Ecotech Homes

Ecotech Homes Major Project Director, Craig Nisbet
Ecotech Homes Major Project Director, Craig Nisbet

Is it just me, or is there a lot more talk about prefabricated, affordable homes lately? Oh, and good quality ones too.

This is what Ecotech Homes is all about and I caught up with their Major Project Director, Craig Nisbet just before he took off to Ghana to talk about, well… prefabricated, affordable, quality homes!

Would you buy a prefabricated, modular home made in China? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Craig’s Five ‘E’s for Business

What makes a good property development? In Craig’s experience, he relies on the five ‘E’s for business:

  • Economics – it’s got to make money
  • Environment – you’ve got to look after this
  • Enjoyment – life has to be fun
  • Ethics – do what’s right
  • Exclusion of undesirable types – who and what should you keep out of your project?

Craig has a wealth of experience as a developer. He attributes his success to analysis and planning, which he says is more than half of what makes a good project. Looking at the numbers early on and in detail is how to gain confidence that something’s going to work.

The Ecotech Homes team have spent a long time looking through the details of their designs. It’s hard to ignore Craig’s confidence that the system they’ve brought to market is going to work, and be very successful.

Ecotech Homes
Ecotech Homes are available now. Check out their website for nine different design options ranging from single bedroom to four bedroom houses.

Multiproof Consenting

Tony Frost, and Craig more recently, have spent a lot of their planning time obtaining Multiproof Consents for their designs. In a nutshell, this means that Ecotech Homes are pre-consented for all of New Zealand. It’s an infrequently used, relatively recent mechanism introduced by MBIE as a way of dramatically speeding up the consenting process and increasing confidence that a consent will be granted without requests for further information. All the hard work has been done up front.


Ecotech Homes are not Shipping Containers

Ecotech Homes can be stacked liked shipping containers. Their seams are are as weatherproof as shipping containers. But Ecotech Homes are not converted shipping containers! They are homes, designed from the start for superior performance. They also happen to be made of transportable modules.

This means that they can be made elsewhere cost effectively, and in factory conditions where quality can be monitored independently of the weather.

Ecotech Homes
Ecotech Homes are modular, prefabricated and affordable. They’re designed for either remote rural locations or dense urban settings. See more images at

Would you Buy One?

I’m fascinated to see how Ecotech and other similar, prefabricated homes do in the New Zealand market. I’m certainly hearing more and more about modular solutions for affordable housing.

Would you buy a quality, prefabricated home made in China and delivered to site? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Craig’s Book Recommendation

A story of loyalty, love and family by Bryce Courtney… Four Fires

  • Jason Quinn

    Good look and with high building costs (relative to the rest of the developed world) in NZ this may do very well. The challenge to doing business as usual in building might drive the productivity gains and lower building material costs to come a bit closer to the rest of the world as well.

    The wall construction specified in the brochure is it really 1.4 mm Steel, steel stud, then MgO? That is a huge thermal bridge regardless of how well you insulate between the studs. I’m concerned it’s not going to work even if you control the interior humidity really well.

    • mcutlerwelsh

      Jason. Thanks for your comment and your question. Sorry for the delay. Let me see if I can get an answer for you. Matthew

    • mcutlerwelsh

      For more information about specifications, have a look here:

      My understanding is that the walls have about three layers of insulation, with one layer of foam going right across the steel studs, thereby eliminating the bridging.

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  • New technologies available will be produced locally because of the needs for Disaster and City Rebuilding. Mobile factories will produce approx 75 shell envelopes per day that only need finish coating. The only materials onsite will be powers, beads and liquids. From start to finish a completed home units will only take several days. Based on a use of local materials with cradle to cradle principles, transportation and assembly almost totally automated.

    Cost today are mostly labour, inefficiencies, taxes, interest and profit with som materials thrown in. eliminate these and you get very affordable Net Zero Plus accommodations.

    • Matthew Cutler-Welsh

      That’s a great sounding vision ergodesk. Bring it on!

    • mcutlerwelsh

      This is a cool vision for the future. How can NZ get there soon?

      • Houses made from AIR
        One start up even has a solution for the quick replacement of homes damaged or destroyed in disasters. It’s called SHELLHOUSE . Manufactured from Polystyrene Foam, large numbers of SHELLHOUSES can be produce 70 to 100 shells, within a 24-hour operating period and transported short distances directly from the expanding machine to the construction site. Web Site:

        • mcutlerwelsh

          Interesting idea. Thanks for sharing ergodesk.