New Zealand opens new School of Built Environment to cater for building boom

Massey University of New Zealand last night opened a new School of Built Environment at its Auckland campus to cater for an unprecedented construction boom.

Government figures suggest the country is heading toward a peak in total annual construction value of NZ$41bn in 2023, and that demand for construction-related workers will grow by 56,000 between 2016 and 2022.

The new school will teach and research sustainable buildings, productivity, construction management, construction law and lighting, with a "strong focus on smart construction, project management and environmental sustainability in all projects", the university said.

It will be led by Professor Monty Sutrisna, former head of construction management at Australia’s Curtin University, who previously taught at the UK’s University of Salford.

Massey already awards degrees in construction management and quantity surveying, but the new school will "build upon current momentum in the built environment area", said College of Sciences Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Ray Geor.

Executive general manager of contractor Hawkins, Gary Walker, welcomed the move, saying it would "allow professionals to come together and share their experience, so that students can gain an in-depth understanding of how the built environment is created and the interdependence of the various disciplines".

The opening was held last night at the Generator, Wynard Quarter, Auckland.

Image: Massey lecturer Niluka Domingo, left, with students Daphney Ngassa and Ehsan Bakhtianizadeh (Courtesy of Massey University)

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