Changes to HoY will strengthen competition

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The Registered Master Builders Federation has introduced changes to the 2006 House of the Year competition to ensure greater judging transparency and providing feedback to all entrants. The changes, in response to surveys of members and associations, aim to enhance the value of the competition and ensure it remains the industry benchmark for quality construction, whether new homes, renovations or commercial properties. 

“Each year we review the programme looking for ways to encourage more members to enter, while providing additional marketing and business benefi ts commensurate with our member’s investment in this annual marketing programme,” according to RMBF chief executive Pieter Burghout. 

Key changes in the 2006 competition include the replacement of local residential judging panels with four to five national panels who will each judge three to four categories throughout the country. Panel membership has also changed, and will now comprise only two judges — one builder specialist and one architect.

 Judging criteria reflects the importance of workmanship — at 65% of the total marks available, and design, functionality and style comprising 35%. All entrants will also receive in graph form formal feedback on their properties and their scores against industry criteria and industry averages. 

These changes to judging and feedback to entries ensure greater consistency, and provide entrants with some tangible feedback on which to review their work practice. These changes have been well received by members and sponsors alike.

 Principal sponsor PlaceMakers chief executive David Worley supports the changes, saying it reflects the Federation’s commitment to own and grow the judging and quality benchmarking undertaken through the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards programme.

 “An entrant will know that a category winner in Queenstown will have been judged by the same panel that awarded the category in Auckland,” Mr Worley says. The changes have also been warmly welcomed by last year’s Supreme Award winner, Bruce Barton from Barton Builders.

 “The competition already offers builders a great way to gauge where they’re at compared to builders around the country. Now with the changes the results will be more consistent and builders will get an even better understanding of the standard of their work.” 

Entries opened for the 2006 competition on February 7. Entry forms are available from local Registered Master Builders Associations or can be downloaded on-line at www.masterbuilder.org.nz. 

The Registered Master Builders 2006 House of the Year and RMB Commercial Project Awards are supported by principal sponsor PlaceMakers, and supporting sponsors James Hardie, GIB Living Solutions, Pink Batts Ultra, Mico Bathrooms, Housing New Zealand Corporation, Nulook and Future-Proof Building.