Celebrating The Very Best In Commercial Construction

19 May 2023


The 2023 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards celebrated another year of teams coming together to produce building excellence. Congratulations to all of this year’s entrants and winners.  

We continue to recognise the resilience of the sector and many of this year’s entrants who worked with their project teams to overcome and adapt to sector challenges. We commend our industry who are working and adapting to the constraints of inflation, material availability, and supply of skilled labour to produce the quality buildings where Kiwis live their lives.

When reflecting on this year’s competition, the judges remarked on the sector’s continued innovation, use of Government funding, and ongoing COVID challenges.

Building information modelling is delivering better builds

Building information modelling has become increasingly sophisticated and widely used, especially in larger commercial projects. While it was primarily utilised for clash detection and in the design process, we also saw it deployed in VR headsets, so project teams could overlay the virtual building on what had already been built, and immediately spot any incorrect fixtures. In some cases, it was maintained and updated throughout the entire construction, so it can be passed onto the client as a digital twin to be used for maintenance and service planning.

The Government’s “Shovel Ready” initiative is working.

Several projects this year received a welcome injection of funds from the Government’s “shovel ready” initiative. Without this financial support, the buildings may have not progressed beyond the drawing board. Two standout projects that received support were the Stratford Aquatic Centre and the Hawke's Bay Regional Aquatic Centre. These buildings are significant assets to their local communities.

Bouncing back from COVID

Many entries this year cited that COVID was still a significant challenge. While some projects took place in between lockdowns, many referenced the ongoing resource challenges and material supply shortages that are putting the sector under significant stress. It was positive to see that most approached the situation with optimism and pragmatism, doing the best with what was possible. Delays and increased costs were managed well with customers, with collaboration and equity being prioritised. Some teams used the enforced break to review their sequencing methodology, leading to improvements that made up for lost time.




VOCO-HIE is a unique 39-storey, 140-meter-tall hotel development, with two independently operated hotel chains 'stacked' one above the other. Outside of its core guest room function it also features a well-designed and executed top floor bar and sky-deck. This extraordinary building is a great addition to Auckland’s CBD and is a strong contender for the most elegant high-rise in the city.

It has achieved this status by skilfully exploiting its unique brief of accommodating two independent hotels, one atop the other, on a constrained inner-city site. With a total of 149 guest rooms all in the same building, the two hotels have completely different requirements, such as separate entries, receptions, gyms, kitchens, and banks of lifts. The rooms are of differing quality, finish and size. This resulted in a major transfer structure involving the team effectively constructing heavy building foundations 20-storeys in the air. 

Skilful sequencing and planning was a major factor throughout the project. The single loading bay, located on a steep street and in a live traffic environment with pedestrians close by, resulted in a carefully sequenced ‘just-in-time’ approach.  This was used to manufacture and deliver some of the major elements.  Prefabricated bathroom pods were also used to help with cost and time efficiencies.

The articulation and materiality of the exterior design was critical to the build's success.

We are proud to call VOCO-HIE our Supreme Winner for 2023.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of our 2023 winners – this year’s competition was our strongest ever, and highlights how complex, sustainable and sophisticated commercial construction in New Zealand is. 

Supreme Award

Special Award
Cambridge Police Hub, Alaska Construction Interiors
Karamea Area School, Brosnan
South East Asia Precint - Auckland Zoo, NZ Strong Group

Innovation Award
Mahana House Duplex, Naylor Love Canterbury

Sustainability Award
Foodstuffs North Island Head Office, Hawkins

Value Awards:
Commercial Project under $1 million

Commercial Project $1 – $3 million
St Faith's Church, HRS Construction

Commercial Project $3 – $10 million
Waipapa, ICU Pod 4, Christchurch Hospital, Leighs Construction

Commercial Project $10 – $25 million
Ōpuke Thermal Pools & Spa, Bradford Building

Commercial Project Over $25 million

Altus Window Systems Health Project Category Award Winner:
Waipapa, ICU Pod 4, Christchurch Hospital, Leighs Construction

Built Tourism and Leisure Project Category Award Winner:

CARTERS Commercial Project Award Category Winner:
Stewart Dawson's Corner Redevelopment, McKee Fehl Constructors

Resene Commercial Fit Out Project Award Category Winner:

SpecAdvisor Education Project Category Award Winner:
Hanleys Farm Primary School, Southbase Construction

Winstone Wallboards Residential Project Category Award Winner:
The CAB Apartments, Naylor Love Auckland 

Civic Project Category Award Winner:
Lansdowne Sports Hub, Robinson Construction

Heritage and Restoration Project Category Award Winner:
St Faith's Church, HRS Construction

Industrial Project Category Award Winner:
Steelfort Showroom and Distribution Centre, Form Building & Developments

Retail Project Category Award Winner:
O’Connells Mall, Naylor Love Central Otago

Check out all the winners on the NZ Commercial Project Awards website.
The New Zealand Commercial Project Awards are made possible thanks to the support of Altus Windows Systems, Built, CARTERS, SpecAdvisor, Resene and Winstone Wallboards (GIB).

"The New Zealand Commercial Project Awards celebrate the skills, creativity and determination of the project teams involved. These awards are a true testament to what can be achieved by working together in the face of huge challenges. And the results of that collaborative approach are outstanding by any measure. Altus Window Systems, along with our Fabrication network, commend and applaud this year’s entrants and winners. Congratulations to you all." 

Scott Thompson, Marketing Manager, Altus Window Systems

“Congratulations to all the finalists and winners at the 2023 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards. Built are thrilled to be a sponsor at these prestigious awards, which unite and celebrate the dedication & commitment of those delivering the best in commercial construction.”

- William Brown, Manager - NZ, Built

“CARTERS are proud to support the New Zealand Commercial Project Awards, recognising excellence. The high calibre of entries this year demonstrates the skill, perseverance, and determination of the project teams, many of whom we work closely alongside. Congratulations to all the award winners who received recognition for their achievements this year, we’re proud to be part of celebrating your success.“


“The New Zealand Commercial Project Awards brings our industry together to celebrate outstanding New Zealand commercial buildings, but most importantly to acknowledge and award the teams for their joint success. It is a great honour to back this gala event, please join us in congratulating all the entrants and winners at this year’s awards”. 

Clara Sumner, Partnership Manager, Winstone Wallboards (GIB)

“The courage, creativity and sheer tenacity of this year’s Commercial Project Award winners is a reminder to us all that working together and rising to the challenge elevates the result far beyond expectations. We’re delighted to congratulate all award winners for their well-deserved recognition.”

- Karen Warman, Marketing Manager, Resene

“Construction Marketing Services are proud to be involved with these awards which showcase the pinnacle of building excellence in our industry. On behalf of our national team, I congratulate all of the entrants for their efforts and achievements especially in an environment of so much change.”  

Ian Watt, General Manager, SpecAdvisor