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Deputy PM Opens Matrix Homes’ Trentham Factory

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English Opens Matrix Homes’ Trentham Factory

In the 1970s the GM factory in Trentham turned out old-school Vivas and Chevettes. Today it was re-opened by the Hon Bill English with a role better suited to the 21st century - building homes.

Matrix Homes was established last year by Wellington entrepreneur Sean Murrie and architect Graeme Farr to produce quality affordable homes for two thirds the cost of traditional building methods.

Matrix Homes’ managing director Sean Murrie said, “Matrix Homes came about from our belief that New Zealanders pay millions more than they should for housing due to inefficient practices and markets.

“Our mission is to put that right by redesigning the build process. We set out to drastically reduce the cost of a new home without sacrificing the quality you expect in what is most people’s largest investment. By re-engineering the whole build process from the ground up, Matrix have made a quantum leap forward in affordability and quality.”

Matrix Homes are not built on-site but under cover in the Trentham factory. This enables work to continue irrespective of the weather. The cost-savings are achieved through greater efficiencies: economy of scale in sourcing building materials, standardised modular construction and no down time.

“Traditional ‘affordable’ housing focuses on reducing the cost of materials and results in a home that forever looks cheap. Matrix is a proper wood-framed house with timber weatherboards, cedar cladding is an option, Gib lined and with a galvanized iron roof. So far we’ve designed dozens of Matrix configurations for the three standard modules.

A range of sustainable options are also available including a full off-grid package including solar hot water heating and a self-contained wastewater system,” Sean Murrie said.

“With Matrix you get factory quality control and eliminate ad hoc on-site improvisation. Our design incorporates standardised window sizes enabling phenomenal savings. Assembling floors and walls on pre-built jigs has virtually eliminated the tape measure – the biggest single source of time and material wastage. Materials are pre-cut and perfect with each component optimised and identical.

“More often than not, your new home will be completed by the time you have planning consent and completed your site preparation. We can deliver virtually anywhere in the country and the modular format enables you to expand your home at a later date if required.”

Prices range from $89,000 for a one bedroom home of 51 m2, $99,000 for a 70m2 2 bedroom home to $195,000 for a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home of 140 m2. Pricing includes floor coverings, painting, oven, cook top, range hood, laundry tub, corner shower, hand basins and vanity units, heated towel rail and extractor fan. Transport, piles and installation are in addition. While homebuyers are responsible for site preparation, Matrix can organise this on their behalf.

Homebuyers can personalise their home by selecting options including decks, garages and heat pumps and the like.

When the factory reaches full production, economies of scale will enable the costs to be further reduced to around half that of a same sized house build on-site.

The factory currently employs six people fulltime with that number expected to grow to 70 by the end of this year.

Sean Murrie said, “A Show Home has been completed and the concept has attracted considerable interest from home buyers and property developers and we are now completing the final design details for a large number of customers. By the end of 2015, we expect to be building one house per day and are aiming for 1,000 per year when the factory reaches full production. Realising this goal will help contribute to lowering the cost of new housing and develop a sustainable manufacturing business in the Hutt Valley.”

ENDS

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