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Unitec Student Part of Winning ArchEngBuild Team

  • ArchEngBuild winners with Min Salesa

Unitec Bachelor of Construction Management student Monica Varrie admits the recent ArchEngBuild 2018 Challenge in Wellington was "a long and challenging three days" but it definitely paid off.  

Along with Liam Crawford (AUT – Architectural Engineer) and Georgia Peacocke (Victoria University of Wellington – Architect), Monica’s team won the challenge with their stunning and innovative Tupu – an adaptable living community -- and $7,500 in prize money to spend as the trio wished.   

Now in its seventh year, ArchEngBuild brings together final year architecture design, engineering and construction students from all over the country to work collaboratively on a simulated client brief. Supported by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ), the Challenge provides students with a real-life workplace scenario and, in most cases, will be the first time they have worked with another discipline. Each team of three is supported by industry mentors.

This year’s challenge was to design a multi-generational Medium Density Housing (MDH) community complex.

The winning Tupu uses a modular concept that can be duplicated for consistency of materials and installation yet is adaptable to cater to the needs of different size and shape households over time.  The primary aim of the design is to provide an affordable housing alternative that is cost effective to run, maintain and build so the end user can maximise their rental/purchase dollar.

Monica, who is currently a site supervisor with Fletcher Construction while she completes her final year block courses at Unitec, praised  Associate Professor Dr Linda Kestle for her encouragement and support.  “I wouldn’t have entered the Challenge if it wasn’t for Linda”, she said.  

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