Constructure team trip filled with high adrenaline

The Constructure team recently embarked on one of their famous annual team trips when both the Auckland and Christchurch office shut down for staff to reconnect and take a breather.

This year’s event took the Constructure staff to Rotorua for an action-packed trip that could not have been timed any better.

“It worked out really well, because a few days later the country started to shut down because of the Covid 19 virus,” said director Cory Bedford who was pleased that all staff members were able to come to Rotorua.

Staff flew and drove into the Sulphur City for a cruisy afternoon and barbeque to reacquaint everyone, before an action-packed second day.

The Constructure team on tour.

The day started with a cruise on Lake Okataina, fishing and clay pigeon shooting and a visit to the sunken M?ori Pa site.

In the afternoon the team explored the stunning scenery in the Redwoods Treewalk before the adrenaline junkies were let loose on the Rotorua Skyline.

“We didn’t want to pressure anyone into doing anything they weren’t comfortable with, so everyone was able to pick activities that were at their own level of fun and adrenaline,” smiled Cory.

Stunning views at the Redwoods Treewalk forest.

In the evening the team enjoyed the full Rotorua cultural experience at the Mitai M?ori Village where the Constructure crew enjoyed a hangi buffet. They finished an amazing day with a night walk in the native bush with glow worms lighting the way.

The next morning, the team discovered what the Rotorua region is famous for at one of its Thermal Experience sites, getting up close to the bubbling mud ponds.

“We have quite an international mix on our team, so it was nice to take them along to one of New Zealand’s great attractions,” said Auckland-based director James Knight.

One other typical Kiwi attraction awaited the crew in the morning when they loaded into a jet boat to roar through the Tutukau Gorge and experience “the squeeze” – tight rocky passages and the refreshment from dipping in a mystical hot spring waterfall.

Constructure team chilling at The Squeeze.

James says he always looks forward to the team trips to get to know the staff a bit better outside the office, especially the Christchurch-based team.

“And from talking to them, they also really appreciate it and it always gives us plenty to talk about when we get back to work.”








Constructure joins Diversity Agenda

Constructure has put its weight behind the growing movement to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces in the engineering and architecture sectors.

The Diversity Agenda is an initiative by Engineering New Zealand, the New Zealand Institute for Architects and the Association for Consulting Engineers.

The Agenda was initially focused on improving the dire statistics of women participating in these sectors, when it started in 2017, but that has now broadened to include all facets of our diverse society.

Constructure director Cory Bedford says that his company has always encouraged diversity and inclusion within the company, but says that signing up formally to the Diversity Agenda sends a signal to their own staff and the industry that Constructure wants to be a leader in this area and inspire other companies to sign up as well.

”This also means that we want to be held to account, by our own staff, as well as others, if we do not live by these principles around inclusion and diversity,” says Cory.

The Diversity Agenda has set itself a target of getting 20% women working in engineering and architecture by 2021, but Constructure’s staff already include more than 30% women, as well as a variety of cultural backgrounds from eight different countries.

“We want to be known as a place where women want to work, or anyone from any background, and where they feel welcome and where you are only judged on the quality of your work,” says Cory.

“Unfortunately, many companies I have seen over my career traditionally have been very “blokey”, and often do not even realise how their behaviours may discourage women, ethnic groups or certain minorities from working for them.”

Constructure is one of over 100 firms in the engineering and architecture industry who have signed up to the Diversity Agenda to show they are serious about diversity and inclusion, and to benefit from access to its resources, events, tools and tips.

Last year the Diversity Agenda was awarded the “Best Diversity and Inclusion Initiative” at the FIDIC International Federation of Consulting Engineers Excellence Awards in Mexico City and are also a finalist in the New Zealand Diversity Awards.

“It is fantastic to see that this organisation is now recognised here, and internationally, a wonderful initiative that deserves all our support,” says Cory.



Cory Bedford recognised as Emerging Director

Cory Bedford and Helen Andrews have been named the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Canterbury branch Emerging Directors 2019 at a special award presentation on Monday night.

Cory is the managing director of Constructure Ltd, which provides structural engineering services to a variety of public, private and institutional clients. He established the business in 2008. Cory is a qualified structural engineer and has completed a BEng (Hons) from Loughborough University in the UK.

In addition, Cory sits on the high performance subcommittee of the Canterbury United Football Club. He has recently retired from his role as the chair of the Waimairi School Board of Trustees and is a former trustee of the Christchurch Civic Trust.

In choosing Cory for the award, the Institute of Directors judges said that he is thorough and focused.

“Cory knows his stuff and is aware of what’s going on. He takes a measured approach and hears all sides of the story before making a decision,” the judges said.

