Win provides marketing boost

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TH Barnes & Co Ltd chief executive John Smithies says his company’s profile has visibly improved since it won a Gold Reserve and the Health Project category at the 2010 Registered Master Builders House of the Year and RMB Commercial Project Awards, in association with PlaceMakers, for the Springland’s Lifestyle Village in Blenheim.

“There is no doubt about it. The award is an excellent marketing tool. Our profile, particularly in our catchment area, has visibly improved,” Mr Smithies says.
“We cover a broad market, from commercial, to housing, to alterations, to government projects. I think the award is a drawcard that brings people to us with an expectation of good quality workmanship, no matter what the project.”

Competition judges said that walking into the Springland’s Lifestyle Village is like walking into a premium quality hotel and villa complex.
“The village is beautifully built, with well-appointed accommodation desired to meet the needs of its community,” judges said.
“The standard of fit-out and recreational facilities is exceptional, making it a very well executed project worthy of its title,” they said.

TH Barnes & Co Ltd has been involved with Registered Master Builders for many years, and Mr Smithies says being a member, and entering the competition, “really elevates your credibility”.
“Our first win in the competition was in 1995. It is so good for the region, and for all Registered Master Builders, to be involved. It gives great public awareness that Registered Master Builders are all about quality,” Mr Smithies says.

TH Barnes & Co Ltd is entering two projects in the 2011 RMB Commercial Project Awards — an early learning centre in Blenheim and an architecturally-designed retail building in Picton for the Marlborough District Council.

The early learning school is a purpose-built pre-school. “The design is a little bit different and the client demanded a very high quality. We’d worked with them before, so they knew what to expect from us,” Mr Smithies says.

When asked what advice John would give to those considering entering the competition, he says “go for it!”
“It’s a once a year opportunity to get some really good exposure, and it’s worthwhile entering even if you don’t win. The networking opportunities, even in the local competition, are really valuable.”

Mr Smithies and his team have recently finished a project for the Department of Corrections, and over the Christmas period worked on three classrooms for a local school.
The Awards are made possible through the support of principal sponsor PlaceMakers, and supporting sponsors James Hardie, Gib Living Solutions®, Pink® Batts® Ultra®, Nulook and the Department of Building and Housing. 

For more information about the competition, go to www.masterbuilder.org.nz.