There is no ‘town planning’ anymore

For some unknown reason I have been hosting and presenting to monthly delegations of Chinese “officials” who manage and run cities of between 2-6 million people from all over China.  I get the sense we were found by a google search.  Anyway we now have a snappy presentation and everyone seems happy.

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Knowing where your private infrastructure ends and the public’s begin

A Wellington resident has recently had to foot a $9476 bill for repairs to a lateral private sewer pipe near his property boundary. That’s right, near his property. Wellington City Council policy is that if your lateral sewer pipe is damaged, no matter how far out of your property; no matter which road it is under and who’s trees are growing down into it, you have to pay for the repairs. Warwick Eves, the resident forking out for what would seem to be Council managed infrastructure, is in shock.

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There will be no housing crisis in five years

There has been a fresh round of media housing crisis scaremongering in last few weeks. It would appear that Radio New Zealand, Stuff, News Hub, the Green and Labour Party are all under the impression that because first home buyers in Auckland are currently borrowing record amounts that the housing crisis in unsolvable. The reserve bank has released data that shows the average first-home buyer is borrowing a record $390,000 to help move them into their first house. This is a 43% increase from two years ago.

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Welcome to the energy revolution – the new normal

The world is currently on the cusp of a major technology change. Advances in technologies like solar power, battery storage, electric vehicles and driver-less cars are already changing the world as we know it.

Germany, along with many other forward thinking countries, is rapidly moving away from fossil fuels and increasingly seeing the value that renewable energy has.  As a part of the country’s energy transition, Germany is building four massive wind turbines that are filled with water. When the wind blows, the spinning blades draw water up from the river below.  During periods of peak demand, the water is then gravity fed into the hydro-power station below. Read more

That sinking feeling

Ground water investigations and ground water diversion reports have become the new normal for our clients when building basements which are deep enough to be in this sphere.  The level of detail and cost has left us wondering if it was a big scam.   And then we read about a 7 year old residential tower in San Francisco that is sinking and we realise it’s a big issue.

For the residents of Millennium Tower in San Francisco there is a real sinking feeling. Since the completion of construction in 2009 the luxury real estate tower has sunk into the ground 40-cms, and begun tilting to the Northwest by 20-cms. And that isn’t even the main problem. The real kicker is that Millennium Tower is also in the middle of an earthquake zone. Read more

The Auckland Civic Administration Building – Civic Quarter

We are incredibly excited to be apart of the redevelopments for the iconic Auckland Council Civic Administration Building. After sitting dormant for two years gathering (asbestos) dust, we are working closely with long time associate John Love (of Love & Co) to bring it back to life.

The building is in major need of upgrades including restoring the external facade, earthquake strengthening, asbestos removal and rebuilding of infrastructure such as air conditioning and electrical systems. And yet we could not be more excited to be apart of this historical development. Read more

Less development controls = more houses = more affordability

For the better part of the last two years journalists, property experts, politicians, developers, council leaders, prospective council leaders, real estate agents and town planners have all been sharing their opinions on what will ease Auckland’s, and subsequently New Zealand’s, housing crisis.

There has been a lot of talk, a little more building but still one hell of a supply-demand problem. Read more