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SNUG Design Competition

Introducing the SNUG - a PrefabNZ design competition for 'a home in my backyard'

The SNUG is a complementary dwelling for your back garden - somewhere that can be a home for your children as they adventure out into independent living, a safe place for extended family members, or a work-space to provide an alternative to commuting. 

PrefabNZ has delivered design competitions before. In 2015-16, the UNIpod utility pod became the world's first open-source design for a bathroom and kitchen pod. The competition was won by FirstLightStudio and a prototype was built by Stanley Group together with a range of sponsorship partners - thank you! See more about the UNIpod here. 

The SNUG competition was launched in March 2018 to open up the conversation about alternative housing options. The end result will be a pattern-book selection of finalists so that prospective homeowners can pick-and-choose the SNUG option that suits them and their backyard. Keep your eyes peeled for the magazine profile later in 2018. Read on for more information about why the SNUG competition is important and importantly, how you can be involved in generating these housing solutions. 

The bad news shows that New Zealanders have not got enough affordable housing options. There are record low levels of home ownership. There are a growing number of 1-2 person households. And the market is dominated by large homes with over-inflated average floor areas (250m2) that don't meet our needs. We're also not getting any younger...

  • By 2030, New Zealand's social and built environment will change in dramatic ways

  • 75,000 social and retirement housing units are needed by 2030

  • Current delivery rate is up to 3,000 units per annum so a shortage of about 30,000 homes is forecast by 2030

  • There is a need for a fit-for-purpose, on-time, on-budget built response

  • Key challenges are in bite-sized innovation that can be readily absorbed into business-as-usual

(Source: PrefabNZ Social + Retirement Housing Pipeline, 2015)

The good news shows that we have the potential to address part of the affordability problem with smaller, smarter, answers, such as secondary home options:

  • There are 180,000 'hidden homes' in New Zealand - with huge potential to meet our housing needs through partitioning and other Accessory Dwellings

  • Almost 11 percent of New Zealand's housing stock is significantly under-utlitised and could be partitioned to deliver 180,000 additional dwellings

  • Those additional dwellings could be delivered without impinging on greenfield sites

(Source: CRESA, Report on Accessory Dwelling Units + Partitioning, 2018) 

SNUG Winners and Finalists

We were thrilled to recognise the SNUG home design competition finalists, winners and special prize awards together with Mayor Phil Goff of Auckland. Thanks to our fantastic SNUG teams, SNUG competition partners and SNUG commercial partners. See the full list of award recipients below: 

  • People's Choice Award Winner: Flip SNUG

       First Light Studio with Panelwood + Victoria University student Brittany Irvine

  • International Judge's Award Winner: Porch SNUG

       Studio Pacific Architecture with LT McGuiness + student Oliver Shand

Six SNUG Winners

       First Light Studio with Panelwood + Victoria University student Brittany Irvine

       Portabuild with Shepherd & Rout Architects + student Charlie Devine

       Litegreen with Barry Connor Architect + student Mathew Grayling

       Aonui Architects with Red Stag + student Jennifer Koat

       Catalyst Homes with Jessamine Fraser Architect + student Juan Blas Pedeira

       QuikFab with Alessandro Quadrelli Architect + student Kerryn Elliot

Six SNUG Finalists

       Pacific Environments with Tallwood + student Emily Pearce

       EasyBuild + student Ged Finch

       Makers of Architecture + student Glen Stricot-Tarbotan

       Studio Pacific Architecture with LT McGuiness + student Oliver Shand

       Sanctum Architecture with Potius + student Caitlin Palmer

       Pourakino with NZ SIPs + student Olive Sly

SNUG Overview

In 2015, PrefabNZ, the heart of innovative construction in New Zealand, launched a design competition for an open-source universal bathroom pod, the UNIpod. Now in 2018, we bring you the next round, the SNUG - A Home in My Backyard.

The need for a range of SNUG solutions is backed up by a recent report under the National Science Challenge 11, Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities (BBHTC). This report has identified that New Zealand has potential for 180,000 additional dwellings created through partitioning by refurbishing existing homes and other forms of additional newly-built Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).

To add fuel to the fire for the urgency of creating more solutions, we can see that Multi-Generational Housing (MGH) is a growing trend worldwide: 

  • 57 million Americans (18.1% of the United States population) lived in MGHs in 2012 (Fry & Passel, 2014)

  • 4.3 million Australians (19% of the population) lived in MGHs in 2011 (Liu and Easthope, 2012)

  • In NZ since 2001, the number of people living in extended family households has increased by 57 percent to 496,383 people (11% of population) in 2013.

(Source: BRANZ report Meeting the housing needs of multi-generational households)

Please see Competition Outline and Judging Brief here.

