This year Lockwood celebrates a special milestone in our company history – our 70th year in business.
Our founders Jo La Grouw and John Van Loghem emigrated from the Netherlands, arriving in Wellington at the end of January 1951. The Van Loghem and La Grouw company was formed, and by April in that year, within just a few months of arriving in NZ, they held an opening of their first completed ‘Dutch Prefabricated House’ using components they had pre-manufactured in Holland. Over the next 18 months they built around 100 houses around the Wellington region.
Our founders didn’t think importing prefabricated components from the Netherlands was sustainable. Import duties were adding considerable cost to their projects, and at the same time, as they became familiar with their new homeland, they realised New Zealand had a great natural, sustainable resource for building materials growing in pine plantations. In particular, the Central North Island Kaiangaroa Forest planted in the 1920’s was ready for harvesting in the early 50’s.
Jo La Grouw had some knowledge of Nordic log cabin construction. Using his experience with prefabrication techniques and his training as an architect and engineer, he started working on a building system concept. In 1953 our founders changed the name of their company to ‘Lock-Wood’ Buildings Limited, and established a factory in Fairy Springs, Rotorua (close to the Kaingaroa pine forest plantations). The first Lockwood components were manufactured in 1954 and the factory was very quickly producing up to five houses per week.
The Lockwood team continue to design and build high performance homes using our unique building system manufactured in our Fairy Springs factory. Decades of research, development and real-world experience have spurred continuous improvements to our building system and over 40,000 houses have been built in New Zealand and around the world.
We are proud of our reputation for building high quality, resilient timber homes that are environmentally friendly and offer an unrivalled level of comfort and a unique healthy living climate for New Zealand families.
With our long history of building homes in New Zealand and around the world, chances are you’ve had your own Lockwood experience. We’d love for you to share this with us!
Click the link below to share your Lockwood story.