Archive | NZIOB

Applications open for Institute of Building scholarships

The Institute of Building’s charitable trust has opened 2 $10,000 scholarships up for applications in the second year they’ve been offered.

Gina Jones.

Trust chair Gina Jones said the scholarships were first to recognise, encourage & financially support recipients from a trade, technical or professional role who are proposing to pursue a project linked to building through research, practice or professional development.

“These scholarships were established to encourage aspirational thinking that has the potential to increase the building industry’s performance, and we are particularly interested in applications from those in industry & training who have a project that will introduce improvements to the industry.

“We’re looking for applicants with a project that has the potential to advance some aspect of design, construction or management of buildings in New Zealand, and thereby enhance the quality of our built environment.”

A panel of 3 of the institute’s past presidents will choose the recipients.  Entries close on 30 June and the winners will be announced at the institute’s awards on Friday 24 August.

The inaugural scholarship recipients were Gerard (Ged) Finch, a post-graduate student from the School of Architecture & Design at Victoria University of Wellington, and Professor Robyn Phipps from Massey University, Auckland.

Mr Finch said the scholarship transformed his research into the potential for prefabricated construction to eliminate building & construction waste, attracting interest from both academic & industry bodies: “Winning this scholarship was a vital step & huge motivator to push the research to the next stage and has literally changed my career path.”

The trust has a fundraising programme aimed at paying the scholarships from earnings rather than from capital, based on standout events. The trust has organised a fundraising luncheon with Sir John Kirwan on Friday 15 June, the day before the All Blacks play France at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Link: NZIOB Trust awards

Attribution: Institute release.

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Top construction achievers all from one company, major awards for Wellington work, scholarships for aspirational projects

Above: Supreme award winner Andrew King.

All 3 young achiever award winners at the NZ Institute of Building on Friday night were from the same company, Dominion Constructors Ltd.

And the winners of the institute’s supreme, innovation & safety awards all won for their work on projects in the Wellington region.

In addition to those special & price category awards, the institute also honoured the convenor of its judging panel, Simon Barnes, and its charitable trust made its inaugural scholarship awards.

The institute awards recognise the professional excellence of individuals in the building & construction process, rather than the project or completed structure.

Supreme award for work on Wellington airport extension

The supreme award went to Hawkins Wellington project director Andrew King for his role in managing the Wellington Airport terminal extension – 6000m2 of combined new build & refurbishment at the southern end of the airport’s main terminal building and the reconfiguration of the airport’s southern apron.

The institute’s judging panel said: “Working within a live airport environment created multiple constraints around access, security, noise & other unique airline requirements. Having to work on a live airport apron meant that workers were placed within 20m of moving aircraft, and worker safety was of paramount importance.

“Due to the extreme operating environment, it was necessary to undertake a significant amount of high risk works out of peak hours. This resulted in nightshifts with up to 70 workers being run across a 22-month period. By utilising the resources & knowledge of the entire team, Andrew was able to deliver a high quality product within an agreed budget & programme.”

Aucklanders collect young achievers awards

James Reed.

This year, as last year, the young achievers awards sponsored by the Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation went to 2 recipients, Dominion Constructors senior project manager James Reed and Dominion Residential project leader Chris Bassett. Another Dominion project manager, Stephen Peters, was highly commended.

Mr Reed began his career with Dominion Constructors in 2007 as a cadet/trainee supervisor and has since undertaken site supervision & project management roles across a range of commercial & civil construction projects, and completed a bachelor of construction management degree.

The judging panel said: “James is Dominion’s youngest senior project manager, and an example of a new breed of construction managers who embrace technology and the advantages it brings to effective site & job management. He is an advocate for building information management (BIM) system and encouraged the company’s other project managers to adopt the technology. As chair of Dominion’s cadet committee, James manages the company’s cadetship programme, which includes 18 cadets.”

Chris Bassett.

