July 2012

Bluebridge Ferry Terminal Building

Some recent photographs taken of the Picton Bluebridge Ferry  Terminal building, designed by Tim Barton Architects in 2005

June 2012

Radich Law Building

Recent photographs taken of the Radich Law Building, designed by Tim Barton Architects in 2007.


February 2012


October 2011

Leaky Buildings

No building designed by us has ever been found to be a Leaky Building.

We are however involved with the repair and re-cladding of buildings designed by others, which have leaked.

The name Leaky Buildings is somewhat misleading, as in fact the leaks themselves are not the worst problem;  it is the rot in concealed framing timber, caused by the leaks, which is most damaging. 

Removal of even small lengths of rotten timber is very disruptive to the internal linings, external cladding, floor-coverings and much of the rest of the building.  The cost of putting everything back together greatly exceeds the cost of simply replacing rotten timber. 


If this wasn’t enough:

  • The extent of rot is difficult to determine at the outset, making planning and budgeting problematic.

  • It is mandatory to reinstate to a higher standard of weather tightness than used at the time of construction (typically 1995 – 2005). 

  • Contentious cases (and many are) are attended by a hoard of costly experts, inspectors and lawyers.

Nevertheless we have found ways to structure contracts for the remediation of leaky buildings which give surety to the owner that the building will be fixed (and actually seen to be fixed by prospective purchasers)  and that the contract will run to budget and not drive the owners mad with uncertainty and delay.

Having been involved in a number of such projects, we have found it interesting technically and our approach to weathertightness has certainly sharpened. We can use a novel tweak to the structure of building contracts as suggested by our cost estimator on other hard to scope work.

 Leaky buildings are fiends which need to be fixed, but we’ve found there can be value in persevering with them.

August 2011

Seismic Strengthening

Earthquakes have made an unwelcome appearance in New Zealand.

Marlborough is very geologically active,  and it's buildings susceptible to Ol’ Shakey and his bad brother Liquefaction.  The local District Council has surveyed buildings of 2 or more storeys and served a number of notices requiring their owners to strengthen or demolish within 5 to 10 years.

We are assisting in Project Management of the strengthening required and in scoping the putting right of the buildings after strengthening.  Often the ‘making good’ is more extensive (and expensive) than the strengthening.  Many building owners take the opportunity to fix annoying or deficient parts of the building at the same time.

We can assist owners of buildings requiring strengthening by identifying and  commissioning engineers, estimating costs,  providing time-lines and negotiating with builders.

We like to think we put ’em back together not only stronger but better than they were before.