It’s been a whirlwind of change over the past four years for Ferguson Builders of Queenstown. Since moving to Central Otago, Rob and Mel Ferguson have seized all the opportunities the area has offered to grow and expand their company.
“When we first moved here and began building, our team was no more than four. Now we have a team of 16 – from builders to office staff and an in-house quantity surveyor (QS),” Mel says.
“But one thing that is not going to change is Rob’s close relationship with our clients. He is still the person clients deal directly with. That’s our focus and what has helped us be successful.”
It is true that Ferguson Builders’ goal as they have grown has been to find even smarter ways to serve their clients.
“The in-house QS saves clients time getting accurate pricing. We have an office now with plenty of yard space and a meeting area for clients to see samples of the interior products we use in our builds. That presents a professional image for clients and has freed up our own home that we used to work from, to be a living showhome of our workmanship.”
The company is the specialist builder of choice for architecturally-designed houses.
“We have great relationships with local architects, like Artur and his team at Artektus who create beautiful architectural designs, are efficient and a pleasure to work alongside. Our high-performing employees all share Rob’s passion and commitment for this demanding and detailed type of work.”
Ferguson Builders have built several architectural homes at Jack’s Point, including their own family home. Each is exceptional in its construction and finish – a testimony to their craftsmanship.
“We thrive on the challenges and demands of building architecturally designed homes. They make us think; they give us the opportunity to show a high level of detailing.”
Craig Feutz of building company Feutz and Goldsmith certainly had all those opportunities and challenges on his hands with his company’s latest build – a four-bedroom Italianate house in Fendalton.
“The house was designed by Italian-born architect Alessandro Quadrelli and has a myriad of Italian features from its skinnier and longer-than-standard Roman-style bricks to its tiled bathrooms and use of marble and different types of timber,” Craig says.
“Inward-opening windows are recessed into the building. It’s definitely not a run of the mill house, but one that does give a nod to an older style of architecture. It was our job as the main contractors and project managers to bring this beautiful and complex concept to practical and workable life. The quality of finishing required was really next level, but that is what we specialise in and what gives us real satisfaction.”
Feutz and Goldsmith was not just responsible for building the house itself; a project taking about a year and a half.
The company also undertook all the earthworks associated with the build, as well as laying the driveway and doing all the landscaping works.
“Being on the corner of a busy road, access to the site was another issue we had to overcome and problem solve, but we are very proud of the finished home. It’s timeless and a true representation of the work we excel in.”
Ngāi Tahu Property has waved its green wand over the central city, with the residential, commercial and industrial land developer now celebrating a five Green Star rating and 5.5 star NABERSNZ energy efficiency rating for the Pita Te Hori Centre building.
The New Zealand Green Building Council awarded Te Urutī, one of two five-level office buildings in the Pita Te Hori Centre, a 5 Green Star rating.
That confirms the sustainability of its design, construction and completion achieves New Zealand industry excellence.
Meanwhile, the NABERSNZ rating reflects its market-leading energy efficiency performance following occupation by tenants.
The green credentials follow last year’s confirmation of a 4 Green Star rating for Iwikau – the other commercial building in the centre’s first stage.
The centre was designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects in conjunction with services engineers and Green Star professionals from Powell Fenwick and Aurecon.
Ngāi Tahu Property Chief Executive David Kennedy says the ratings are a fantastic result which can ultimately be tied back to following Ngāi Tahu values.
“Sustainability is a key feature of kaitiakitanga; one of our core values which we share with our ultimate owners, Ngāi Tahu whānui-families,” David says.
“The Pita Te Hori Centre also showcases other values including tohungatanga – expertise and rangatiratanga – leadership. Truly living up to those values meant not treating sustainability as a ‘tick-box’ exercise. Everything we did provided real benefits to everyone using the buildings and all of Ōtautahi-Christchurch.”
Those benefits include tenants being able to provide excellent conditions for their staff.
Sustainable technologies lower energy requirements and onsite energy production reduces demand on electricity distribution networks, ensuring the buildings have much lower carbon emissions than standard.
Development Manager James Jackson says the Pita Te Hori Centre features Christchurch’s first district energy system utilising aquifer-sourced heating and cooling through highly efficient heatpump technology.
The scheme provides up to 215,000 kWh of clean heating and cooling capacity each year.
Additionally, solar panels generate up to 106,000 kWh of electricity annually supporting the Pita Te Hori Centre’s peak usage periods.
Smart LED lighting also significantly reduces energy consumption.
Ngāi Tahu Property installed sensor-monitored ventilation ensuring above-code air-quality in the buildings.
Low-flow water fittings are complemented by individual metering for tenancies encouraging further water-use reductions.
“A myriad of clever, sustainable technologies work together across the Pita Te Hori Centre,” James says.
“These environmental solutions were embedded into the design of Te Urutī and Iwikau.”
These features are proving attractive to businesses who insist on healthy, safe and sustainable work environments for their staff.