Mr Bassett joined the construction industry as a carpentry apprentice straight from school. After a period of self-employment, he worked with a mid-sized company specialising in leaky homes and saw first-hand the results of poor design & workmanship. This provided him with the knowledge & skills to ensure that buildings he’s involved in are watertight. He joined Dominion Constructors in 2011 and within a year was in charge of a $23 million apartment complex.

In 2013 Dominion had identified the growth in multi-residential projects of scale in the Auckland market, and decided to develop specific capability to deliver large residential developments. The company created a residential division and Mr Bassett was part of the new team. He also leads & manages the Dominion apprenticeship programme, which currently has 15 apprentices.

Church restrengthening has ongoing benefits

Kerrin Manuel.

The winner of the innovation award, LT McGuinness Ltd project manager Kerrin Manuel, was driven by budgetary demands (the project was funded by donations & grants) & practicality for the strengthening of the St Mary of the Angels Church in Wellington, a heritage listed building damaged in the 2013 Seddon earthquake. The structure comprises 10 portals, made up of 15m-high archways on supporting columns that hold up both roof & walls. Restrengthening involved new foundation beams, new columns and most of the portals themselves.

The awards judges said: “Given the budgetary constraints, Kerrin developed a quicker & safer way to handle the core job. This involved making the temporary support towers for each portal mobile by adding structural castor wheels. This idea was further developed to become the internal rolling gantry that was ultimately used. Not only was the innovation practical, it cut 15 weeks out of the programme. This innovative approach had immediate benefits for the St Mary of the Angels project, while providing longer-term benefits for the construction industry, as the system can be utilised for other projects.”

It’s not hard, says safety award winner

Sarah McDonald.

Sarah McDonald won the safety award for her work on the $630 million Mackays-Peka Peka Expressway on the Kapiti Coast, delivered by the M2PP Alliance. She was alliance partner Fletcher Construction’s lead operational advisor for the project’s health, safety & wellbeing team and developed a strong safety culture among the teams assembled to deliver the 18km expressway.

The NZIOB judges said: “This was a significant challenge, given that there were up to 600 people working on site at any time. The M2PP Alliance invested $1.5 million into the creation of comprehensive HSW programmes that Sarah developed & put in place. The scale of HSW programmes was immense, with 5100 people delivering over 5 million working hours across the project’s lifetime.

“Sarah not only delivered the extensive induction training, she provided regular toolbox events& information forums, all of which were designed to achieve compliance and to instil a genuine culture change across all teams.

“One of the elements of Sarah’s performance that impressed the judges was that she implemented several key initiatives that could be successfully adapted for use by the wider construction sector.”

Ms McDonald told Friday’s awards function: “A lot of people make health & safety hard. It’s not hard. All we need to do is engage with our people. We used to lose about 20 people/year in 1999, when Site Safe was set up, and we’ve brought that number down.”

WorkSafe NZ statistics show the construction industry has had 39 workplace fatalities since 2010, well behind the 119 in agriculture and just ahead of transport, postal & warehousing (31) and forestry (30).

The construction sector has had 6 fatalities so far this year, the same number as for the whole of 2016.

Ms McDonald also said she’d moved to Site Safe this month to take safety education to a wider audience.

Simon Barnes.

Judging convenor gets award too

Institute fellow & convenor of its judging panel, Simon Barnes, congratulated the award entrants, and was then honoured himself when he received the NZIOB medal, the first time it’s been awarded since 2012.

Mr Barnes, a quantity surveyor, has 40 years’ experience in a wide range of commercial, residential, industrial & retail developments and was awarded the institute medal for his significant contribution to industry practice. He was a director of Davis Langdon and its predecessors for 25 years before its sale to Aecom in 2010. With Scott Beagley & David Doherr, he formed a new project consultancy, Barnes Beagley Doherr Ltd, in 2013.

