2021 ACE Awards winners

Gold Award winners

Exchange 106, Kuala Lumpur

Consultant: Beca
Client: Mulia Property Development Sdn. Bhd.

Rising 445.5 metres above ground with one floor completed every three days, Exchange 106 in Kuala Lumpur is the 21st tallest building in the world.

The building height inspired Beca to think differently, challenging conventional approaches to fire engineering and building services. Beca’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems used less plant room space while delivering efficiency, reliability and compliance.

This smart design delivered the first building over 400 meters tall to have just three plant room floors, a zero-wastewater discharge, technical excellence in fire protection and Green Building excellence. Beca’s consulting excellence re-sets the bar for a new consulting standard in fire protection and MEP services in tall buildings.

Technology Innovation, know-how and data to manage critical risk in the meat industry

Consultant: TEG Risk and Sustainability Services
Client: ANZCO Foods, Bremworth, Sanford and Alliance Group Limited

Company directors and management are increasingly focusing on their obligations and responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

In the processing and manufacturing sectors, there are significant challenges understanding risks associated with brownfield sites and legacy equipment, undertaking risk assessments and being able to report those assessments in a meaningful and quantifiable manner.

TEG Risk and Sustainability Services developed a structured, meaningful process for understanding and documenting those risk assessments, showcasing an elegant solution for their clients that truly is an example of great consulting.

A New Zealand first, which is being rapidly adopted by players in the meat processing and fishing industries, TEG’s consulting is a potential game changer in the field.

36th America’s Cup Infrastructure Project

Consultant: Wynyard Edge Alliance – Beca, Tonkin + Taylor, Auckland Council, McConnell Dowell, Downer, and New Zealand Government
Client: Auckland Council and Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment

The America’s Cup Village on Auckland’s waterfront is a globally visible project set on a sensitive marine environment with complex risks and an immovable deadline. Created by the Wynyard Edge Alliance, it truly is a design and construction masterpiece.

The Alliance brought together some of New Zealand’s leading planning, design and construction specialists to form the high-performance team required to deliver this internationally significant infrastructure project. 

Consultants Beca and Tonkin + Taylor contributed to the collective goal of collaboratively designing and delivering a welcoming waterfront destination Kiwis and visitors would love.

Silver Award winners

National Climate Change Risk Assessment for New Zealand

Consultant: AECOM, Tonkin + Taylor, NIWA, Latitude, Victoria University of Wellington, Lincoln University
Client: Ministry for the Environment

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges New Zealand faces, and the National Climate Change Risk Assessment is the country’s first national overview of how we may be affected. Its purpose is to help the Government identify and prioritise action, and it will inform all facets of New Zealand’s adaptation plan, from government policy through to central and local government and the work of iwi and hapū.

This tool is critical to the future of Aotearoa and is a standout example of how engineering can help solve the biggest problems we face in our daily lives.

AECOM and Tonkin + Taylor are recognised for their contribution to a standout example of consulting that can improve societal impacts and resilience.

Rankine Brown Library

Consultant: Beca
Client: Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

The 2016 Kaikoura earthquake badly damaged the lift shaft in the iconic Rankine Brown Library. Beca identified the importance of developing an innovative and cost-effective repair methodology for the lift shaft, which would allow the library building to be retained and remain operational during repair.

Base isolating an existing lift shaft within an occupied building is an unusual consulting challenge that required creative thinking and a carefully considered construction sequence while keeping library users safe.

Beca is recognised for its consulting excellence including its commitment to retaining this iconic building in a cost-effective manner, technical expertise, collaborative approach including that with the steel fabricator MJH, and the resilience this solution delivers.

Woodford Grace

Consultant: Lewis Bradford and Oculus
Client: Dorset Family Trust

The Woodford Grace historic villa needed extensive retrofitting after the Christchurch earthquakes. A key goal was to earn low energy, Passive House Certification, a difficult bar to achieve with stringent performance specifications.

The Lewis Bradford and Oculus teams expertly delivered consulting excellence, navigating challenges and collaborating with contractors, architects, and the client, effectively gutting the existing house from the foundations up. Lewis Bradford and Oculus are recognised for the depth of technical expertise, collaboration, and the significant effort the consultants made to listen, understand and deliver on the client’s objectives.

The result has exceeded client expectations delivering a low energy residential historic building with Passive House Certification.

Kaituna River Re-diversion and Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi / Maketu Estuary Enhancement

Consultant: WSP
Client: Bay of Plenty Regional Council

This project was about restoring freshwater connections, stopping (and potentially reversing) the process of sand infilling the lower estuary and restoring the mauri and ecological health of the estuary.

WSP was responsible for the consenting and stakeholder engagement. Their contribution is an exemplar of true collaboration and partnership – not just engagement. It has left tangata whenua and the community with ownership of the outcome and kaitiakitanga (stewardship of the environment), and established relationships between those involved.

WSP is recognised for consulting excellence in the areas of engagement, collaboration, RMA planning and consenting.

