Good design plays a fundamental part in creating quality homes at a more accessible cost. “We are fed up with building for only one per cent of the market in New Zealand. As an industry, we’re fantastic at creating architectural homes for the top end, but we are failing at the economy end.”
At the moment, the cost of a Box home ranges from $2,000 to $5,000 per square metre, and that’s something they’re working hard to lower as they develop further efficiencies and drive the conversation around building better.
“What we’re doing is something very similar to the car industry where you use a set of standardised components and details and then offer a set of customisations,” Dan says. “Each house is detailed in the same way, which means the components can be manufactured at scale so the structure of each of our houses is very similar and the way they are put together can be repeated; it is only the customisations that differ, and this allows us a much more lean offsite manufacturing process.”
Building and designing a home with standardised components can often cause people to choose other options, but this is readily based on misunderstanding of the principles of this sort of building, Dan says. “Standardisation and uniformity are two very different things. Standardisation doesn’t mean every house is going to end up looking exactly the same, in fact, each house will vary greatly. It’s this conversation we are trying to start to change people’s mindsets about this way of building.
“Because of the costs of building, we have reached a tipping point where architecture is really relegated to a very select few.” People are instead opting to remove costs and choosing to use group home builders readily, despite the still high cost of building even with home building companies.
It’s a complex issue to work through, but it’s one Box is tackling house by house as they slowly introduce New Zealanders to concepts that have had a polarising effect on residential architecture around the world, and one that could see a much larger part of the population able to enjoy architecturally designed homes.
Visit Box on ArchiPro here to peruse some of their award-winning residential architecture.