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Ecotech specialises in supplying residential and commercial modular accommodation which are manufactured under the Multipod brand. They offer creative and practical building solutions as an innovative and cost-effective alternative to traditional construction methods.

Smart design and careful attention to detail make our modular system technically advanced and robust. Our housing modules are manufactured overseas in a state-of-the art factory to Ecotech’s exact specifications and must meet rigorous quality and safety standards. The modules are specifically designed to be versatile, convenient and progressive.

We care about the environment and have taken great care to ensure our modular accommodation is eco-friendly. We use sustainable materials such as steel, concrete, glass and aluminium. Our strong focus and commitment to thermal and energy efficiency means the accommodation requires minimal energy to heat and cool. It also makes for a warm, dry and healthy living environment.

Your questions answered...

MultiPod is the global pre-built modular building system, that is transportable worldwide. MultiPod has been certified in New Zealand for all regions. Ecotech are the sole licensed distributors of Air Dome and MultiPod.

No. All of our prefabricated modules are designed and manufactured specifically for New Zealand conditions from brand new components in a large, state of the art, purpose-built factory. The latest technology including computer assisted design (“CAD”) results in maximum tolerances of accuracy of only 2mm – significantly better than that generally achieved with a traditional onsite build.

However, our modules are made to the exact dimensions of containers with the express purpose of ease and cost-effective transportation. Furthermore, corner twist lock fittings that ensure rugged strength are substantially similar to those used on shipping containers, which facilitates shipping of the modules, when connecting them on site and also when any vertical stacked build is required.

Yes. The Multi-Pod, commercial suite can be installed up to 3 units high, as of right (subject to engineering approval for the land). With specific engineering design, units can be stacked higher.

The floor joists are constructed of formed steel. The floor itself is a compressed 24mm thick concrete panel, hence its impressive thermal efficiency and acoustic qualities.

The wind zone rating is for “very high” [50m per second] and is certified for anywhere in New Zealand, including even the summit of our highest mountains.

The walls are rated at R2.1 and the ceilings are rated R3.3, while the floor is rated at R1.6. Therefore, all our buildings exceed by almost twice the minimum Building Act insulation requirements. For example, the Ecotech 67m2 apartment buildings have a rating of reference heat loss of 255.69, and the actual heat loss is 139.58. These insulation ratings are applicable to both external and internal walls.

The sound insulation is rated STC55-60, which is suitable for multiple cluster-type housing developments including multi-level. This rating is applicable to both external and internal walls and also provides high levels of acoustic proofing.

A ground snow loading of 2.4kpa.

All modules have been designed and tested to withstand an earthquake of 9.7 on the Richter scale. Site specific engineering is required for the design and preparation of the foundations, in order for the module strength not to be compromised.

German PEX waterpipe and brass fittings are used, which can withstand temperatures from -45C to +99C. Like the pipeware, all are Watermark certified and exceed the requirements of the NZ Building Code.

Yes, all Ecotech dwellings have a Homestar 6 rating, with a 7 star rating achievable. Most dwellings in New Zealand have only a 4 star rating; the minimum required under the Building Act. Both the Auckland Unitary Council and Christchurch City Council suggest that they may make a 6 star rating mandatory.

The buildings are designed specifically for a pile-type foundation. Piles can be timber, concrete or steel, with the costs available on application.

Piling and foundation requirements vary greatly across regions and Ecotech must comply with the engineering standards applicable to that region. For example, very deep piles are required in some areas of Christchurch, whilst shallow piles are acceptable in many other areas. A geo-technical report is almost always required by councils prior to issuance of a building consent specific to the piling/ foundation requirements pertaining to a particular section.

Warranty and remedial issues

The building and all contract works and services provided by Ecotech pursuant to any contract are subject to all statutory warranties and guarantees (including those provided for in the Building Act 2004 and the Consumer Guarantees Act 1993).

Ecotech Homes NZ Limited, the parent company which imports and distributes all Ecotech Homes dwellings, maintains a robust and conservative balance sheet, Thus, in the rare event that a warranty claim is made in respect of an Ecotech dwelling (incidentally, no claims have yet been made), the defect shall be remedied immediately.

