About Eboss and Speedfloor

About Eboss and Speedfloor

Quality Affordable Homes

When I first began my quest to design quality homes at an affordable level, I began with the mantra on the right: ‘Challenge: Everything.’ I’ve even had a stamp made of it which I put on everything I draw or write – it has become my mantra. Basically, everything is up for grabs – methods, products and materials, structure, services and any other aspect of the construction industry that come across my path. I read books on alternative solutions, I research other industries to see what I can learn and from which I can apply to my goals.

 

Against this backdrop, I was researching flooring systems and originally exploring the idea of transportable concrete slabs – this was before I decided to cross concrete off my list of materials to use. Anyway, I came across an Auckland firm called Speedfloor, and duly emailed them for some information on their product. Parker Cline – the general manager – got back to me very promptly, and sent down some information on both their concrete and timber floor joist systems, and from there, an excellent business relationship began. I have met Parker several times now, the last being December when he took time out on a Saturday morning to show me around the factory, even though it was closed over the weekend.

Parker – an engineer by profession

Parker is one of those people that you are glad you have met – he is one of the most straight-up guys I have ever dealt with, and if his product is not suitable for your project, he will say so and direct you to a competitor who can supply. And he’s an American – go figure! Parker – an engineer by profession – spent a lot of time going over my drawings and concepts with me – even though eventual sales were clearly a long way off. He even met with my engineer to clarify various points and ideas. But to this point, he hasn’t actually sold me anything yet. Fast forward about 5 months to May this year, and Parker tells me that he is subscribing to EBOSS, and wants to feature me as a case study – all at Speedfloor’s expense. So, early June I am interviewed by a journalist from EBOSS, and a few weeks later there I am featured on Speedfloor’s pages. You can check it out here:

So, hats off to Parker and Speedfloor, and together we can build something.

Export Potential

Export Potential

Affordable housing is not just an Aotearoa New Zealand problem. In a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, rapporteur Leilani Farhar writes:

“Virtually everywhere, homelessness – a gross violation of the right to housing
– is on the rise, including in affluent countries; forced evictions continue
unabated; without affordable and adequate housing options, increasing
numbers of individuals and families resort to living in informal settlements
without secure tenure or basic services (approximately 880 million in
urban centres); resource extraction is forcing indigenous peoples from
their lands; and housing in many cities is simply unaffordable even for the
middle class. What is perhaps most worrying is that none of these
conditions are treated as human rights issues.”

Citing Chile as an example of a country that takes home ownership seriously – resulting in
a 64% homeownership rate as of April 2017 – Farhar goes on to write:

“But with this success comes a paradox. Much of this housing, particularly
for poor and low-income households is of low quality and has been
provided on the outskirts of cities far from employment opportunities and
without decent transportation. This is related to the fact that the
government has relied on the private sector for housing provision, whose
primary aim is to maximize profits, not ensure the adequacy of housing.
The result has been social segregation of people who are poor which has
contributed to their marginalization and experiences of discrimination.”

Both the quantity and quality of housing has become an international problem, and with
the implementation of a building environment as outlined in this thesis, there is no reason
why Aotearoa New Zealand cannot become a major influence and supplier of both houses
and prefabrication technology, once it gets its own backyard in order.