“We have seen it is not just possible, but desirable, to build sustainable and healthy office spaces, with a range of Government departments and national and international firms choosing to base their South Island operations in our buildings.
“They appreciate and share our commitment to sustainable buildings and workplace practices.”
Located near the historic site of the ancient Puari Pā of Waitaha and Ngāti Māmoe, the Pita Te Hori Centre holds strong spiritual, cultural and historical significance for Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the mana whenua of the area and the wider Ngāi Tahu iwi.
Previously home to the King Edward Barracks and the former Christchurch headquarters of the New Zealand Police, the site also carries historical military and civic significance.
Post-quake, our rebuilding city was recognised as a commercial playground for talented teams to create dynamic, contemporary designs, alongside the strengthening of some of our more grandiose architectural identities.
Although we’ve long since moved through the ‘rebuild’ phase of construction in our southern spot, the world-class level of architectural achievement has lost none of its momentum; a fact which is evident in the 35 local projects which have been shortlisted in the 2020 Canterbury Architecture Awards from a record number of entries in the awards programme of the Canterbury Branch of Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA).
The difficult task of shortlisting entries was handed to a jury led by Christchurch architect Huia Reriti, fellow Christchurch architects Bernadette Muir and Daniel Sullivan, Wellington architect Anne Kelly, and Christchurch architecture designer Tobin Smith.
“Making the shortlist is a significant achievement, especially in what was a very productive year for architecture in the Canterbury Branch region,” jury convenor Huia Reriti says.
“The shortlist includes outstanding examples of the wide range of buildings that architects design, from schools, offices, public buildings and churches to houses and apartments.”
Among the projects shortlisted for the 2020 Canterbury Architecture Awards, which is supported by Resene, are the restored Christchurch Town Hall and a new town square in Greymouth.
‘Starchitecture’ is given a new meaning by two shortlisted projects – a building on the Ilam Campus of the University of Canterbury named for the eminent New Zealand astronomer Beatrice Tinsley, and the Dark Sky building in the Aoraki Mackenzie Basin.
The COVID-19 lockdown has meant that site visits to shortlisted projects by juries around the country have been put on hold.
Resumption of the visits or the adoption of alternative means of deciding award-winners are dependent on the national measures adopted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The advent of forward-thinking architecture in Christchurch provides consolation for loved structures lost, and forges a new identity for the city as a stylish and technologically advanced urban landscape.
Sheppard and Rout Architects’ graceful Spark building brings almost 500 staff from the suburbs to the centre.
Spark sought to play a part in the CBD rebuild, and Sheppard and Rout Director Jasper Van der Lingen congratulates Spark for the efforts they have made to be a key vessel in a thriving heart.
Sheppard and Rout was chosen through a rigorous process which called for proposals for site, building design and financials.
Jasper worked alongside Steven Orr, Matt Gutsell, Max Warren, Abigail Hurst, Ella van der Lingen and Rick Bennetts.
“We were thrilled to be selected. It is a great advance to have something alongside the Square to work in harmony with Tūranga, Te Pae and, of course, the Cathedral itself,” Jasper says.
“The design itself is remarkable. Offices and ground-floor retail are joined by a bar and restaurant on the upmost level, with wind-protected roof-top terrace.
“There are views across the mountains and the Port Hills.”
The building has a lightness to it created by a rare double-skin fritted glass façade which mitigates heat gain but promotes daylight and views.
The fritting provides some shade and the pattern is a cubist rendition of the Cathedral roof pattern.
“It reflects the surroundings and evokes Spark’s role in the continuous flow of digital information,” Jasper says.
Not just beautiful, this building is aiming for 5 Green Star Energy Rating. Base isolation means it can sway plus or minus 300mm.
There’s not many ‘old souls’ left standing in the Christchurch central city, which makes the opportunity to showcase any effort to maintain them a good one.
The former Wellington Woollen Mills building at 96 Lichfield Street and the Design and Arts College building at 116 Worcester Street have each received $600,000 toward their multimillion-dollar repairs and refurbishments.
Christchurch City Council staff had recommended $900,000 for each building, but with only $1.2m left in the heritage grant kitty for this year, councillors decided against dipping into next year’s $1.5m budget, instead opting to cap the amount at $600,000 each.
Both properties are classed as ‘Highly Significant’ buildings in the Christchurch District Plan.
Dating back to the 1930s, the former State Insurance building in Worcester Street was designed by renowned architect Cecil Wood, in association with Paul Pascoe.
It has art deco influences and was first used as offices for the State Fire and Accident Insurance Company and for the Lands and Survey and Lands and Deeds Departments.
The building was damaged in the earthquakes but has changed hands since then. The new owners – 116 Worcester Street Ltd – have plans to fully upgrade it and restore this golden oldie’s historic façade, including the original coat of arms. Its new use will be for living and rental accommodation.
The second notable building is the former Wellington Woollen Mills building, a category 1 historic building in Lichfield Street, which dates back to 1920.
