Page 8 - HW November 2019
P. 8

hard news
                                                            Fletcher launches OSM plant in Wiri
FLETCHER BUILDING LAUNCHED its highly anticipated Clever Core offsite manufacturing (OSM) plant in Wiri mid last month.
Unsurprisingly, given the Government’s keenness on prefabrication as a way to boost our housing shortage, the launch event featured Megan Woods, Minister for Housing, Jenny Salesa, Minister
for Building & Construction, and newly re-elected Mayor of Auckland, Phil Goff.
Fletcher Building CEO, Ross Taylor, says the new facility will produce “core components for at least 500 new homes each year, including 100 by the end of this calendar year.”
Weather-sealed wall panels, mid-floor and roof cassettes are built on Weinmann machinery using mainly but not exclusively Nelson Pine LVL and contain locally sourced insulation and double- glazed Smart Fit windows.
With wiring and plumbing also already built in, the panels are transferred to site and constructed into a weathertight core on a concrete base by specially trained builders.
In terms of adherence to Code and 6 NZHJ | NOVEMBER 2019
standards, Clever Core is “working closely with Auckland Council to ensure that this new approach
to consenting
meets the
Council’s precise
standards and
establishes clear
‘record of works’ documentation.”
For now, roof cassettes come from
an external frame & truss plant and are assembled manually from stick timber, rather than the LVL Clever Core clearly prefers to use to construct its panels and floor cassettes.
The Clever Core set-up mirrors European operations and like them, offers quicker build times compared to conventional methods, greater quality control and significantly reduced building waste “by as much as 80% per home built”.
The current capacity of the high- tech plant is around two houses a day
with Fletcher Living taking the first 100 houses for its developments at Ormiston, Swanson and Beachlands.
Running at or as close as possible to capacity is how factories like this make sense, financially.
In this respect, Ross Taylor said that although Clever Core will initially exclusively support Fletcher Living developments, group home builders and retirement home operators will also be offered its services after the first year.
To that end, several potential customers of scale joined the attendees at launch.

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