Christchurch rebuild projects win top engineering awards
Christchurch projects have won half of the top awards for New Zealand's best consulting engineering.
The Arts Centre restoration, upgraded airport runways, a new rubber factory and a children's picture book were all recognised when the Association of Consulting Engineers gave out its annual Innovate awards to engineering firms last weekend.
Three of the six Innovate gold awards went to Christchurch projects, as did several other awards and a special category award. Most were associated with the earthquake rebuild.
Work on the 19th century Arts Centre's Great Hall and Clock Tower buildings won a gold award for Holmes Consulting.
Holmes' project director John Trowsdale said it had been an enormous challenge and involved hiding cutting-edge strengthening technology inside heritage features.
Aecom won a gold award for Project Takatu – the widening of runways at Christchurch Airport to make room for bigger aircraft such as the new Airbus A380.
Another gold went to Beca, along with Calder Stewart Industries, Skellerup Holdings and Inovo Projects, for the $30 million new rubber products factory built at Wigram Business Park for Skellerup. The factory replaces the company's old one at Woolston, which was damaged in the earthquakes.
A special award was given to a children's lift-the-flap picture book called Christchurch - Our Underground Story.
The book, written and illustrated by engineers Phil Wilkins and Martin Coates, teaches children about the city's infrastructure repair and was published for Beca as a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House.
Christchurch projects also took almost half the merit awards handed out.
One each went to Aurecon for its work on the Christchurch Bus Interchange, and to Beca for its work on the Christchurch City Council's insurance claims.
Engeo won a merit award for engineering on the Christchurch Adventure Park, and Aurecon won a merit for its work on the earthquake-damaged Deans Head and Shag Rock reserve in Sumner. Engeo also got a merit award for helping insurer Southern Response settle earthquake claims.
The city's Grand Central, Opus House and Environment Canterbury office building project secured merit awards for Aurecon, Opus International and Quoin Structural Consultants respectively.