Almost all materials and fittings are readily available from the usual New Zealand merchants. An inventory of the few that are not is maintained by Ecotech Homes.

While Ecotech Homes’ units have been approved by MBIE for both coastal and geothermal locations, all protective coatings are subject to reasonable maintenance and care. (Though no more care is required than in relation to all other types of dwellings).

The external cladding installed on the Ecotech demonstration home (a 75 square meter, two bedroom, two bathroom dwelling) at Diamond Harbour, Canterbury (in which a family lives) has been tested. The marine environment in which the home is located is punishing. It was proven in this instance that a simple wash of the cladding, followed by a light sand – taking less than an hour – adequately prepared the cladding for painting. A standard paint was then applied. The entire process in respect of the entire house, took no more than half a day – mainly because the steel cladding on Ecotech dwellings is significantly easier to work with, than most other cladding types.

Multi Proof certification and council consent processes

As a rule, yes. However, some councils – particularly outside the main centers – are not as aware of all the applicable rules and requirements as they should be. In such cases, Ecotech works closely with the Council to assist a timely and successful customer outcome.

Significant additional comfort is provided by the Multi Proof Certification process. A Multi Proof Certificate is issued only after extensive appraisal of the subject dwelling and its supplier/ constructor. In respect of Ecotech Homes dwellings, the certification process imposed by MBIE was extremely rigorous and exhaustive, not least because of its innovative design and components, and the fact that units are manufactured offshore. The approval process took several years, with every single component included, from paint to floor coverings and the manufacturing process itself being fully appraised.

Furthermore, if local authorities receive more than a minimal number of complaints about the quality of Ecotech workmanship and/or materials, Ecotech Homes would stand to lose its Multi Proof certification. Hence, significant resource and effort is made to protect Ecotech’s brand and quality reputation that its innovative, affordable yet highly specified accommodation units enjoy.

Yes, this is indeed the case. On their websites most councils advertise two types of building consent fees; one applicable to normal build processes and one applicable to Multi Proof certified dwellings. In most councils, in respect of Multi Proof certified dwellings, both the initial application fee is less, and because less site inspections are required, the total inspection fee is significantly less – generally less than 10% of the total fee applicable to a normal build process. And of course this also speeds up the consenting process.

The Multi Proof Certification which it will be appreciated gives reassurance about the quality of the units, is understandably inflexible. Thus, only minimal amendments are permissible – and only if load bearing walls and plumbing and electrical fixtures and fittings remain as supplied.

No. However, the exception would be where the Council inspection process has clearly been grossly negligent. In such cases, a civil law action would generally be required before the Council would be found accountable for resultant costs and losses.

Reassuringly, the question is academic in relation to Ecotech Homes because, as mentioned above, compliance with the Multi Proof certification regime ensures quality workmanship and materials. Indeed, with contracts and most compliance enforcement and monitoring being by central government (MBIE), rather than the relevant local council, Multi Proof certification is a higher and more robust level of certification than that of councils.

The Sale & Purchase Agreement and installation process

It is extremely difficult to quantify the afore-mentioned costs associated with installation at the time the quote to supply the unit only (CIF) is issued to the client. For this reason, we generally issue a quotation which comprises two components; (i) a CIF price for the unit only, cleared at the port of entry, plus, (ii) an estimate of the additional costs referred to in the above question. This second category is finally fixed and quantified with certainty before the client is asked to pay a deposit for the purchase. Unfortunately, there is no other way to manage this process, with all other housing providers exposed to the same situation.

The client can elect to undertake his/ her own pile installation and other minor works, such as routing underground services to the building platform area. Otherwise, a qualified Ecotech contractor shall undertake these works and shall be paid by Ecotech from receipt of such pre-agreed amounts from the client. In the latter case, the client has no direct responsibility or liability to the duly appointed installation contractors, with Ecotech Homes responsible from order and deposit, through to satisfactorily completed installation and final payment.

