Hybrid Construction Component Portable Infrastructure Solution Research

Project commenced:

The original research pilot for this project arose out of a desire to make the transition for many whānau relocating from their city/urban lives back home, as comfortable as possible. It was felt that this could be best achieved by facilitating access to innovative solutions for essential infrastructure technologies, which would enhance the quality of life (and death) experienced by our whānau. To this end the project identified needs related to water capture and storage, energy generation and waste management.

The extension of these research findings involved the design of an implementable solution and the incorporation of innovative technologies that met identified needs in portable stand-alone solution for papakāinga developments. This solution was to be paired with existing applications of Uku technologies to produce a result that delivered the best possible outcome for the construction of Uku spaces for sleeping and living.

A hybrid whareuku portable container solution that incorporated innovative technologies and met identified needs was designed and can now be built, aligning with the contemporary building requirements of Councils. The design is conceptual, technically feasible, and can be pre-fabricated offsite. The whareuku container hybrid solutions are now a viable housing solution on papakāinga in terms of occupant wellbeing and safety, and in theory can meet the legal and financial requirements for lending.

The conceptual designs were initially trialled in developments at Ahipara, and then considered for other applications in different contexts, not only for disaster response but also in international settings where the context of the challenge facing Māori relocating back to their ancestral lands is replicated.

In ongoing consultation and in participant surveys there was evidence and concern that a whareuku hybrid would not be preferred ahead of a whareuku. Therefore, a decision was made to defer the trial component of the research project. Funding is currently being sought to produce specifications for these conceptual designs, and trial their application in various contexts.

Project Achievements 2015:

  1. Trialled the hybrid conceptual designs on developments and community in Ahipara
  2. Identified community and owners of whareuku whare’s concerns and preference for addition and solutions