Category & overall awards (sponsors in brackets):

Supreme award (Gib): Andrew King, Hawkins Wellington project director
Innovation (James Hardie): Excellence, Kerrin Manuel, LT McGuinness project director for St Mary of the Angels Church, Wellington; highly commended, Brett Naylor, Beca digital delivery leader & project director for the Mason Bros building, Wynyard Quarter
Safety (Site Safe): Excellence, Sarah McDonald, M2PP-Fletcher Construction senior health & safety advisor for the Mackays-Peka Peka Expressway, Kapiti Coast
Young achiever (BCITO): Excellence, James Reed, Dominion Constructors project manager; and Chris Bassett, Dominion Constructors project leader; highly commended, Stephen Peters, Dominion Constructors project manager

The winners of the 7 project cost category awards were:

Under $2.5 million (Resene): Excellence, Sam Hill, Hawkins Central project manager for Good Union project, Cambridge; highly commended, Russell Smith, NZ Strong project manager for Auckland Airport project
$2.5-5 million (Steel Construction): Excellence, Greg King, Aspec Construction Ltd site manager & cadet mentor for the Bishop Selwyn Chapel at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Parnell; highly commended, Scott Crowe, NZ Strong project manager for elective surgery centre link bridge at North Shore Hospital, Takapuna
$5-10 million (Hays Construction): Excellence, David Rayson, Aspec Construction site manager & cadet mentor for a Mackelvie St redevelopment, Ponsonby; highly commended, Ben Tomason, Griffiths & Associates project manager for Hora Hora School batch 11, Whangarei
$10-25 million (Colorsteel): Excellence, Jimmy Corric, with NZ Strong project manager for the Mason Bros building, Wynyard Quarter; highly commended, Anthony Tahana, Hawkins Central site manager for Red Stag sawmill, Hamilton; and Chris Murray, LT McGuinness project manager & quantity surveyor for David Jones department store, Wellington
$25-50 million (Allied Concrete): Excellence, Andrew King, Hawkins Wellington project director for the Wellington Airport terminal extension; highly commended, Aaron Stephens, Fletcher Construction project manager for 133 Molesworth St project, Wellington
$50-75 million (Hilti): Excellence, Tony Kavanagh, Arrow International (NZ) project & design manager for the Rototuna Junior & Senior High School, Hamilton
$75-100 million (Metro Performance Glass): no award
Over $100 million (Aecom): Excellence, John Palm, M2PP Alliance–Fletcher Construction project manager for the Mackays-Peka Peka Expressway, Kapiti Coast

Scholarships to encourage aspiration

On top of the awards for past excellence, the institute’s charitable trust awarded its inaugural scholarships aimed at lifting the construction sector’s sights.

The 2 winners of $10,000 cash prizes are Professor Robyn Phipps from Massey University Auckland and Ged Finch, a post-graduate student from the School of Architecture & Design at Victoria University of Wellington.

Trust chair Gina Jones said: “The trust introduced these awards to encourage aspirational thinking with the potential to advance the design, construction or management of buildings in New Zealand, and thereby enhance the quality of our built environment.”

Professor Robyn Phipps.

The scholarships are intended to encourage recipients from a trade, technical or professional role to pursue a project linked to building through research, practice or professional development. There were 15 entries for the inaugural scholarships.

Intention to advance façade engineering

The trust’s awards panel, 3 past presidents of the institute, said: “Professor Phipps has qualifications in building science & architecture and is internationally recognised as a teacher & researcher in a range of building & construction fields. She’s observed the problems faced by both the designers of new buildings and consenting authorities in assessing building façades to ensure they won’t leak and that they perform all the functions required of modern buildings.

“There are a limited number of façade engineers in New Zealand because there are no home-grown courses of study available, so they have had to obtain their qualifications and experience overseas.”

Professor Phipps, an institute member, will use her award to travel to a centre of excellence in façade engineering, to investigate how to deliver building façade training to suitably qualified building practitioners in this country.

She was highly commended in last year’s institute innovation awards for her project on low cost solar heating for schools.

Aim to cut construction waste at end of lifecycle

Ged Finch.

Mr Finch is a student member of the institute who has a bachelor of architecture studies degree and is completing a master of architecture degree. He has worked as an academic research assistant in New Zealand and for architectural firms overseas, and is researching how best to avoid waste at the end of a building’s lifecycle.

