Construction sector embraces innovation in Commercial Project Awards - 11 April 2018

The 2018 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards have received record entries this year, with many embracing the collaborative and innovative technologies required to transform our construction industry.

The prestigious awards run by the Registered Master Builders Association (RMBA) set the benchmark for commercial construction in New Zealand. The 2018 winners will be announced at a national gala event on 18 May 2018 at SKYCITY in Auckland.

“These awards give us the opportunity to recognise the whole of the team involved in these projects and to celebrate and share the innovation that is happening across the sector,” says Registered Master Builders Chief Executive David Kelly. 

“Globally and here in New Zealand, the construction industry is seen as being slow to innovate and embrace new technologies, but these awards show there are many projects which are bucking this trend and looking for new ways to collaborate and innovate.

“Nearly half (43%) of this year’s entries have worked to de-risk the construction process by ensuring contractors are engaged and involved early in the process. Early collaboration between client, contractor and consultants are key for these complex projects. 

“A quarter of this year’s projects used Building Information Modelling (BIM). This collaboration and management software is becoming more prevalent internationally and we are pleased to see it also being used here in New Zealand.” 

This year’s entries are also embracing new technologies and products. Over a quarter (26%) used 3D printing, 38 percent utilised pre-fabrication, and 23 percent used smart materials.

“As an industry we need to discuss and share our learnings and innovations more. That is a key focus for the Commercial Project Awards,” says Kelly. “The extremely high calibre of entries we have received this year reflect the scale and diversity of commercial building work being done across the country. The entrants are examples we can look to as an industry to demonstrate some of the amazing innovations taking place to meet the demands of construction growth and seismic strength.”

The 87 entrants include the refurbishment of Speights Brewery in Dunedin, the transformation of a 1926 Methodist Theological College in Auckland to suit the needs of the Church of Scientology, the building of a state of the art plant and food research facility for Port Nelson, and the creation of a “dream” milking facility in Waipapa, Northland.
The Awards recognise and celebrate the contribution of the professionals that work on commercial building projects – big and small – from architects and engineers to project managers and quantity surveyors. The whole project team is vital when it comes to building the quality environments where we all live, work, and play.

The 2018 categories include Heritage/Restoration Project, Retail Project, Civic Project, Construction Marketing Services Education Project, Industrial Project, Commercial Project, the PlaceMakers Tourism and Leisure Project, the Altus Health Project, the Winstone Wallboards Residential Project, and the Commercial Fit Out Project. 

There are also four value-based awards, with categories ranging from projects under $2 million, through to over $15 million – and the potential for a Special Award for any outstanding project worthy of recognition. 

The highest accolade of the Awards – the Platinum Award – is given to an entrant who has won five or more national titles. This can only be awarded to an organisation once.

“Last year’s Supreme Award winner, The Remarkables Base Building in Queenstown, entered by Arrow International (NZ) Limited, was an impressive display of collaboration and teamwork across the entire project team that made the high standard of workmanship in such extreme climatic conditions, from high winds to snow, possible,” says Kelly. 

The New Zealand Commercial Project Awards are sponsored by PlaceMakers, Altus, GIB, Allied Concrete, Construction Marketing Services and CARTERS.

View all the entries here.