Robyn Phipps

One of two NZIOB Charitable Trust Award winners, Robyn Phipps.

The winners of the NZIOB Charitable Trust’s inaugural Scholarship Awards were announced on Friday evening at the NZIOB Awards of Excellent dinner in Auckland.
 
The two winners, who each received a $10,000 cash prize, are Professor Robyn Phipps from Massey University Auckland, and Gerard (Ged) Finch, a post-graduate student from the School of Architecture and Design at Victoria University of Wellington.
 
NZIOB Charitable Trust Chair, Gina Jones said “The Trust introduced these Awards to encourage aspirational thinking with the potential to advance the design, construction or management of buildings in New Zealand, and thereby enhance the quality of our built environment.”
 
The Trust established the Awards to recognise, encourage and financially support recipients from a trade, technical or professional role to pursue a project linked to building through research, practice or professional development. A panel of three NZIOB past presidents reviewed 15 entries and selected the two winners.
 
Professor Robin Phipps has observed the problems faced by both the designers of new buildings, and by the consenting authorities, assessing building facades to ensure that they will not leak and that they perform all the functions required of modern buildings. There are a limited number of facade engineers in New Zealand because there are no home-grown courses of study available, so they have had to obtain their qualifications and experience overseas.
 
Professor Phipps, who is an NZIOB member, will use the Charitable Trust Award to travel to Waterloo University in Canada, to investigate how to deliver building facade training to suitably qualified building practitioners in this country.
 
Ged Finch is a Student Member of NZIOB, has a Bachelor of Architecture Studies and is currently completing a Master of Architecture degree. Ged is currently researching how best to avoid waste at the end of a building’s lifecycle. This research is significant given that some 50% of all New Zealand’s waste (amounting to 1.6 million tonnes annually) is generated by the construction sector. His proposition is that planning and designing for the disassembly of buildings at the end of their useful lives has the potential to greatly reduce the quantity of waste produced.
 
The NZIOB Charitable Trust Award will enable Ged to conduct full-scale tests of structural and architectural systems that have been designed to eliminate construction waste. This will effectively amount to a ‘real world’ test of those systems.
 
“The NZIOB Charitable Trust congratulates Robin Phipps and Ged Finch. The research proposals they submitted are well aligned with the aim of the Awards, which is to better the construction industry and the built environment,” Gina Jones said.