The panel said: “This research is significant, given that some 50% of all New Zealand’s waste (amounting to 1.6 million tonnes annually) is generated by the construction sector. His proposition is that planning & designing for the disassembly of buildings at the end of their useful lives has the potential to greatly reduce the quantity of waste produced.

“The award will enable Mr Finch to conduct fullscale tests of structural & architectural systems that have been designed to eliminate construction waste. This will effectively amount to a ‘real world’ test of those systems.”

To be eligible for an NZIOB Charitable Trust award, applicants must be New Zealand residents or citizens and actively involved in the building & construction industry.

The trust wants to offer these scholarships annually and has begun a fundraising programme so the $20,000 scholarship grants are paid from earnings rather than from capital.

Attribution: Awards, institute releases.

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Building institute launches 2 industry-improving scholarships

The NZIOB (Institute of Building) Charitable Trust has launched 2 $10,000 scholarships for projects that will improve the industry. Entries close on Friday 30 June.

The trust has also decided on its first fundraising event aimed at eventually making grant payments from earnings rather than capital.

Trust chair Gina Jones said yesterday the institute had established the scholarships to recognise, encourage & financially support recipients from a trade, technical or professional role to pursue a project linked to building through research, practice or professional development.

“We have a mission to encourage aspirational thinking that lifts the construction industry’s performance and we are particularly interested in applications from members who have a project that will introduce improvements to the industry.

“We’re looking for applicants with a project that has the potential to advance some aspect of design, construction or management of buildings in New Zealand, and thereby enhance the quality of our built environment.”

The successful recipients will be chosen by a panel comprising 3 past presidents of the institute. Winners will be announced at the institute’s awards night on Friday 25 August in Auckland.

Ms Jones said the trust’s first fundraising event would be a lunch with former All Black captain – and builder – Sean Fitzpatrick at Mac’s Brewbar in Wellington on 30 June, the day before the British & Irish Lions play the All Blacks at Westpac Stadium.

NZIOB Charitable Trust
Scholarship details

Attribution: Institute release.

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Auckland building conference first in international series

The NZ Institute of Building will host a conference in Auckland next March that’s intended to be the first of a series held every 2 years by the institutes of New Zealand, Australia & Singapore.

The first conference, on the theme Constructing our world, will run from Wednesday-Friday 22-24 March at the Pullman Hotel, Auckland.

NZ institute chief executive Malcolm Fleming said the overlay of People, performance, purpose for the Auckland conference was intended to tap into “a global groundswell that is rapidly changing the construction industry. Across the supply chain, construction is becoming increasingly technology-rich & innovation focused. The conference will bring speakers who are at the forefront of these changes to New Zealand to share how the next wave of construction best practice could transform the sector & our built environment”.

Mr Fleming said the conference was an opportunity to showcase global construction trends. It will feature speakers from Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sweden, South Africa, the UK & the US, in addition to leading New Zealand industry representatives.

Link: Conference website

Attribution: NZIOB release.

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NZIOB judges can’t separate top young achievers

The NZ Institute of Building’s judges couldn’t split the top 2 young achievers in this year’s GIB-sponsored awards and handed the prize to both finalists, both from Christchurch – Annalise Johns, a project engineer with Fulton Hogan, and Glenn Jowett, AECOM’s BIM practice lead.

The awards recognise the professional excellence of individuals in the construction process, rather than the project or completed structure, and were handed out at a function in Auckland on Friday night.

Supreme performer

The supreme award went to Rodney Verhoeven, a project manager with Hawkins Construction Ltd, for his role in managing the Walter Nash Centre in Taita, Lower Hutt, a sports facility & community hub combining the Walter Nash Stadium, Taita Community Hall & Community Library and Hutt Valley netball courts in a single integrated facility.