It was designed by architect William Gummer, whose firm Gummer and Ford, was responsible for many significant buildings around New Zealand including the Auckland Railway Station and the former National Art Gallery and Museum in Wellington.
Designed in a pared-down classical style, it was one of the first commercial buildings in Christchurch to feature glass curtain walling.
Currently hiding behind scaffolding and mesh, the new funding will be a welcome addition in the process of breathing life back into the building.
The new owners (Wool House Investments Ltd) hope to both repair and upgrade the structure.
The Central City Landmark Heritage Grant Funding Scheme was set up by the council after the earthquakes to help owners retain, repair and strengthen the central city’s remaining historic buildings.
To date, grants of more than $13.5 million have been made to 12 different heritage restoration projects.
The heritage grants for the two buildings have been granted on the condition that full conservation covenants are registered against the property titles.
Almost a decade has passed since the traumatic events of the 2011 earthquakes. That’s nearly 10 years of trying to get the city back on its feet. Bit by bit, building by building we’re started to rebuild the heart of the Garden City.
We’ve hunted out all the upcoming developments and cool things happening around town to get you excited about the year to come – we weren’t short of inspiration!
Christchurch Hospital Acute Services Building:
If you haven’t been into the CBD and seen this colossal 10-storey building creeping up in size near the Christchurch Women’s Hospital, then you may need to look again.
This gigantic project has been in construction since 2015 and, as the largest government project in Canterbury coming in at 62,000 square metres, it’s easy to see why this is such a big deal for the city – literally and figuratively! It’s set to throw open its doors later this year.
Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre:
The Convention Centre, scheduled to open in October this year, will provide the facilities we’ve been lacking since its predecessor was demolished in early 2012.
Supported by accommodation, retail, hospitality and public transport, it is set to be world-class and it’s certainly got the look down pat; the braided river façade of the new building is already the talk of the town.
With 43,000 herringbone tiles set to be installed on the building… no wonder it’s popping into conversation here and there.
The South Frame:
This project is in construction stage, with around three quarters of it already now complete.
Ōtākaro Ltd describes the site as “a place for markets, events and celebrations – an area to gather, dine, be entertained or just relax”.
The Greenway will be at the heart of this project, providing an oasis in between the hustle and bustle of city life.
3D interactive visualiser:
With all these new developments, you might be keen to look back on just how much this city has evolved in the few years following the earthquake.
The Christchurch City Council can help you do that with their ‘3D interactive visualiser of the CBD’.
Not only can you view the buildings we lost during the quake, but you can also see the revival and emergence of the new CBD.
It really puts into perspective just how far we’ve come in such a short time.
Canterbury Multi-Use Arena:
Labelled a ‘game-changer’ for the city, the multi-use arena will help Christchurch re-establish itself as New Zealand’s sporting and cultural capital.
The 25,000-seat arena is set to come in at $472 million to build.
A small(ish) price to pay to transform Christchurch into a super-host for major sporting and cultural events.
Having been locally owned and operated since inception in 1984, Fowler Homes Christchurch has been at the forefront of designing and building quality homes and commercial buildings for countless satisfied buyers for close to four decades.
As recipients of both the Master Builders House of the Year and the Commercial Project Awards, Fowler Homes Christchurch continues to offer the best value and products to all clients.
The company’s primary point of difference is clarity.
When you choose Fowler Homes Christchurch, Ivan Stanicich or Dustin Stanley will guide you through the whole process from the first line on your plans.
They will price what you want in your home, obtain building consent, project manage your build right through to completion, before handing over of your keys or the digital code for your front door.
The suppliers and contractors used by Fowler Homes Christchurch are some of the very best in Canterbury, guaranteeing you the best quality and value.
Also, all work is backed by a 10-year Master Build Guarantee so you can be assured you’re in safe hands.
Proof of this is the fact that more than 85 percent of all business is for repeat and referred clients.
We take this all seriously, while still providing a level of fun for you the customer.
So, contact Fowler Homes Christchurch today to find out more about how the team can make your dream home a reality.
Building a dream home should always be a great adventure that comes with an extremely satisfying and happy ending. There are things you can do to ensure that your vision for your home is brought to reality in every detail.
Sam Fleetwood of Fleetwood Construction talked to us about the process of finding a builder. “You need to ascertain their honesty, integrity, workmanship and ability to communicate. We advise going through these steps as a bare minimum, before you sign.”
Ask around for recommendations. Once you find a builder you like, ask to speak to some previous clients about their experience. You can even ask to have a look around one of their current building sites to see how they work and meet some of their team.
Look into how long your builder has been in business and if they have been doing the type of work you require for a long time. See what awards they’ve won for this type of work.
Research your builder’s social media and website to find out what type of work they have done, and if they have the right skills to build your home.
Establish the resources they have available – how many in their team, how many they would put on your job, and what qualifications do they have.
Are they good at communication? How will they communicate with you? You can find this out in the very early stages of contact with your builder.
Make sure the builder is fully licensed, or even better, a registered Master Builder.