A team of 20 judges has been given the daunting task of assessing the 683 properties entered in this year’s Registered Master Builders House of the Year and RMB Commercial Project Awards, in association with PlaceMakers.
The judging began on April 26, and will continue over the following 14 weeks as 10 panels made up of two judges (one with building expertise and one with architectural expertise) travel the country in search of the top residential and commercial properties.
Each judging panel is given a particular category to judge, and they assess every property entered in that category in the 20 Registered Master Builder regions to determine the gold, silver and bronze award-winning residential and commercial properties in each area. These award-winning properties will be announced at local awards ceremonies.
The judges were selected from applications to the competition’s HoY management panel, and the organisers are delighted by the standard and breadth of experience in this year’s group.
More than half have been judges before and their knowledge of the competition awards programme is greatly valued, while the five or six newcomers add a fresh perspective to the judging process.
Brian Honeybone has been a judge in the House of the Year for several years, and says he gets a great deal of satisfaction from it.
“It’s my chance to give something back to the industry. It’s great to set benchmarks for quality, and I really believe this competition helps lift the standard of construction in New Zealand,” he says.
Mr Honeybone is joined by Keith Hay, and together they will judge 120 properties nationwide in the new homes between $250,000 and $350,000 category.
To keep judges fresh, this year schedules have been divided into four-day blocks. Judges may visit up to five properties per day depending on how far they have to travel between properties. This suits Mr Honeybone well as he still runs his building company, Honeybone Builders, during this time.
He has been on the other side of the judging panel too, and knows first-hand just how much effort and energy goes into building an award-winning property.
Prior to being a judge, Honeybone Builders (which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary in business) not only won awards in several local competition events but has taken a national title in the over $1 million residential property category.
By August 1, the judging for the local competitions will be complete and the team of judges will disband for another year, knowing they have seen the best of the best in residential and commercial building in New Zealand.
From the local competition awards programmes, the top 100 properties are selected, and a new residential judging panel of two spends six weeks visiting each of these properties.
They will then determine the national winners across a total of 22 categories, including five lifestyle awards, and the two supreme winning properties — the PlaceMakers Supreme Award and the RMB Commercial Project of the Year.
The winning properties will be announced at an awards ceremony in Auckland on Saturday, October 27.