The judges said Mr Verhoeven, who holds a national certificate in carpentry, demonstrated exceptional leadership & passion for the project: “He overcame initial hostility towards the project by engaging the community and allowing them the opportunity to design & integrate artwork on precast panels. Rodney also provided view slots so locals could watch the project progress, and installed a platform so a photographer could take progress photos for the client’s website.”

The young achievers

Ms Johns’ most recent construction achievement was her contribution to the delivery of the Christchurch Art Gallery base isolation external works. The judges said her achievements had had a strong positive impact on young women in the company & wider industry, demonstrating the unique skills that women offer in construction & the built environment.

She holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) with first class honours from Canterbury University, and has also had a secondment to the Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), where she worked with the senior management team as innovations co-ordinator and in one of the design teams as a graduate structural engineer.

Mr Jowett, who leads AECOM’s building information modelling (BIM) practice nationally, works with clients to implement improved project & asset information management solutions & processes. He has become one of the leading figures within the New Zealand & Australian BIM communities, was a key contributor to the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment-supported NZ BIM Handbook, and regularly writes articles and speaks at seminars in relation to BIM.

He completed an apprenticeship in structural drafting in the UK, supported by 2 years’ part-time study at Leeds College of Building, where he achieved a double award Edexcel level 3 national certificate in civil engineering. Since moving to New Zealand, he’s spoken at various conferences & seminars in Australia & New Zealand in relation to BIM.

Triple winner

Fletcher Construction project manager Dave Corbett won 3 awards for his work on the Bledisloe Lane upgrade and Penrose campus project – in the $2-5-5 million category and for innovation & safety.


Supreme award, GIB: Rodney Verhoeven (Hawkins Construction Ltd project manager)

Young achievers, BCITO (Building & Construction Industry Training Organisation) award: Annalise Johns (Fulton Hogan project engineer, Christchurch) & Glenn Jowett (AECOM’s BIM practice lead, Christchurch)

Under $2.5 million, Resene award: Excellence, Ben Connick, Hawkins interiors & special projects manager, Hamilton, for SkyCity Co-operative hospitality precinct project; highly commended, Nigel Eady, Hawkins Auckland, for Auckland District Health Board hybrid theatre

$2.5-5 million, Steel Construction NZ award: Excellence, Dave Corbett, Fletcher Construction project manager, Auckland, for Bledisloe Lane upgrade; highly commended, John O’Sullivan, Hawkins, Christchurch, for Sumner Surf Life Saving Club; and Lucian Iacob, Aspec Construction Ltd, Auckland, for Transpower Otahuhu office development

$5-10 million, Hays Recruitment award: Excellence, Garyth Jones, Hawkins project manager, Auckland, for Pridelands escarpment at Auckland Zoo

$10-25 million,  Steltech award: Excellence, Rodney Verhoeven, Hawkins project manager, Wellington, for Walter Nash Centre, Taita; and Declan Scanlon, Fletcher Construction, Christchurch, for Te Hapua Halswell Centre, Christchurch; highly commended, Richard Donald, NZ Strong Group Ltd, Auckland, for Otahuhu recreation precinct stage 2

$25-50 million, Holcim award: Excellence, Jimmy Corric, NZ Strong Group Ltd project manager, Auckland, for LynnMall redevelopment; and Bruce Halligan, Arrow International (NZ) Ltd senior construction project manager, Queenstown, for the Remarkables base building, Queenstown

$50-75 million, Hilti award: Excellence, Kevan Bird, Arrow International project manager, Auckland, for Vodafone rural broadband initiative rollout

$75-100 million, Metro Performance Glass award: Excellence, Gerard Anderson, Fletcher Construction project manager, Auckland, for Fonterra head office & VXV3 development, Wynyard Quarter

Over $100 million, Aecom award: Excellence, Peter Lawson, Fletcher Construction project director, Auckland, for NorthWest shopping centre, Westgate

Safety, Site Safe award: Excellence, Jeff Robertson, Aspec Construction Ltd project manager, Auckland, for his work on the King’s School centennial project; highly commended, Dave Corbett, for Penrose campus redevelopment & industrial building demolition

Innovation, James Hardie award: Excellence, Dave Corbett, for the Penrose campus project; highly commended, Professor Robyn Phipps, Massey University, Auckland, for low cost solar heating for schools project.

