Whangarei Civic Centre and Arup highlight exceptional commercial construction excellence

Canam Commercial took out the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards Supreme Award Over $10 million category for its Whangarei Civic Centre project.
Canam Commercial took out the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards Supreme Award Over $10 million category for its Whangarei Civic Centre project.

Not one but two stand-out entrants have been awarded a Supreme Award at the recent Registered Master Builders New Zealand Commercial Project Awards (NZCPA), a first in the competition’s history.

In a true reflection of the region’s cultural identity and heritage, Canam Commercial took out the Supreme Award for its Whangarei Civic Centre project in the Over $10 million category.

And the Unispace team won the Supreme Award for a project Under $10 million for their highly sustainable commercial fit-out of the Arup offices in Auckland.

This year, the Supreme Award was spilt into two categories to recognise projects under and over $10 million to better reflect the market, and to celebrate top commercial construction across different price brackets.

Owned by Registered Master Builders, the NZCPA set a benchmark for innovation and collaboration in the sector, celebrating remarkable team achievements across varying areas of commercial construction.

Taking out the Civic Project category and the Commercial Project Over $25 million Value Award, the Whangarei Civic Centre stands as a pinnacle of commercial construction. The centre is the new headquarters for the Whangarei District Council, located right in the heart of the city.

A stand-out feature of the project was its substantial contribution to local employment. More than 80% of the workforce are residents from the local area, with women representing 20% of the onsite staff, and apprentices or trainees accounting for another 20%, making a lasting and positive impact on the local community.

The judges said the extraordinary building is a vibrant central hub for the community.

“The architecture of the building extends an open invitation to all through its bold colours and elements. Exceptional collaboration within the team led to the development of this special, joyful, and highly functional facility.

“It has been built with passion and purpose to provide a great asset and enduring legacy to the Northland community.”

Arup, a beautifully executed office space in Auckland by Unispace, stands out as a beacon of holistic design and construction excellence.

The project met the stringent requirements of the Living Building Challenge, resulting in a pioneering achievement.

The judges were blown away by the team’s meticulous attention to detail and sustainable design practices, which seamlessly accentuated the building’s original 1984 lofty timber architecture.

“Through their strong partnership, Arup and Unispace overcame numerous obstacles to deliver this extraordinary project, qualifying as Australasia’s first Living Building Challenge fit-out.

“To meet the requirements for certification, the project had to be designed to encourage sustainable and regenerative building practices. This resulted in 99% of construction waste being diverted from landfills,” the judges said.

In addition to the Supreme Award, Unispace took out the Commercial Fit Out Award, Commercial Project $1 – $3 million Value Award, and Mitre 10 Trade Environmental and Sustainable Award.

Registered Master Builders chief executive Ankit Sharma says the Commercial Project Awards highlight the incredible quality, collaboration and craftsmanship involved in bringing a commercial project to life.

“For over 10 years, these awards have been recognising team success. The cross-sector collaboration required to bring these projects of all shapes and sizes to life reflects the sector’s dedication and commitment to innovation, and to delivering outstanding buildings that make a difference to communities across Aotearoa,” Sharma says.

“This year’s award-winning teams continue to raise the standards in their respective categories.

“The judges also noted a growing interest in passive housing and innovations which save energy and cut emissions. Sustainable building practices are becoming more common, especially from commercial businesses,” Sharma says.

The New Zealand Commercial Project Awards are made possible thanks to the support of Altus Windows Systems, CARTERS, SpecAdvisor, GIB, and Mitre 10 Trade.

For more information on the competition, and to view the full results and projects, visit commercialprojectawards.co.nz.

About the NZ Commercial Project Awards

Since 2013, The Commercial Project Awards have celebrated the teams who have created the best quality commercial builds around the country, with projects in Whangarei, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown taking out the Supreme Award over the years.

Entry is open to all New Zealand-based commercial construction project partners, including contractors, architects, building owners, engineers, and quantity surveyors.

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