A great use of Metrapanel in a small confined space.  Giving the lockers a larger storage area compared to traditional building methods, with the addition security and durability that Metrapanel has to offer.

"Andrew, we really appreciate the way you, Eru and your team produced a quality locker system, you and your team were a pleasure to work with from the start to completion.  The lockers were installed efficiently and the result is an extremely high standard of finish which has resulted in a top quality locker system. We definitely look forward to working with you and your team on upcoming projects."  Allan Roigard, Site Manager - Summit Construction

During the last quarter another 22 Housing NZ units, where erected using the Metrapanel System throughout various locations in Christchurch, Feedback from Housing NZ is that they are very pleased with the projects, as they are on time, and under budget.

The staff and children of Bishopdale Preschool were displaced after their original building was destroyed in the February 2011 earthquake.  Fusion Homes are completing this build with a focus on energy efficiency and sensitive choice.  Looking out for the little tenants of the building and needing the best options for this environment.  


As a result of the phenomenal growth in the building industry, K Built are expanding and looking for a show home investor who would be interested in capitalising on the booming Hamilton property market…read more

Habourside Development
Panelwood Homes is proving that thinking outside the box is a good idea.  Purchasing 6 sections in the seaside location of Mangawhai, and developing a plan that will see two transportable units constructed and then transported together to site, saving $5000 in transportation costs.  All that needs to be done on site is connect the services and build the breezeway connecting the two units.  This fantastically simple and beautiful design is perfect for its seaside location.  

 Eastside Heights
A fantastic new subdivision here in Huntly.  PLB/Builtsmart have undertaken this affordable development with their ‘house and land packages’ starting from $314K.  If you look at a comparison to a similar property we found in Papakura, Auckland a new build ‘house and land package’, four bedroom with two bathroom and a similar sized section is $765K.  You can’t really go past Eastside heights for value for money. If you want to find out more please click here to be directed to the website.  

Metrapanel Ceilings are believed to be 100% safer than traditional nets and scaffolding systems.  ICS has been moving and shaking up the industry; some of their highlights have been completing 2 x 96m2 and 1 x 117m2 ceiling in just one day what an amazing achievement for Brian, Duncan and their team. By utilising Metrapanel ceilings as the failing from heights safety solution for your next project. You can ensure the safety of your staff, subcontractors and tradesmen.  There is no need to watch where you are putting your feet, and no more hassle with installing nets or edge protection! The future of the building industry means creating a bracing element with the ceiling.  There is no wastage, the ceiling acts as a diaphragm which can be used for the internal bracing of the walls.  With a selection of finalist placings in industry awards and the ability to be utilised on steel or stick frame builds, a Metrapanel ceiling in the obvious choice – contact ICS to discuss your requirements 

In the Community

On 2 It Family Trust
The trust was founded in January 2015 by Andrew and Melissa Savage with the vision of supporting the Metra Family/Team in any way we can, to keep our families healthy and safe. The first project for the year was Brad and Anneka’s house.  We were replacing and painting rotten weatherboards, installing a new heat pump, carpeting a bedroom and painting the back porch.  Anneka say “We are so warm and cosy now with our new heat pump and the carpet is fantastic to walk on.  We want to say a huge thank you to Andrew, Melissa and the On2It Family Trust for helping us to achieve a beautiful warm home for our family.” Check out baby Amelia enjoying the new carpet

Metrapanels own Sherryn Olsen is one proud mama at the moment! Her son Caleb has qualified to go the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 as he coxswain for the New Zealand Mens 8.  He has taken to writing a blog about his experience, we look forward to following Caleb’s journey to the podium next year.

The Olympic Dream
A number of people told me that an Olympic qualification regatta will have the best rowing racing you have ever seen. They did not lie. It is truly amazing how the mind can override the body to produce performances far superior to the normal capabilities of a person…read more


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 14 Licensed Installers and 115 Certified Builder, 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:

Tradeline Builders and Marine at the Northland Home and Leisure Show 25-27 September 2015
Kbuilt at the Waikato Home and Garden Show  1 – 4 October 2015
RVA Design & Construction Forum, Wellington 29 October 2015
PrefabNZ Hamilton Cluster Event, 24 November 2015

In the Product Range

NelsonPine Lintel Design Software for New Zealand and Australian Standards
This free powerful design programme is for professional designers, architects and drafts men to assist with certified specification of engineered wood products such as sizing large lintels and lintels for girder loads, for use in the Metrapanel System.  This can be downloaded from their website and contact Nelson Pine directly for more information 

For all Technical information feel free to utilise our Technical Data Library. If you need a password allocated, please email Codi Singer.

To meet the evolving requirements of what a typical modern house design should encompass, we have developed three new plans, these are in the process of being finalised, contact your local installer if you are interested in seeing these once they are completed.

In the Team

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

We are looking forward to our upcoming Installer Focus Group in October where we have the opportunity to involve our installers in the decision making process of our Business Plan for 2016.  This is going to be a great insightful day!

Exciting plans are underway for our next Team Event Conference to be held in February 2016.  We love getting together with our wider national family to celebrate, engage, network, share and have fun over a couple of days.  We look forward to sharing more information with you next year.

Metrapanel System celebrates 25 years
Metrapanel had a fantastic event with an intimate group of key partners and local dignitaries on the 8th July.  We were privileged to have the support of our local mayor Alan Sanson and National Party MP Lindsay Tisch.  It is heart-warming to have such support not only from within our own family but also the Metrapanel family as a whole. We would like to extend our thanks to all of our installers and their teams, suppliers and partners, without you and your support and belief in the product, Metrapanel would not be where it is today. We are excited to see where Metrapanel will be in the next 25 years

Metrapanel System has an active social club.  Our latest outing was to Daytona Indoor Raceway in Hamilton.  We spilt into teams and raced each other for 90 laps.  Everyone’s competitive streaks came out and as the race progressed, drifting, cutting off, spinning out and the odd squeal were common. We then went across the road to the Te Rapa Tavern for a few quiets and some rather larger platters.  

Next update in December 2015 - Summer 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, to discuss any projects or opportunities you would like to investigate with Metrapanel.