Attribution: NZIOB.

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Institute of Building ends year with awards to new fellows & students

The NZ Institute of Building’s northern chapter appointed 4 members as fellows last night, along with 8 winners of student awards.

The fellows are: Warren Chapman, George Kubicki, Lueder Stock & Euan Whitaker.

The chapter also made a special award to Alison Smith, who’s organised local & national institute events for many years, as well as holding numerous other roles in promotion throughout the construction sector.

Mr Chapman was Mainzeal Development & Construction Ltd’s national business development manager for 5 years and now runs his own company, Chapman Consulting Ltd. He’s halfway through a 3-year term as the institute’s national president.

Mr Kubicki has been construction manager at Kalmar Construction Ltd for 3 years after a decade as a senior project manager.

Mr Stock, a project manager at Kalmar Construction, was a national award winner at the institute’s awards this year for his work in charge of Auckland Council’s Hurstmere Green project in Takapuna.

Mr Whitaker joined Conrad Properties Ltd this year as development manager after 2 years as senior design manager at Hawkins Construction Ltd, 12 years as a Brookfield Multiplex Ltd project manager and 4 years in London with Balfour Beatty Construction Ltd.

There were 3 awards to Massey University students and 5 to Unitec students, which the institute makes for students who have demonstrated not just academic excellence in the bachelor of construction courses, but also teamwork & leadership.


Taslim Shah, best academic performance, first year, BCons CM major
Scott Ward, best academic performance, second year, BCons CM major
Bradley Coley, best academic performance, final year, BCons CM major


Thomas Jordan, best academic performance, first year, all majors BCons
Ronan Gilsenan, best academic performance, second year, BCons CM major
Rohan Packard, best overall academic performance, national diploma in architectural technology
Rikki Cosgrove, best overall academic performance, national diploma in construction management
Blake Hogarth, Theo Oettle award for best overall final year academic achiever, BCons CM, Unitec.

Attribution: Awards function.

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Tuhoe building a multiple winner for project manager & architect

Jeff Vivian of Arrow International cleaned up with 3 awards at the NZ Institute of Building’s national awards held in Auckland last night for his work on Tuhoe’s Te Uru Taumatua at Taneatua.

Mr Vivian, a project manager at Arrow for 7 years, won the excellence award in the $25-50 million category and, with Jasmax co-founder & project lead architect Ivan Mercep – who died just before the project was completed – won the institute’s innovation & supreme awards.

Mr Mercep’s son, broadcaster Simon Mercep, said this was his architect father’s last project “and a great one to finish with”, and went on to describe how they’d won the tender: “Most of the 45 tenders arrived with plans & designs. Ivan arrived with a piece of paper and a pencil and said, ‘What do you want?’”

The institute differentiates by making its awards for individual performance rather than for the project, but this project has won multiple construction industry awards. At the Property Council awards in June it won best in category for both green Building & special purpose structures, but lost out to ASB North Wharf for the supreme award. It was designed to the stringent criteria of the international Living Building Challenge (LBC), and the completed project is New Zealand’s most advanced sustainable building.


Under $2.5 million, Resene award: Excellence, Lueder Stock (Kalmar Construction Ltd), for Hurstmere Green, Takapuna; highly commended, Aaron Stephens (Fletcher Construction Co Ltd, Wellington), for new Wellington cable car terminal

$2.5-5 million, Steel Construction NZ award: Highly commended, Chetan Jeram (Hawkins Construction Ltd, Wellington), for SPCA Wellington project re-home

$5-10 million, Hayes Construction award: Excellence, Tonchi Glamuzina (Fletcher Construction, Auckland), for Spring Hill correctional facility, Waikato, unit 16B reinstatement project; highly commended, Corey Bennett & Jared Smith (Cook Brothers Construction Ltd, Christchurch), for Carlton Corner redevelopment, Christchurch

