Creditor moves against classroom, state house modular building specialist AdBuild

A modular construction specialist working on new Ministry of Education classrooms is in voluntary administration after a creditor moved against it.

Petone-headquartered Advanced Building and Construction, which trades as AdBuild, says it has built 88 education buildings, 50 homes and 348 total volumetric modules.

Three brand new classrooms have been delivered to Whāngārā School on the East Coast, supported by the Government due to a high demand in the community for the Te Reo immersion unit to expand.

It is building a classroom for Hawke’s Bay’s Putorino Primary School. Principal Anna Drinkrow said today she knew about the administration and work was on track.

“It’s replacing one which has been demolished,” she said.

AdBuild administrator, Jessica Kellow at BDO in Wellington, said the company was continuing to trade, all staff had been retained and an injection of new capital was being sought.

“It’s a good business but had cash-flow problems. We’re looking for expressions of interest. It’s only a couple of years old and had teething problems. It seems to have overcome many of those but accumulated debt through the process,” she said.

The company said it provided “exceptional volumetric modular building solutions”.

It worked for the education ministry building classrooms, on a 23-unit Mt Roskill housing project for Housing New Zealand and at Wellington Girls’ College.

But an ad in today’s Herald says it is in the hands of administrators BDO after a move by a creditor claiming $239,000. AdBuild’s web site also acknowledges administrators.

The business said it had worked closely with the education ministry “to assist with temporary and permanent classroom needs throughout the North Island.

Kellow said: “It’s an extremely good business and we’re confident it will sell.”

AdBuild said its modular system was designed to be efficient.

“Factory operations [complete] the modules to delivery stage in 24 working days. Further improvements on this are being made daily.

“Our classrooms offer a small variety of customisations to suit the requirements of the school, while maintaining feasibility for building and stocking purposes to meet the required timelines,” it said.

The classrooms vary in size from single to four-build projects.

A video shows how the business built at Whāngāra School north of Gisborne on the East Cape.

Kāingaora said the Mt Roskill project at 554-556 Richardson Rd replaced two state houses with 20 one-bedroom apartments and three two-bedroom places.

AdBuild directors are Darryn Harmer and Wayne O’Brien, of Brisbane. The company is owned by ModuleXC Holdings of Queensland.

Fletcher Building is operating a new housing component factory in Wiri but the modular or prefab sector has suffered high-profile failures:

• In 2015, off-site housing manufacturer eHomes went into liquidation and receivership and many of its assets were sold to its Auckland landlord. Unsecured creditors were owed $5.1m with little hope of getting paid and a long creditors’ list has been released, spanning many different sectors.

• In 2018, prefabricated home-building company Matrix Homes also went into receivership and liquidation with debts of more than $2m. Sean Murrie, chief executive and a director of the previously Trentham-headquartered business, cited lack of orders and slow planning regime change. The latest liquidators’ report showed creditor claims of $2.7m.

• ABT Construction was established in a Glenfield warehouse to pre-build modular houses but its chief William Carter died and the building business is in liquidation;

• Two new Auckland houses were being built in the ex-Alloy Yachts’ West Auckland factory late last decade. Dan Heyworth, chief executive of The Workshop Company said it only built four or five houses, components for other houses and had left the factory.

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