Cory hopes the award will help him to broaden his governance experience.

The opportunity of a mentoring session with an experienced director to assist me in planning my directorship pathway is extremely exciting and invaluable,” he says.

“The emerging director award provides a fantastic opportunity for me to be exposed to a larger corporate governance board environment, which is a governance career path I ultimately want to head towards.”

Helen Andrews and Cory Bedford showing off their awards.

Helen and her husband Mark own and operate MD and HL Andrews Partnership, a farming business they launched in 2004. Helen is responsible for monitoring the business’ strategic direction, finance and compliance. She has successfully grown the business, which now produces over 10,000 free-farmed pigs and up to 500 head of cattle per year.

She sits on the board of New Zealand Pork, and is chair of its audit committee.

In choosing Helen for the award, the judges said that she is organised, engaging and professional.

“She was able to respect others while also challenging them to get the best result for stakeholders. Helen sees the bigger picture and understands the impact of decisions,” the judges said.

The Institute of Directore is New Zealand’s pre-eminent organisation for directors and at the heart of the governance community.

The IoD drives excellence and high standards in governance, support and equip its members, who lead a range of organisations from listed companies, large private organisations, state and public sector entities, to small and medium enterprises, not-for-profit organisations and charities.


Constructure proud to be part of award-winning beach home

This exquisite holiday home in Tawharanui, known as the Takatu House, was recently recognised with the 2019 NZIA Auckland Architecture award for its stunning design by RTA Architects.

Constructure played a key role in supplying the solutions for the intriguing engineering challenges this beach home created for the architects, engineers and builders.

“We are pleased our partners at RTA Architects have been rewarded for their amazing design and of course we are proud to have played our role in making their vision become a reality,” says Constructure director James Knight.

Located amongst a small settlement of baches near the beach on the Tawharanui Peninsula, the Takatu House, nestles into the base of a bush covered hill overlooking farmland.

James says that the soft, alluvial ground conditions for the lower part of the building, as well as the potential high flood levels on the site, posed some interesting questions for his engineers.

“Our engineers managed to create strong foundations by driving deep piles through the softer top layer into the solid ground below,” says James. “We also detailed hidden steel plate connections into the external glulam rafters and columns to create a subtle joint that didn’t take away from the building form”.

According to the architect’s description, the spaces are divided by function, with living and sleeping pavilions housed under separate gable forms in a subtle reference to rural farm building vernacular.

RTA’s entry in the awards stated that the bach replaced a tired and outgrown cottage with a nostalgic nod to the original dwellings ‘pioneer red’ colour, which provides a striking contrast to the green hillside it sits upon.

For more photos, please check out the RTA website.



Constructure success requires move to bigger Auckland offices

New Zealand’s leading structural engineering consultancy Constructure has re-located to larger premises in Auckland for the second time in three years due to the relentless demand for its services across the building industry.

Constructure’s expansion has surpassed its most optimistic projections and its engineers have rapidly become key players in commercial, industrial and residential projects since opening their first Auckland office only four years ago.

Constructure director James Knight, centre, talks to some of the guests at the opening of the new office.

That position was underlined last week when representatives of several leading national construction companies and architects attended the opening of the new premises in Ponsonby and were suitably impressed by the views across the city.

The growth in the Auckland market mirrors the rapid expansion of the Constructure’s footprint across the rest of New Zealand. Since experienced engineer Cory Bedford founded the company in Christchurch in 2008, the engineers have completed over 11,000 projects from the deep South to the Far North.

Some of the most exciting recent projects for the Auckland team have been the multi-million dollar residences on the exclusive private Tara Iti golf course in Mangawhai.

Auckland-based director James Knight described the Tara Iti homes as one of the most thrilling assignments for his engineers, who are currently working on five multi-million dollar homes around the golf course.

One of the multi-million dollar homes Constructure is working on at the exclusive Tara Iti golf course.

“Some of the structures were so intricate and large that they required commercial engineering solutions.”

In the past year, the Auckland team has been working on several high-end architectural residential designs across the city, as well as redevelopment projects at Rangitoto College, Australasia’s largest school, while its engineering expertise has also been used by the New Zealand Navy on its Devonport base and the Department of Corrections on various assessment projects.

That expertise was recently recognised at the Auckland Architecture Awards for the complex structural engineering design for a stunning beach house in Tawharanui on weak alluvial soil, on behalf of RTA Architects.

The award-winning beach house at Tawharanui on which Constructure provided the structural engineering.

The rapidly growing Auckland residential market is also putting high demands on the Constructure team whose touches can be felt across the city.