$10-25 million, Coloursteel award: Excellence, Jeff Vivian (Arrow International (NZ) Ltd, Auckland), for Te Uru Taumatua, Taneatua, Bay of Plenty; highly commended, Robb Noble (Arrow, Wellington), for IGC student accommodation project, Wellington, and Craig McCullough (Hawkins, Hamilton), for Citygate, Ward St, Hamilton

$25-50 million, Holcim award: Excellence, Shane Beech (Hawkins, Wellington), for Newtown Park flats upgrade, Wellington; highly commended, Eugene Duggan (Fletcher, Christchurch), for Forte Health, Christchurch

Over $50 million, Davis Langdon award: Excellence, Bryce Marx (Fletcher, Auckland), for ANZ Centre, Albert St, Auckland; highly commended, Chris Goldsbury (Fletcher, Wellington), for Project Maunga, Taranaki Base Hospital redevelopment, New Plymouth

Innovation, James Hardie award: Excellence, Jeff Vivian (Arrow, Auckland) and the late Ivan Mercep (Jasmax), for Te Uru Taumatua

Young achiever, NZIOB & Progressive Building award: Winner, Matt Cameron (Beca, Auckland), who secured pro bono engineering for seismic upgrade of a quake-damaged historic Christchurch cottage; highly commended, Samantha McGavock (Arrow, Auckland)

Supreme award, Gib: Jeff Vivian and the late Ivan Mercep.

Attribution: Awards night.

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Small Scott Base project a big winner for Leighs

Published: 20 August 2005

Anthony Leighs (left) & Matt Searle went up to the stage to collect the first award at the NZ Institute of Building’s annual awards ceremony in Auckland last night. And they just kept coming back.

All for some sheds at the South Pole which the evening’s MC, Brett Rutledge, jokingly referred to as looking like a bunch of Skyline garages.

It was a little more complicated than putting up a garage in the back yard. Everything was made in Christchurch and the whole construction checked there before being transported to the New Zealand Antarctic expedition’s home at Scott Base.

It was a zero-footprint exercise – even the tiny white polystyrene packing balls were cleaned up every day and removed. And it was an exercise which didn’t allow for any mistakes in ordering up materials & equipment. Mr Searle & his crew of 9 went down to the snow for 3 months last summer, coming out only when they’d finished the job.

Leighs Construction Ltd has a fair local workload in Canterbury but also looks for different, challenging projects. For Mr Searle, out of town didn’t mean Timaru, it meant somewhere the cellphone was out of range. In this case he had to learn what to look for in a job interview where he was choosing a crew that had to work together 12 hours/day, live in 2 bunkrooms for a frozen summer and do most of their socialising together because their work schedule meant they needed to be a little isolated from the base’s 80 other residents.

I asked him if the selection process & success of the job meant he’d come up with something akin to a Canterbury forward pack in commitment. He said he had 9 front-rowers. They were so committed they got the job done 22 days ahead of schedule, though they had to be careful how much they exerted themselves – in the heavy clothes they were obliged to wear, getting too strenuous could mean being bathed in frozen sweat.

The team built the Hillary Field Centre at Scott Base, and Mr Searle will return in January with a team of 4 to spend a month building a new laboratory.

Mr Leighs got his construction company going 10 years ago and in 2002 was named the NZIOB’s young achiever of the year. Returning with project manager Mr Searle this year, he began the night by collecting the award for projects under $5 million, sponsored by specialist recruitment company Hays Construction.

The duo went on to win the Placemakers innovation award and completed their evening by collecting the NZIOB supreme award, sponsored by Gib & James Hardie.

As well as awards for excellence in the building professions, there was also an award for the convenor of judges for the young achiever award, John Bullen, of the Bledisloe Estate Trust, who received the NZIOB Medal for his services. He’s a fellow of the institute, has been a national councillor for 8 years, northern chapter president & awards organiser. “I got involved in the NZIOB many years ago to upskill a little bit,” he said.