Road to Nature

Consultant: WSP
Client: Tūhoe Charitable Trust

Tūhoe Charitable Trust commissioned WSP’s Research and Innovation Centre to investigate potential non-bituminous options for the resurfacing and maintenance of a section of the former State Highway 38.

The unsealed road is essential for maintaining connectivity and services to an isolated rural community and for the development of tourism in Te Urewera.

Strong collaboration between WSP, Tūhoe and Hiway Stabilizers meant Tūhoe’s cultural and sustainability aspirations were addressed. WSP delivered a solution with lower environmental impacts that is cost effective and sustainable in line with Tūhoe values.

WSP is recognised for the pairing of mātauranga Māori and multi-disciplinary science and engineering forms to develop a solution that provides a strong platform for further development of non-bituminous sustainable roading materials.

Wellington East Girls' College

Consultant: WSP
Client: Ministry of Education

Deemed earthquake prone, the main teaching and administration building at Wellington East Girls’ College needed upgrading within the context of a modern teaching environment. Key to this project is the retention of the three-storey Category 1 Heritage listed façade and entry vestibule, which have been integrated seamlessly into the new main block.

WSP is recognised for consulting excellence, delivering a modern, seismically resilient low damage building and an outcome that is sympathetic to the heritage values of the original building. The solution integrates heritage and modern façades, and enhanced building services to provide a world-class, modern learning environment.

Merit Award winners

Te Hono - New Plymouth Airport Terminal

Consultant: Beca
Client: Rererangi i Puketapu New Plymouth Airport

When looking to expand and redevelop the New Plymouth Airport Terminal, the opportunity arose to partner and co-design with Puketapu and explore options to design something distinctly Taranaki.

This co-designing allowed hapu presence back on the land that was taken from them by interweaving their cultural narrative throughout the form and function of the building.

Consultant, Beca is recognised for extensive collaboration and engagement delivered throughout this project – a fine example of how to effectively listen, understand and act in true partnership with tangata whenua.

Mount Albert Tunnel Sludge Pipeline Repair

Consultant: Stantec
Client: Wellington Water

In early 2020 two pipelines that transfer sludge from the Moa Point wastewater treatment plant burst, creating a potential environmental and public health disaster.

Stantec’s technical expertise and impressive collaboration with the client, contractors and community allowed the development and delivery of a non-traditional solution that removed the ongoing environmental and public health risk and enabled sludge transfer within the pipes to resume.

Stantec’s contribution is recognised for thinking outside normal solutions to deliver excellence for the client, which included fast tracking delivery of a solution through the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.

Plexus 5.0

Consultant: Tonkin + Taylor
Client: Nelson City Council

Climate change effects – including sea level rise, storm surges, heavy rain and drought – all impact the performance of our wastewater infrastructure.

Nelson City Council sought a more rigorous approach and a better understanding of the events that were causing stress and surcharging within its wastewater network.

Plexus 5.0 is a data-driven approach for accurate prioritisation of emergency work, and capital spending in a targeted, integrated manner.

Consultant Tonkin + Taylor is recognised for delivering a simple and user-friendly solution to a client problem using real time data that is both timely and cost effective. A simple but elegant example of consulting excellence.

Roading Resilience Management System (RRMS)

Consultant: WSP
Client: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Northland’s roading infrastructure is situated in a complex geological setting, with a high level of resilience risk due to unstable geology, frequent weather-related events and lack of viable alternative routes.

With little data on the roading network in this region, Waka Kotahi sought a better basis for prioritising risk, emergency response and assigning maintenance and capital funds to enhance the network resilience. The outcome has been the Roading Resilience Management System, which is now being adopted by other regions.

WSP is recognised for its consulting excellence in enhancing the way data was collated and able to be accessed using simple off-the-shelf software tools, providing significant value to the client and the community.

Special Award

Kaituna River Re-diversion and Te Awa o Ngātoroirangi / Maketu Estuary Enhancement

Delivery team: WSP, Beca, ICE Civil and Geo, DHI, Riverlake, Norconsult, Eco Nomos, Waterline, Discovery Marine, Cooney Lees Morgan, J Swap Contractors, Pacific 7, MAP Projects, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council

For the tangata whenua of Te Tumu, the Kaituna River was a wound that never healed. With the diversion of the river away from its natural outlet, the estuary was drained and turned into farmland in 1956. The health of the remaining estuary collapsed due to the loss of freshwater flows and 90 per cent of the wetlands were lost.

Collaboration with tangata whenua to achieve cultural outcomes was critical to the success of the project. Seven iwi and hapū groups were involved throughout the project - Ngāti Makino, Ngāti Pikiao, Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Ngāti Tunohopu, Ngāti Whakaue kī Maketu, Tapuika and Waitaha.

Through outstanding collaboration leading to exceptional outcomes, this special award recognises the delivery team of WSP, Beca, ICE Civil and Geo, DHI, Riverlake, Norconsult, Eco Nomos, Waterline, Discovery Marine, Cooney Lees Morgan, J Swap Contractors, Pacific 7, MAP Projects, and Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

Community Award

Te Hono - New Plymouth Airport Terminal

Recognising: Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, Puketapu Hapu and Beca

The new terminal at Te Hono, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, is distinctly Taranaki – an embedded sense of place and connection to the local people and their story.

