It’s hard to believe that it is Christmas time and as always, I realise that the year has once again flown past. I always look forward to Christmas because it is a time when we can spend more time with our friends and family. As a business owner, it is also a good time to step back and to reflect on the business year, in particular to revisit the goals that we set ourselves at the beginning of the year.
It is easy, when we are busy, to fall into the trap of working in the business rather than working on the business. Having a break gives us the opportunity to step back from the business and to have a critical look at it. This coming year is shaping to be another busy one for Fraser Thomas Ltd. We are moving into our new offices, which will be more suitable for our expanding workforce. We are working with some inspirational clients, who are challenging our engineering ingenuity and will ensure that we are exposed to some exciting engineering challenges next year.
That being said, next year my goal is to try and make more time in my busy schedule, to ensure that I have more time for my wife and kids and also for myself. Success in business typically takes a lot of time and effort, but we also need to try and prioritise working on ourselves, in order to enable us to maintain our health and focus (which ultimately will help to improve our businesses).
Next year marks 50 years in business for Fraser Thomas. And at the end of November, the burgeoning Christchurch branch of specialist engineers and surveyors will celebrate with clients, the move to larger remises at Workstation 55 Business Park in Princess Street.
Staff numbers have grown substantially, as have the city’s continuous need for specialist services, such as geotechnical, land surveying, resource management, soil contamination testing, civil engineering, slope stability assessments, and land surveying. Included in the company’s skill set is expertise in mediation and insurance court cases for clients, and 14 chartered engineers are part of the company’s approachable, friendly team.
Fraser Thomas, with its head office based in Highbrook, Auckland and set up in Christchurch in 2012, provides a multi-disciplined, ‘one-stop shop’ for land development projects. Christchurch’s Director and Geotechnical Manager, Mason Reed, is also a Practice Area Assessor for Engineering New Zealand.
His principles include keeping the industry honest. Hailing from Whangarei, and one of the eight directors, Mason has 20 years’ experience in the company, including the Pacific Islands and South East Asia.
He says it’s wise to assess potential geotechnical issues, before any building work, to mitigate future issues. Around 80 percent of work is residential, with commercial projects including the Waterloo Business Park. Ngāi Tahu’s Te Whariki subdivision development in Lincoln, a substantial project in several stages, is underway, utilising all the skillsets of the Fraser Thomas team. “Ngāi Tahu is committed to providing a quality product to their purchasers,” Mason says. “And we have the skills and experience to deliver for our client.”
Geotechnical engineering is a highly specialised form of engineering that deals with foundation design for buildings. If the engineer gets it wrong, remediation can be very expensive.
In California, insurance companies sick of paying out on claims covering negligence of incompetent engineers started a special licensing regime to ensure only qualified geotechnical engineers undertake geotechnical work.
In New Zealand there is currently no robust system in place to ensure only qualified chartered professional (geotechnical) engineers are providing geotechnical advice for building developments.
“When seeking geotechnical consultancy services, you should satisfy yourself that the engineer is appropriately qualified and experienced,” says Mason Reed of Fraser Thomas Limited.
“The Chartered Engineer register on the Engineering NZ website can confirm whether an engineer is Chartered and in which field (ie. structural, fire, civil). If you take advice on geotechnical matters from an engineer who is not a chartered professional (geotechnical) engineer, you do so at your own risk.”
Fraser Thomas has been providing expert geotechnical consultancy services for 50 years. “We have a sound understanding of geomechanics and provide foundation solutions which are best suited for the site conditions, which can sometimes result in significant cost savings for our clients in foundation construction costs.”
Fraser Thomas has a long history in identifying and mitigating the effects of a variety of geotechnical hazards ranging from residential and commercial to large infrastructure projects, such as landfills. “We have particular experience in slope stability assessments, including cliff lines/coastal erosion affects, foundation design on soft highly compressible soils, piled foundation design and the provision of foundation solutions for sites on liquefiable soils.”
In a shaky land, it is vital work.
More Architecture & Build & Home & Living & In The City & Professionals & Rebuild