They have supported the nearly completed Housing New Zealand town house development in Mt Roskill with Miles Construction, are working on the Abercrombie multi-unit project in Howick and have recently started work on a new apartment development in Highland Park with The Development Collective.

“Constructure has been a major player in the residential and commercial re-build of Christchurch, so our engineers have brought all that experience and their reputation among the major construction firms and architects to the Auckland market,” says James Knight.

“Many of our clients around the country have had a long relationship with Constructure, but other Auckland-based companies are now discovering what we have to offer.

“We do what we promise, and we finish our jobs on time. It may sound simple, but doing the simple stuff right, seems to resonate with our clients,” says Knight.

Constructure crew hits Melbourne

Constructure is well-known in the building industry for its structural engineering expertise, but also for its amazing annual team-building excursions.

After taking staff to the Otago Rail Trail, Abel Tasman Park and Auckland among other destinations, the management team decided to thank their amazing staff this year with a five-day trip to Melbourne.

Two volunteers stayed behind to hold the fort while 24 others from the Christchurch and Auckland offices last week boarded their planes to Melbourne for an action-packed adventure of culture, sport, sight-seeing tours, and of course, plenty of quality food.

Company founder Cory Bedford says that the annual staff trips are an integral part of Constructure’s values and team culture.

“It is a terrific opportunity for staff to get to know each other outside the office and especially for the staff in different cities to spend more time together in a relaxed environment,” says Cory, who adds that his crew are well deserving of their annual outing with the company going from strength to strength.

“It is no secret that any company’s success depends on the quality of its people and their passion for their jobs. Constructure has been extremely lucky to have had great people, but also that we have had minimal turnover over the years, which I think is a nice reflection on our team culture.”

The Constructure team on tour.

After the team got settled in Melbourne on the Thursday, they embarked on a river cruise on the Yarra River, before getting their bearings during a guided walking tour of the city. By the time the crew found themselves in front of Mexican restaurant Mamasita, their stomachs were well and truly ready for some tortillas.

On the Friday, the staff were given the day to roam around the city or lounge at their apartments before they got the option to attend the stage show Muriel’s Wedding or head off to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to watch Collingwood  get beaten by Geelong in the opening round of the AFL.

Enjoying the full MCG.

Cory says that he was surprised which staff members opted for sport or the show, “because it wasn’t necessarily the people you would have expected. But everyone seemed to have a blast”.

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road.

On Saturday, the Constructure team boarded a bus to explore the spectacular Victorian coastline of the Great Ocean Road, including Lorne, Angelsea and the Twelve Apostles.

With a boss who is a former academy player with an English professional football club, and these days a keen cyclist, Cory always makes sure there is some competitive flavour to any Constructure trip and Melbourne was no different.

The Sunday was taken up with a host of Corporate Challenges and the winning team will again have the bragging rights in the office until the next team trip rolls around.

One of the Corporate Challenges.

A jaded, but invigorated, Constructure crew arrived back in New Zealand on Monday afternoon, already speculating what Cory has in mind for them in 2020. The Melbourne sojourn will be hard to beat.

Some of the spectacular Melbourne architecture.

Constructure leaves footprint on exclusive golf course

Tara Iti is a unique new private golf course featuring some stunning architecture and Constructure is proud that its engineers have been handpicked to solve some of the intriguing design questions.

The country’s most exclusive golf course near Mangawhai was last year ranked the sixth in the world by Golf Digest, the highest ever entry for a new facility.

The course is the brainchild of American investor Richard Kayne who fell in love with the area in 1996 and asked famed course designer Tom Doak to develop a course for his family and friends.

The keen golfer soon recognised that Tara Iti was too special to keep for himself and opened the doors to other members, and these are carefully selected by Jim Rohrstaff who manages memberships and real estate on the course. And the real estate is impressive, in design and size.

Constructure Director James Knight says that the private homes at Tara Iti are large-scale developments and require a corresponding scale of engineering for the bespoke and open plan spaces being created.

Leading Auckland architect John Irving has designed several of the homes in the Mangawhai dunes, as well as the guest cottages, concierge building and the health studio, and his studio relies on his dependable association with Constructure to provide the structural engineering expertise.

Two of the homes are the Owner’s Cottage and the Tequila House.

Irving designed the Owner’s Cottage around a driftwood concept. Seemingly all roof, this home features a weathered cedar slatted ceiling over a translucent roof.

Constructure’s Knight says the dimensions of that roof, and some of the others on Tara Iti, require a level of engineering that is more appropriate for a commercial building.

“This coastline can experience some very high winds and even cyclones, so it required plenty of design work to ensure these buildings are well anchored to the ground,” says James.