SNUG Dates

  • The winner of People's Choice will be announced on 15 November 2018

  • SNUG Home finalists and winners will be awarded on 15 November 2018

  • Why focus on offsite manufacturing now?
    You’ve all heard about sustainability. Now productivity is the new buzz-word at government and strategic construction industry level. Prefabrication is a key approach to improve efficiency, effectiveness and productivity in the design and construction sector. OffsiteNZ is aiming to be the point-of-contact for government-level strategy in this area. The latest BRANZ Industry Needs Survey shows how important prefabrication is in the current industry climate. OffsiteNZ is building on an innovative and rich history of prefabrication in NZ – from large-scale government investment in infrastructure projects (such as hydro-electric scheme housing) to some of the first one-piece fibreglass bathrooms (from Industrialised Building Systems in the 1970s). Today we are riding the wave of renewed interest in prefabrication through the ‘green modern offsite’ and ‘offsite’ movement around the world. NZ is home to new-generation offsites such as bachkit, port-a-bach, HABODE, ipad and k-bach, with many more in the wings. There is no doubt that a lot is happening in the offsite world, but often it is happening in isolation. There is a clear need to coordinate, inform and in many cases, re-educate. The timing is right to build on OffsiteNZ’s current profile, to join forces, create collaborations and market ourselves to the world.
  • What makes offsite manufacturing so special?
    Offsite manufacturing is an agent for innovation and can offer higher-quality, more timely and cost-effective built solutions to clients. Unless you know about the range of available options, you won’t be able to benefit from them!
  • How exactly does offsite manufacturing improve quality?
    By constructing parts (components, panels, modules and/or complete buildings) in a controlled environment, away from inclement weather, where worker and resource use can be closely monitored and enhanced. “This type of construction method allows for greater quality control, as faults can be identified early and easily managed and addressed placing more professionalism back into the industry” Collin Clench (Performance Assurance Manager, Hutt City Council).
  • How does offsite manufacturing save time?
    By constructing parts off site (in a factory or yard) at the same time as on site construction takes place.
  • I thought offsite manufacturing was meant to be cheaper. How does offsite manufacturing save money?
    Offsite manufacturing is primarily a way to a higher quality built solutions. It is possible to save money by repeating elements or details, reusing templates or jigs, and other efficiencies in a controlled environment
  • Why is offsite manufactured housing a good solution for post-earthquake conditions?
    Offsite manufactured housing offers a quickly deployable solution. It is used for replacement housing that is either temporary or permanent. Temporary housing can be re-used at other sites or sold through second-hand or recycled trading posts such as TradeMe. Offsite manufactured housing that is a modular or complete building form is reinforced with structural bracing to withstand transportation so it is very strong and can protect the occupants from future earthquakes. There is a good supply of offsite manufactured housing in New Zealand, both made here and imported from offshore.
  • Don't all buildings look the same when built offsite?
    Surprisingly, even cultures that appear to have more homogeneity than our own (such as Japan) claim that each offsite building is unique. As a general rule, the smaller the component, the greater the variation, and computer-aided-design enables customisation by clients. We have moved from an era of ‘mass-standardisation’ in the mid-20th-century to an era of ‘mass-customisation’ today
  • But isn't an offsite manufactured building flimsy, temporary and mobile?"
    Not anymore! Past offsite manufactured buildings may have had one or all of these attributes but today the use of the computer for mass-customisation enables a variety of high-quality products to be designed, fabricated and constructed.
  • What's so great about joining OffsiteNZ?
    Lots of tangible stuff (web, e-news, database, events etc.) but also, you get to connect your business with other industry players to either buy or sell offsite manufacturing systems, technologies and production capabilities from or to related product and service providers.
  • How will joining OffsiteNZ help develop my business?
    Joining OffsiteNZ puts you in touch with the offsite manufacturing industry in NZ. Your organisation will benefit from an increased awareness of current research and development initiatives and possible collaborations and joint ventures with like-minded, compatible businesses. Why re-invent the wheel…
  • When is the best time to consider offsite manufactured options?
    Learn about offsite manufactured options NOW so you have them in your offsite manufactured tool-box. Consider offsite manufactured options as EARLY in the design process as possible. Meet with specifiers, potential contractors and the client early in the design process to find out when the design needs to be frozen, for potential offsite manufactured benefits to be maximised.
  • Why will offsite manufacturing work now when it has failed in the past?
    Today we have learnt from past mistakes and understand that it takes more than great design – marketing and financial factors are crucial at start-up. We also have improved technologies (computer to machinery fabrication) and the market demand is there due to increased global offsite manufacturing awareness since the early 2000s.
  • How can offsite manufacturing be a more sustainable construction option?
    In a controlled environment it is possible to minimise material waste through careful use and re-use, and to achieve minimal construction tolerances to prevent energy loss (and reduce running costs).
  • What does BIM and inter-operability have to do with offsite manufacturing?
    Industry buzz-words BIM (building information management) and inter-operability are ways for the industry to collaborate during the design and construction process, by working off a shared digital model with components (or panels or modules) traceable from design to fabrication to installation. This process is more efficient and productive. Many see this as the way of the future.
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