Brainstorm shapes future
Metalcraft Engineering had the equipment and the skills to branch out from its mainstay metalwork and, after brainstorming, found plenty of ways to make its mark on the rebuild.
The Wairakei Rd company's bread and butter is metal fabrication to support the glass transportation industry.
Director Ian Barker said business was rolling along steadily, but the company had the ability and technology to do a range of metalwork and saw scope for niche jobs during the rebuild.
The directors sat around the table and nailed down the best of them to keep their 20-odd staff busy.
To ensure it is able to progress its plans, the company bought about $200,000 worth of equipment and in the last month took on five new staff to gear up for rebuild work.
Director Warwick Styles is a cycling enthusiast: with his inside knowledge the company designed a vertical bike rack which could hold 10 bikes in a fraction of the space used by conventional racks. The new design was gentler on the bikes, included a canvas shelter, and was an interesting design, Barker said.
That rack was sold to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Christchurch office and Metalcraft is trying to drum up support at the Christchurch City Council for using interesting bike stands around the city.
They are building a koru-shaped street-art bike rack which will soon be installed in the Re:Start Mall by the Ministry of Awesome not for profit.
The "ministry" includes Student Volunteer Army head Sam Johnson, former mayor Vicki Buck, Kaila Colbin, the curator of TEDxChCh and TEDxEQChCh (part of the Technology, Entertainment, Design ideas movement) in Christchurch, and Sacha McMeeking, general manager of strategy and influence at Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu.
Barker believes artfully quirky bike racks could be used throughout the city, encouraging cycling while helping signpost the precincts through their designs.
Many organisations place their racks in out-of-the-way places because conventional designs are best kept out of sight.
Some people with expensive bikes were wary of putting these in older racks and instead had bikes next to their desks for safekeeping, he said.
Interestingly designed bike racks can be placed in obtrusive locations, with bikes the safer for it.
Metalcraft plans to stamp its mark on the rebuild in several other ways. The company has metal planter boxes for a subdivision complete with the estate's name cut into them.
Rails and balustrades for new buildings and street furniture for businesses and property developers are all within Metalcraft's scope and will likely be in hot demand during the rebuild.
Then there are contractors who are wanting to sort out haphazard vans. Instead of tossed heaps of tools and materials, many tradesmen are looking to kit out their vehicles with custom-made storage drawers.
Demolition companies' trucks are no doubt wearing out their tippers with the sheer volume of debris being carted from broken buildings.
Factories moving to new premises or upgrading their plant after the quakes need metal industrial fencing, storage systems and general metalwork, Barker said.
Lightweight aluminium roof accessways and ladders are also becoming more popular as people are more cautious of weight on roofs and safe walkways.
"Now is the right time to take some risks, invest in what we believe in, and focus on our specialist role in rebuilding the city," he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News