20 years ago:
• The final component of the country’s largest and most talked about commercial development — the tower at Auckland’s Sky City casino complex — was opened and showcased in one of the most spectacular music, laser and fireworks displays ever seen in New Zealand.
The display involved more than 44 tonnes of fireworks strategically placed around the city and harbour, and three large lasers, including two of the world’s most powerul units.
The tower took 32 months to build, and materials used included
15,000 cu m of concrete, 2000 tonnes of reinforcing steel, and 660 tonnes of structural steel, including 170 tonnes in the mast.
15 years ago:
• The Building Industry Federation (BIF) was not impressed with scare tactics some companies were stooping to in order to gain a market advantage among uncertainty surrounding weathertightness issues.
BIF executive director Kevin Marevich said it was not in the best interests of the industry, and only further wekened consumer confidence towards investing in new homes.
He said BIF had been busy formulating some answers and solutions on the weathertightness situation, including pushing for quicker remedial action.
10 years ago:
• The recently announced rules setting out the standard of competence that building practitioners had to meet to become licensed were of concern to the RMBF.
Chief executive Pieter Burghout said the RMBF agreed with the intent and the philosophy of LBPs and the rules themselves, “but where we still have a major concern is around the, as yet unknown, exemption for DIYers”.
“The danger we forsee is where, unless properly frameworked, the exemptions allow rogue builders, who either cannot or will not be licensed, to masquerade as DIYers and carry on building, potentially putting consumers at risk and undermining the integrity of the whole LBP scheme.”
5 years ago:
• A locally developed timber building system that enabled fast re-occupation after an earthquake had emerged as world-leading at a gathering of international timber engineering experts.
Standing out at the World Conference of Timber Engineering in Auckland was a presentation by the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC), a research consortium of New Zealand and Australian commercial and academic partners.
STIC was behind the development of EXPAN, a unique, post-tensioned laminated veneer lumber (or glulam) building system that offered superior seismic qualities and lateral stability for multi-storey and long span buildings.
In the event of an earthquake, an EXPAN building stays structurally intact through a controlled rocking mechanism and timber components that give strength without weight, to minimise acceleration loads caused by ground shaking.
STIC research team leader and WCTE technical programme chair Professor Pierre Quenneville said he received numerous comments at the conference that New Zealand was leading the way in timber engineering.