Wintec trophy cupboard overflows with Gold

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The new state-of-the-art Engineering and Trades Facility at Wintec’s Rotokauri Campus in Hamilton has cleaned out the education architectural prize cupboard.

In addition to taking home Gold and National Category Winner for the Education Category in the Registered Master Builders Commercial Project Awards, it has also won the Education Award at the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Architecture Awards, and received the Award of Excellence at the Property Council New Zealand Property Industry Awards.

The $25 million, 5000sq m “total learning environment” is home to more than 1000 construction, plumbing, electrical, automotive, mechanical, civil and architectural, engineering and trades students, and more than 100 Wintec staff.

The modern design includes a mix of formal studios, social breakout areas and practical learning workshops that reflect industry standards and replicate “real work” environments.The all-encompassing learning facilities give students practical experience alongside their theoretical learning, and offer a more student-centric approach.

Judges were highly impressed by the collaborative learning facility Wintec’s Engineering and Trades Facility provided for students and staff, and awarded Gold in the Education Categor y for its innovative design and concept.

“The resulting building is inspirational, with a wide range of technical subjects taught in a huge shared workshop space — a showcase for engineering and construction skill for students and industry alike.” Wintec’s vision of implementing a new philosophy around trades and engineering education was brought to life by architects and designers Chow:Hill Architects, construction company Fletcher Construction, quantity surveyors Jewkes Boyd and project managers Greenstone Group.

Fletcher Construction regional manager Mark Ritchie says teamwork was key in achieving a high qualit y finish for what was a “challenging project ”. “We had a very tight programme and budget — we were also working with products which were new to the market which meant there were issues to resolve, but everyone just worked together,” Mr Ritchie says.

“We all made concessions, found solutions and just got on with it, which resulted in a fabulous building with an excellent level of finish. “The three awards this building has already won is a testament to the quality of this facility. Wintec’s recent buildings have all been of a high standard, and this is just a continuation of that,” Mr Ritchie says. The building’s unique design and function make it New Zealand’s most modern engineering and trades education facility, and is an asset to add to Wintec’s already impressive architectural portfolio.