The Cost of Failure in Health and Safety

Photo credit: http://www.cover4directors.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ConstructionHS5.jpg In the past week two construction workers have been tragically killed in a work site incident in Perth. This may serve as an important reminder to all involved in the industry that construction sites are an inherently dangerous workplace and that a lax attitude to health and safety can have catastrophic consequences for…

Women in Construction – Overcoming bias

Recently Lucy Eng took out two of the top prizes at the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors – Infinite Value awards. Lucy, a project and cost manager at Beca in Christchurch, won the ‘Women in Construction’ as well as the ‘Professional of the Year’ award. Lucy is the first New Zealander to win both of…

Winners of the New Zealand Architecture Awards

Previously we blogged about the short list for the annual New Zealand Architecture Awards. The winners have been announced with the Blyth Performing Arts Centre at Iona College in Havelock North taking out the top prize. The building was described by jurors as “an exquisite home for some of the other arts in this beautifully planned…

Google Street View – Not Just a Pretty Face

New research from the University of Southampton shows that Google Street View may be more than just a tool to spy on your neighbours. Researchers have been using images from the programme to assess the impacts of the tragic Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011. Following on-site investigations to assess damage and…

Tick Tock! Limitation lessons from Lee v Whangarei DC

The majority of legal proceedings about construction defects raise issues about limitation. These are the very basic limitation principles that apply: The  Limitation Act 1950 and the Limitation Act 2010 require claimants to commence legal proceedings within six years. In many construction defects cases, the six year period does not start until the defects are discovered or are reasonably discoverable. The Building…

Onerous Health and Safety fines about to increase

A company fined $116,000 over a workplace death is likely to be taking a second look at its in-house maintenance procedures. Roy Chan was tragically killed at the end of 2013 when he was crushed by the crane he was carrying out maintenance on. Mr Chan was greasing the crane when he inadvertently activated a…

Spooky early construction practices

As today is Friday 13th, we are spotlighting spooky and superstitious construction practices. Many early civilisations are thought to have practised human sacrifice as part of the dedication of major building projects, from temples to bridges, in order to bring good fortune and pacify the gods. In Mayan culture, although human sacrifice was relatively rare,…

Wellington’s sticker collection

At primary school the more stickers you had the more popular you were. Sadly this is not the case in Wellington where a recent study by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research shows that Wellington buildings identified as earthquake prone have dropped 45% in value. The ‘stickers’, refer to the Building Act notice that is…