Innovation in construction

The New Zealand construction sector has a productivity challenge. Over the past 25 years the industry has ranked the second highest in GDP growth, but only ninth in labour productivity growth. Innovation is vital to increase our productivity and for us to achieve a productive and profitable sector, we need to embrace new ways of constructing.

This webinar was recorded on 18 May 2022. It includes speakers from KiwiRail, Offsite Design, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities and QOROX.

Webinar video

Improving productivity through innovation

While there are pockets of innovation happening across the construction industry, it’s still challenging for new ideas to break through. To improve our productivity, we need to create an innovation ecosystem, where new tools, products, practices and technologies are constantly developed, tested and shared across the industry.

As part of the Accord’s Towards High Performance webinar series, experts from government and industry shared case studies and advice about some of the technologies and practices that they are championing across our sector. Speakers covered a variety of key issues, including why innovation is important for the construction sector, how we are advancing across different industries and some of the current barriers to innovation.

Key speakers

Derek Jannings – Digital Engineering Programme Manager, KiwiRail

KiwiRail's digital engineering programme is on a mission to deliver a number of innovative initiatives to enable long term digital transformation of the organisation and its supply chain. Derek shared KiwiRail's journey using Building Information Modelling technology (BIM) to reduce construction risks and improve productivity on new rail projects, including its industry-leading digital shields technology.

Johann Betz – Founder and Director, Offsite Design

Offsite Design leads the design, manufacture and delivery of prefabricated timber buildings – from small residential homes to multi-storey commercial structures. This kind of prefabrication can help improve efficiency and productivity in the design and construction sector. Johann talked about why off-site construction is important for New Zealand and shared his advice for others in the sector looking to explore this approach.

Rohan Bush – Director of Building Sustainability Innovation and Standards, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities

Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities is New Zealand's largest residential builder and being at the forefront of innovation is key to building more homes for Kiwis. Using off-site manufacturing, such as factory-built bathrooms and laundries, Kāinga Ora can provide more quality homes at a faster rate for people who need them. Rohan shared some of the lessons learnt during their journey with off-site manufacturing and what’s next for the agency’s construction future.

Wafaey Swelim – Director, QOROX

QOROX is a cutting-edge technology company that aims to revolutionise our construction industry through 3D printing. For the first time in New Zealand, QOROX has constructed a hybrid timber and concrete house with 3D printed concrete walls. Wafaey explained how they created the house and some of the challenges they’ve had to overcome in developing this technology.

Last updated: 23 May 2022