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Buchan breathes new life into Auckland tower

Formerly known as WHK Tower, the Auckland CBD building has undergone a $2.7 million transformation to become 51 Shortland Street, complete with refurbished interiors and exteriors.
Australasian firm The Buchan Group was appointed by AMP Capital Property in 2011 to provide design and architectural expertise to the project, which included upgrading the building’s lobby and atrium.

Covering approximately 1000 sq m, the revamp has smartened the office’s overall look and feel through the use of smooth, streamlined and sustainable building materials.
The Buchan Group managing principal Mike Jakobi says the team was responsible for managing the project’s significant milestones, ranging from the initial conceptual fit-out designs through to project construction and delivery.

“Our brief was to create a visually appealing gateway leading from Shortland Street to the building’s foyer. In order to achieve this we worked with materials that enhanced and complemented the building’s existing structure and design,” he says.

Short course to lift performance and cost efficiency of buildings
Using integrated design and the principles of the Living Building Challenge, Creating Living Buildings is a course for all those working in the built environment and is designed to dramatically raise building standards in New Zealand.

Creating Living Buildings is an NZQA-approved 15 credit programme designed by Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice to increase capability for building cost-effective high performance buildings that create long-term value for people without harming the environment.

Auckland-based architect Jerome Partington will lead the programme that starts with two-day block courses in Christchurch on June 3 and 4 and in Auckland on June 17 and 24. These initial block courses are followed by 10 weekly webinars.

“We have the technology and the knowledge to create buildings that are net zero (energy, water and waste), built from non-toxic, locally-sourced materials, and that are beautiful and inspiring,” Mr Partington says.

EMEX on again
The Engineering, Machinery and Electronics Exhibition (EMEX) trade show is on again at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane, Auckland from Tuesday, May 27 to Thursday, May 29.
Since 1980 EMEX has been the largest national trade event for the New Zealand manufacturing, engineering, machinery and electronics industries, showcasing engineering innovation to New Zealand businesses and the world.

Exhibitors in the following trade categories will be showing their wares:
• Control and Instrumentation
• Plant Automation and Monitoring
• Machine Technology

• Software and Computerisation
• Industrial Engineering and Maintenance
• Welding, Forming and Cutting
• Energy

• Environment and Waste Management
• Health and Safety
• Materials Handling
• Professional Services
• Packaging, Labelling and Bar-coding

Campus makes awards finals
A purpose-built hospitality and cookery school in Sylvia Park, Auckland, has claimed one of the top spots in the New Zealand Property Council’s prestigious Rider Levett Bucknall property awards.

NZMA’s Sylvia Park Campus has been named a finalist in the Coffey Education and Arts Property category, up against six other organisations.
The architecturally-designed training facility houses two training kitchens, a commercial kitchen, a 150-seat café, training bar, restaurant and barista room, as well as classrooms, cyber suites and offices. Around 700 students study there each week.

New Zealand renovation demand strong
New Zealanders have continued to spend more on renovating their homes over the past year, with home renovation site builderscrack.co.nz reporting a 62% increase in the number of home renovation and repair jobs posted in the year to March 2014.

Auckland growth was in line with the national average at 63%, with the hot housing market encouraging many to renovate before selling.
Canterbury was up 78%, with growth driven by a strong housing market, as well as a number of home owners choosing to opt out of the Fletcher process and manage their own earthquake repairs.

Gisborne and Taranaki were the fastest growing regions in the country, up 220% and 124% from the previous year. Waikato (114%) and Northland (105%) were also up strongly.
Wellington grew slower than the national average (43% increase), whilst Nelson and Bays was the only region to decline from the previous year (down 8%).

A strong housing market in select areas and the Christchurch rebuild have driven demand for larger renovations. A warmer, dryer summer also provided a boost to outdoor jobs such as fence and deck construction, and house painting across the country.

Aucklander returns to launch new building system
Neville Price has established a new architectural practice in Auckland after a break away from New Zealand working in architecture and property development in California for some 25 years.

Best known for designing the distinctive West Plaza office building in downtown Auckland, Mr Price designed numerous other Auckland buildings, including the landmark Ceramic House in New Lynn, Auckland’s first modern multi-storey apartment building at Stanley Point, and numerous houses and townhouses, including the Moorings development on the Herne Bay waterfront.

Mr Price is now working on several Auckland projects from his West Plaza office, and has also developed a new revolutionary construction system named NEV-X.
It is primarily for all types of houses, but also suitable for smaller commercial and retail premises. International patents have been applied for, and the system will be launched in New Zealand later this year.

Consent applauded in Q’town
Alastair Porter, chief executive and co-managing director of Porter Group, has applauded the granting of consents for Pak’n’Save and Mitre 10 Mega stores at Shotover Park, Queenstown.

Mr Porter says a key point in the decision is the independent Planning Commissioner’s finding that the stores will promote economic growth in the Queenstown District.
“Getting these stores established through the planning process has taken an extraordinary and unnecessary amount of time and cost for all parties,” he says.

The battle has seen previous resource consent applications declined by the council, granted in the Environment Court, overturned in the High Court and appealed to the Court of Appeal, and then the subject of this new application to the QLDC, which has now been granted.