As Christmas approaches we look back on yet another very busy and successful year and are very grateful for all the support we have had from clients, contractors, suppliers, service providers, and friends and associates in the industry.

This year has been one of consolidation, with a relatively stable staff, but a lack of likely candidates for further staff expansion. In common with many other companies and industries, we have noticed a severe shortage of experienced engineers to help cope with the continued growth in the economy.

Earlier in the year we attended the Master Builders “Home of the Year Awards” at which two of our clients received Awards in their class for buildings we have worked on – Kingsview Resort Apartments for Hawkins Construction, and the new Hirepool premises by Big Shed Ltd.

Our Projects

Again, this year has seen a wide range of projects being worked on, from domestic alterations and additions, up to high-rise apartments.

We have completed the design for the six storey, 48 unit, Cayman Apartments at the Mount, and the Navigator Apartments at Papamoa. We are also working on more accommodation units and a village community centre for the Sanderson Group.

The new Fashion Island retail centre at Papamoa is now up and running with just a few tenancy fit-outs to be completed. We have handled the structural and fire engineering for nearly all these shops.

The Lambert Quay subdivision in Hull Road, the Mount, is also rapidly filling up with new commercial buildings and we have provided structural and/or fire engineering design for many of these – in fact, for 86 commercial units in this subdivision. The Papamoa East commercial subdivision has also provided many structural and fire design projects.

And this year has seen the construction of the new Imex warehouse and offices in Boeing Place, a new warehouse for Comvita, and extensions for Trimax Industries.

The roof over the BayPark Stadium seating for Bob Clarkson was completed in time for the Super 14 match, and the second new warehouse and offices for Steel & Tube in Jean Batten Place is now nearing completion. Design work is also progressing on a further three warehouses.

Our specialty in Kiwifruit post harvest facilities continues to keep us busy with 28 coolstore rooms being added to sites in the Bay of Plenty for this season, as well as large packhouse and canopy extensions. A spin-off from this area has been the design of a number of rotary milking sheds utilising coolroom panel to provide a washable interior finish.

We continue to provide a technical design and support service for Polyphen, the fire resistant coolroom insulation panel which is now having an impact in the market place, providing a viable locally produced solution for the insurance industry’s concern over the flammability of polystyrene.

Our specialist design expertise in light steel framing for buildings, ranging from residential housing up to large portal framed sheds, has again resulted in a steady stream of projects throughout the country. Allayed to this field has been testing work for supermarket shelving, and the bracing design for a number of warehouse racking installations for Southward Racking Solutions

Our work in specialist product design has gained wider recognition, with more review work being carried out for BEAL (Building Element Assessment Laboratory) in Wellington.

Technology

We have continued to upgrade our computer systems and software, and have a very stable working platform for the engineering analysis, 3D draughting and practice management.

Looking Forward

The Ministry of Housing and Building, the new Building Act, and the Councils, in their new guise as BCAs (Building Consent Authorities), are continuing to provide plenty of challenges.

The documentation required for building consents has increased significantly and this area continues to be a real pressure point. Our involvement is increasingly required throughout the project, to the Code of Compliance stage, to ensure all work and variations are inspected and documented.

However there is still scope for the innovative and “outside the square” solutions that we have based our practice on – adding enginuity to building projects; they just require that extra level of justification and documentation now.

So, once again, we thank you very much for your support over the last year, wish you all a safe, happy, and restful Christmas break, and we look forward to dealing with you again in the New Year.