The history of Lockwood Homes | Lockwood Homes

The history of Lockwood Homes

Pic above: Jo La Grouw Snr’s home being built in 1954 in Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Lockwood’s founding partners John van Loghem and Jo La Grouw arrived in New Zealand in January 1951 and were commissioned by the Wellington City Council to supply and build prefabricated houses.  Around 100 “Dutch Prefabs” using imported components were built in the following 18 months.

The concept of sustainability in construction, as we understand it today, was still many decades away from being developed.  However, the Lockwood founders displayed and early awareness of sustainability because they considered the sourcing of materials and prefabricated houses from the other side of the world to be highly inefficient.

Jo La Grouw was a trained architect and engineer and, inspired by Scandinavian log homes, developed a building system that used New Zealand’s maturing plantation forest estates.  Tenacity, persistence and expertise in construction techniques enabled the development of a truly Kiwi, prefabricated building system.

Lockwood was established in Rotorua in 1953, and the first Lockwood homes were manufactured in the factory and  constructed on site in 1954.  In fact, the very first house sold was built as a fishing bach (holiday home) for Doctor Morrow of Auckland, on the Waiteti Stream, Ngongotaha, Rotorua. This house still stands on its original site.

To date, more than 50,000 Lockwood homes and buildings have been constructed around the world. The components and joinery for these homes and buildings are still manufactured to the same exacting standards in our production facilities in Rotorua, New Zealand, by our team of skilled craftsmen.

Consistent standards, reliability, our historic performance and a deep sense of pride in this family owned business are integral components to creating a safe and secure home. Our commitment has never wavered to producing high quality, high performance homes, ensuring a quality living experience for those who choose a natural solid timber alternative from Lockwood.

Lockwood has now operated in New Zealand and internationally for nearly 7 decades and has become an iconic Kiwi brand, with a very distinctive style. With its patented x-profile construction and solid wood insulated materials, coupled with its low-maintenance qualities, a Lockwood home is an eco smart choice. Whether it’s a new home or a new commercial building, it’s always vitally important to choose a trustworthy and reputable partner. That’s why so many clients worldwide choose Lockwood and why we were voted New Zealand’s Most Trusted Building Brand in 2013, 2014 and 2016 and Highly Commended in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

Who We Are

Our Values

We are a team of people who design and build high-performance homes using our unique pre-manufactured building system.  Our people are our biggest asset. Lockwood Group currently employs 53 people who have served the company for a concurrrent total of 596 years.

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