The NZIOB awards:

Under $5 million (sponsor Hays Construction): Excellence, Anthony Leighs & Matt Searle (Leighs Construction Ltd), Hillary Field Centre, Scott Base.

$5-15 million (Colorsteel Endura): Excellence, Hans Stoffel (Ebert Construction Ltd). Highly commended, Hamish Boyd (Jasmax Ltd), Sancta Maria College, Silverdale.

$15-50 million (Holcim Projects): Excellence, Bryce Solomon (Carson Group Ltd), Waitakere Hospital redevelopment. Highly commended, Nick Page (Canam Construction Ltd), Waitakere Regional Sports Trust’s Trusts Stadium.

Over $50 million (Davis Langdon): Excellence, Lale Ieremia (Arrow International Ltd, in Fletcher-Arrow joint venture), new Southland Base Hospital. Highly commended, Alan Gray (Fletcher Construction Ltd), Sky City Convention Centre & Grand Hotel.

Innovation award (Placemakers): Excellence, Anthony Leighs & Matt Searle (Leighs Construction Ltd), Hillary Field Centre, Scott Base. Highly commended, Graham Hawkins & Bert Denee (Kalmar Projects Ltd), Papatoetoe pedestrian bridge over railway lines.

Young achiever award (NZIOB & Progressive Building magazine): Excellence, Tim Jones (Hawkins Construction Ltd, Auckland). Highly commended, Aaron Muir (Fletcher Construction Ltd, Wellington).

If you want to comment on this story, write to the BD Central Discussion forum or send an email to [email protected].

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Fletcher hospital team wins top NZIOB award

The 2 project chiefs for Fletcher Construction Ltd’s Auckland City Hospital development won the NZ Institute of Building’s supreme award at a function in Auckland last night.

That award, and the trophy for projects over $10 million, were accepted by Warren Hollings (pictured) & Waren Warfield.

Mr Hollings also headed construction of the SkyCity project. Among his comments on the awards: “This was one mother of a job – it was as tough as the casino.”

The institute’s young achiever award was split between Richard McGowan, of Warren & Mahoney, and Stuart Smith, of Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd. Mr Smith, who was also nominated for the $10 million-plus award for his work as design manager on the hospital project, said his young achiever trophy came on the back of that job.

Most of the awards were for public sector projects. One that didn’t fit that description and missed out on awards in 2 categories was the Foxton windmill, which took 13 years from original conception in 1990 to completion in 2003.

Jan Langen & Cor Slobbe, 2 Dutch immigrants of the 1950s, were finalists in the under-$2 million category and for the innovation award

The NZIOB awards for excellence in the building professions:

Colorsteel Endura projects under $2 million:

Excellence: Noel Saxon (Arrow International Ltd), for the Cashmere High School conductive unit, Christchurch.

Highly commended: Chris Edwards (Fletcher Interiors), Birkenhead New World supermarket.

Placemakers innovation award:

Excellence: Nicholas Samson (McKee Fehl Construction Ltd), Victoria University library, Rankine Brown Building structural upgrade, Wellington.

Highly commended: David Fullbrook & Ben Masters (Connell Mott MacDonald), population health complex, Auckland University Tamaki campus.

Holcim projects $2-10 million award:

Excellence: Donal Lynch (Fletcher Construction Ltd), Embassy Theatre restoration, Wellington.

Highly commended: Tony King (Fulton Hogan Ltd), Tarewa roundabout, Whangarei.

Davis Langon NZ Ltd projects over $10 million:

Excellence: Warren Hollings & Waren Warfield (Fletcher Construction Ltd), Auckland City Hospital.

Highly commended: Stuart Smith (Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd), Aucklnd City Hospital, Starship Hospital & support building refurbishment.

NZIOB Young Achiever: Richard McGowan (Warren & Mahoney) & Stuart Smith (Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd).

Supreme award, sponsored by James Hardie & Gib: Warren Hollings & Waren Warfield (Fletcher Construction Ltd), Auckland City Hospital.

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