For Puketapu this project has given them a presence back on the land that was taken from them, by interweaving their cultural narrative throughout the form and function of the terminal building and also giving them a commercial space, Tatai, to operate from inside the terminal.

Te Hono is like no other airport terminal and could not be meaningfully placed anywhere else. It is unique in its storytelling and exclusive contemporary toi tangata. Rich in meaning, cultural heritage and collaboration, it offers a window to the potential inherent in projects that truly embrace partnership with tangata whenua.

Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, Puketapu Hapu and Beca are recognised for their outstanding project partnership.

Client Award

Tūhoe Charitable Trust

Project: Road to Nature
Consultant: WSP

Rugged, remote and beautiful, Te Urewera is the largest wilderness region in the North Island, prized for its ecological systems, biodiversity and cultural heritage. The kaitiaki or guardians of Te Urewera are Ngāi Tūhoe, and renowned for their fierce protection of this special land. Their love for the land leads Tūhoe in doing things differently, rekindling traditional knowledge alongside modern research and insights.

The Tūhoe Charitable Trust is recognised with a client award for the values, vision and drive it brought to the project, challenging WSP to excel, which creates a unique opportunity for enhanced environmental, sustainability and resilience outcomes for the community. The trust is an outstanding example of a client with a clear focus on outcomes.

Emerging Leader Award

Ryan Orr, GHD

Sponsor: Tonkin + Taylor

Ryan’s leadership style is all about giving people opportunities – by setting strategy and leading from the front, while also stepping back and supporting his teams to achieve their full potential.

He believes in building trust and creating a strong and productive environment that challenges expected corporate behaviours, to build a unique ‘brand’ of consulting at GHD. Ryan is driven by opportunity – the opportunity to innovate with his teams and collaborate with his Waikato and Bay of Plenty clients.

Emerging Leader finalists: Courtney Champman (Beca) and Glenn Jowett (Beca)

Student Awards

Sponsor: AECOM

Xiaowei (Lisa) Lin (University of Auckland)

Xiaowei (Lisa) Lin is in her final year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) at the University of Auckland, majoring in civil engineering. She completed her internship at Holmes Consulting and hopes to use her knowledge and skills to address global challenges.

Matthew Payne (University of Auckland)

Matthew Payne is in his final year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) majoring in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Auckland. He completed his internship with McConnell Dowell in Rarotonga.

Sabrina Wong (University of Auckland)

Sabrina Wong is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce conjoint degree at the University of Auckland, majoring in civil and environmental engineering, finance and commercial law. She says she was drawn to engineering, and completed her internship at Aurecon.

President’s Award

Doris Stroh

Currently Aurecon’s Client Lead for Transport, Doris Stroh has held several key leadership and people-focussed roles in large firms and small engineering practices across New Zealand.

For several years Doris has chaired ACE New Zealand’s Auckland Transport Group, during which time she has played an important role in advocating on behalf of our members and the sector. A connector and collaborator, Doris has built influential relationships with key stakeholders at Auckland Transport and Waka Kotahi, leading to stronger engagement between these important client organisations and our consultancies.

The President's Award recognises outstanding service or special effort to ACE New Zealand and the engineering and consulting sector. The award winner is chosen by the current ACE New Zealand President.

Honorary Life Members

Doug Johnson

As former managing director at Tonkin + Taylor, Doug led the company through 11 years of some of Aotearoa’s largest infrastructure projects. Before that he held a range of management, governance and technical roles.

His influence stretches far beyond the projects he works on – he has been described as an extraordinary role model and leader. Passionate about nurturing the next generation of industry leaders, Doug has been a longstanding judge for ACE New Zealand’s Emerging Leader Award.

As a founding signatory of the Diversity Agenda Accord, Doug is well-known for fostering an inclusive environment within Tonkin + Taylor, as well as supporting diversity across the industry as a whole.

Doug has always been champion of ACE New Zealand and the engineering and consulting practice in general. He represents professional services consulting on the Accord Steering Group (ASG) – leaders driving for culture change in construction through the Construction Sector Accord.

Ida Dowling

Ida is a principal transport consultant with Commute Transportation Specialists. She has more than 20 years' experience as a civil engineer within the transport sector and has worked with a wide range of public and private sector clients.

During her time as ACE New Zealand regional chair and then board member from 2013 to 2018, she built strong connections with members and clients in the transport space.

When she was elected as President in 2018, Ida was the first woman to hold the position and instrumental in leading ACE New Zealand through a transformation to a more modern organisation. Known for her fresh way of thinking, she revitalised our strategic focus to encourage a broader spread of diversity among member firms.

She is passionate about using her leadership roles to encourage others to fulfil their potential and has mentored many women throughout her career to date.


Thank you to our 2021 ACE Awards sponsor Aon who made the awards possible. 


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