After spending more than two decades involved in the New Zealand construction industry, and more than 12 running architectural firm Turner Road Architecture, it was Lee Turner’s experience at the coalface of housing design that led him to start thinking outside the square.
Lee started a new company, Elevate Architectural Transportables, an organisation that is flipping the outdated notion of cheap, flimsy transportable housing on its head and looking towards a future of housing that incorporates a modern take on relocatable homes.
“People were starting to look at other options and I could really see the benefits of a higher-quality prefabricated system,” Lee says. “However, the reputation of transportable prefab homes was not particularly rosy and often brought back memories of cold, flimsy prefab classrooms.”
It was this perception that Lee set out to change, aiming to dispel the notion of low-quality transportable housing and instead develop the concept of cleverly-designed, spacious homes, constructed and finished to a high standard.
Because transportable housing is prefabricated, it is built in a controlled environment, which means the construction process is more streamlined, reduces downtime and wastage and increases build quality.
“We need to look at building methods and models that are more streamlined, cost effective and do not compromise on the health, energy efficiency and quality of a home,” Lee says. “We also believe the aesthetics and spaces of a home are hugely important to the client and community. We don’t want to build prefabricated houses that are the slums of tomorrow.”