“The architect’s designs may bring to mind sails or kites, but we don’t want to them to take off!”

The Constructure director says that Tara Iti projects have been some of the “coolest” his team has been working on in recent years and is looking forward to other stunning designs that are in the pipeline for this amazing golf course.

Fortunately, James will not be distracted by the lure of the greens and the fairways as he is not a golfer…yet.

“That may be reason why they like working with me, not being a keen golfer, so I can keep my eye on the job and I won’t be asking for a free round,” laughs James.


Constructure Christchurch plays key role in final chapter of Lancaster Park

Constructure Christchurch is playing a key role in the final chapter of one of the most iconic sports grounds in New Zealand history, working with Clearwater Construction in the deconstruction of Lancaster Park, later known as AMI Stadium or Jade Stadium.

The legendary stadium hosted some of New Zealand’s most memorable rugby, cricket, athletics and other sporting moments, epic rock concerts by U2, Pearl Jam and others, as well as a visit by Pope John Paul II.

The deconstruction of Lancaster Park has been in progress for some months, removing and salvaging parts of the stadium, and the project has now moved onto the demolition of the stands.

The project team is relying on Constructure’s expertise to provide structural engineering design advice to develop the crane lift methodologies as well as temporary works design for the removal of the roof and ancillary structures to the Deans Stand, Paul Kelly Stand and Tui Stands.

The work got underway in early June with the demolition of the Tui stand at the southern end Lancaster Park.

Tui Stand

The Hadlee stand at the north end of the stadium had already been demolished in 2012 for safety reasons.

“Demolition of the Tui stand signals the start of the main demolition work,’’ says Lee Butcher, who is project managing the stadium’s deconstruction for Christchurch City Council.

“Contractors have spent the past several months working to salvage as much of the stadium as possible and to complete the soft-strip. That work is largely finished and they are now at the stage where they are ready to move onto the main demolition work,’’ Mr Butcher says.

“They will start by using two excavators to poke holes into the stand. They will then rip it open like an old fashioned can opener.

“At the same time they will have a crane operating to remove the Tui side-screens and the scoreboard.’’

Mr Butcher says demolition of the Tui Stand, which is the smallest of the three stands, is expected to take about two months to complete.

Deans Stand

Gravel from underneath the stand will be trucked to the Ng? Puna Wai Sports Hub site, in the city’s southwest, so it can be reused there.

“The next big job is the removal of the roofs from the Paul Kelly and Deans stands,’’ Mr Butcher says.

“A 400-tonne crane will arrive on the site at the end of June and work will begin on the removal of the roofs in the first week of July.’’

The deconstruction of Lancaster Park Stadium is believed to be one of the biggest demolition jobs undertaken in New Zealand and is expected to take 12 to 14 months to complete.

The Lancaster Park war memorial gates, built to commemorate the Canterbury athletes who served in World War I, will be protected and preserved during the deconstruction.

For live updates of the demolition job, please click on:

Paul Kelly Stand




Constructure customers put cherry on top of 10th anniversary cake

The Canterbury Down Syndrome Association initiatives have been boosted by a $12,420 gift from Constructure and its generous customers to celebrate the structural engineering firm’s 10th anniversary.

The company celebrated its 10th anniversary in April by launching a Give-a-Little page with a $10,000 gift and invited its customers to join the good cause.

Constructure founder Cory Bedford said he was excited that his clients got into the spirit of their unorthodox birthday party by gifting an additional $2420 to the CDSA.

“I really want to thank all our customers for their generosity that will make a big difference for a small local charity like the CDSA.”

The Canterbury Down Syndrome Association provides support, education, and advocacy to its members, their families and wider community.

“We are just overwhelmed and grateful that this amazing gift got even bigger,” said CDSA chair person Diane Mulholland.

Constructure Director Cory Bedford hands over a cheque for $12,420 to Diane Mulholland, chair person of the Canterbury Down Syndrome Association and fellow committee member Andrew Oswin.

The $10,000 gift was not chosen randomly but symbolises the target of 10,000 projects the Constructure team wanted to complete by the anniversary date.

Over the past decade, Constructure has steadily expanded to 25 staff members across their Christchurch and Auckland offices.

Their geographical footprint extends across the nation, from holiday homes on Great Barrier Island to Arrowtown, commercial buildings in Auckland & Christchurch, large apartments in Nelson and even projects all the way to Fiji.

Constructure has been part of several award-winning designs and offers extensive experience in commercial and residential projects, as well as multi-units and out-of-the-box non-property projects that require innovative ideas.

Cory is proud of the reputation the Constructure team has created around New Zealand. “But if we look at our recent growth rate, the next 10 years could even be more exciting.”