Regardless of who undertakes the various installation tasks, the usual requirements pertaining to compliance and the qualification of the duly appointed tradesmen and consultants, apply. Thus, the foundations must be installed by a qualified builder, and/ or designed and supervised by a qualified engineer. Only a registered electrician can connect the installed unit’s power cable to the mains. Only a registered drain-layer can connect to the Council’s sewer main. Only a registered gas-fitter can install the gas instantaneous water heater on an external wall. Further, Ecotech will require that it is satisfied with any work undertaken by the client, prior to installing the dwelling.

Yes, absolutely. Ecotech has reputable, highly qualified contractors and professional consultants throughout New Zealand (and overseas), whom it appoints to such roles. When this occurs, the local Ecotech manager project manages the entire process and supervises the various works. Such additional work would be invoiced separately from and additional to the work associated with the purchase of the accommodation unit and its installation and assembly process.

Yes, absolutely. We have extensive experience throughout New Zealand in relation to Building Consent and Resource Consent matters. We understand that the process can seem daunting and further understand that customer experiences with some Council personnel can be stressful.

If more than an insignificant amount of time is necessary in relation to the above, Ecotech reserves the right to invoice for this additional work.

Essentially it is the client’s responsibility. We encourage a client to appoint our own contracted architect to produce the site and services plan; whose fee for such work is a very modest $1,500 plus GST (more, if the site is significantly non-standard). Notwithstanding, the client can appoint his/ her own architect, or surveyor, or draughtsman to this role. However, it is generally cheaper to appoint the Ecotech contracted architect, who is fully familiar with our entire suite of units, their plans and specifications and the significant costs savings associated with Multi Proof Certification.

The deposit and payment process

An initial payment of $1,500 including GST is required as a contribution towards an initial site plan and concept drawing.

Thereafter, the client will pay Ecotech the sum of 30% (inclusive of GST) of the CIF price, plus the installation costs, when the Sale & Purchase Agreement applicable to the sale is signed by both parties.

The “Contract Price” is the GST inclusive price of the total supply, including the CIF price, plus the various installation costs.

The balance of the Contract Price, less the 30% deposit paid above, is payable on either (i) the issuing of the subject Code Compliance Certificate, or (ii) 60 days from the date of the original Bill of Lading certificate, whichever is the earlier.

Prior to the ordered unit/s being shipped, the client will provide Ecotech with an irrevocable letter of credit for an amount equal to the total balance of the Contract Price owing, following payment of the 30% deposit.

Essentially, no they cannot. Ecotech can demonstrate trouble and delay free delivery and installation of many units throughout New Zealand, via the process prescribed above, and has never been required to facilitate a different regime. One of the reasons that Ecotech is cheaper than its competitors, is because of this deliberately simple deposit and payment regime involving minimal transactions. Various solicitors acting for various clients have endorsed the regime.

A letter of credit (“LC”) is an instrument issued by a bank, which commits that bank to paying a party $x on x date. An irrevocable letter of credit attaches no conditions to the requirement for payment, except delivery of the goods subject to that LC.

The client whom the bank issues the letter of credit for (the purchaser of the Ecotech dwelling in this instance), will need to have funds equivalent to the amount of the letter of credit in his or her account with the bank, or other funds available to the bank. Generally, these funds will be via a term loan, secured by a mortgage on the section on which the Ecotech dwelling will be installed.

Yes. In many cases our client already owns a bare section, on which he or she wishes to install an Ecotech dwelling. This section may be unencumbered by a mortgage, or the mortgage may be small and thus there is sufficient equity in the section to fund the deposit and/ or letter of credit which funds the final payment.

A lender will appraise the aggregate value of the section, plus the Ecotech dwelling to be installed, and will offer mortgage funding based on that value; generally up to 80%, perhaps 90% of the total value.

Yes. In every instance, valuations subsequent to installation and issuance of code compliance have asserted a material valuation increase.

To date, a cross section of trading banks and building societies have supplied funding for Ecotech accommodation units on similar terms to those offered for conventional buildings.

No. However, we are able to refer prospective purchasers to a variety of bank and non-bank funders.

Ecotech’s primary activity is – and will always be – simply supplying and installing superior dwellings and commercial units. Notwithstanding, in appropriate situations we can engage directly in property development – but only if the funding and plans for the development are conservatively and robustly structured in every respect.

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