Tried tunnelling with a teaspoon?

In this month’s issue of Contractor Magazine, Sherwyn Williams and Tyler Buckley examine the legal principle of frustration and how a recent case in Singapore could represent a change in approach that New Zealand courts may adopt. Click here to read the article

Stadium Southland collapse – Engineer and Council’s $17m negligence

During a heavy snowfall in September 2010, Stadium Southland’s roof collapsed. Eight people were inside the facility at the time. Miraculously, all escaped unharmed. Following the collapse, the Stadium’s insurer issued legal proceedings against Anthony Major who was the consulting engineer responsible for the Stadium’s construction and against the Invercargill City Council (fortunately for the Southland community, the insurer…

Mindless ideological love hits building industry

It’s good to see that hearts are racing in the building industry with a flurry of comments following the government’s announcement that builders might soon be able to self-certify their work. Labour’s housing spokesman, Phil Twyford, says it is yet another example of the government’s ‘mindless ideological love of deregulation.’ This post was written by Kensington Swan…

Loopy rules report sparks talk of further Building Act amendments

In late 2014, Local Government Minister Paula Bennett established a Rules Reduction Taskforce to meet with and take submissions from the public about frustrating and ineffective property rules. The Taskforce’s report (‘The loopy rules report: New Zealanders tell their stories’) was released yesterday, and can be found here. Two thirds of the issues raised by…

Preparing for the Pope

A priest in Philadelphia embarked on an ambitious construction project in preparation for Pope Francis’ visit later this month, by recreating the Vatican out of Lego. Father Bob Simon chose to waive a formal competitive tender process in favour of performing the 10 month work programme himself. The ambitious padre bucked many standard practices of…

Bond, James Bond

This post covers the topic of bonds. Bonds are common in the construction and finance industry and their primary purpose is to secure, or guarantee, the performance of another’s obligation. They are commonly provided by banks, insurance companies and parent companies. In simple terms a bond is a promise to do something (usually pay money)…

Wellington buildings to become cheaper, smarter and greener

Wellington buildings are set to become smarter and greener due to a new initiative between Wellington City Council, Microsoft and the Energy and Efficiency Conservation authority (EECA). The Wellington Smart Energy Challenge is a collaborative partnership  which aims to lower energy consumption in the city’s commercial building sector, reduce costs and increase sustainability performance. Property…

Buildings in Motion

For those based in Auckland, you may be familiar with the rotating restaurant located up the Sky Tower named ‘Orbit’. This restaurant rotates slowly so that diners enjoy changing views overlooking Central Auckland. But have you heard of buildings in motion which actually change their shape? David Fisher from Dynamic Architecture is planning to build…

Tragedy in Mecca

Rain and strong winds are thought to be the cause of a crane recently falling on the densely occupied Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca. Tragically at least 107 people are thought to have been killed in the crash, which occurred while the Mosque was filled with worshipers. Approximately 230 are thought…