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From concept to construction, engineers are an integral part of delivering innovative and cost effective solutions.

And, in a world where advancing technology pushes us to give more, connecting with the right structural expertise has never been more crucial.   

We know there’s always more than one reasonable, safe and acceptable solution for a design.  Yet identifying them and selecting the right one takes a depth of expertise not easily found. That’s why we’ve worked hard to find the right technical capability, so we can connect our members and clients to the answers they need.


Bringing structural understanding to projects at hand

Because we work closely with steel and composite and light gauge cold-formed steel, we’ve striven to create a team that holds the right expertise. Combined, our experience spans a wide variety of complex projects, materials and construction methods to confidently inform our clients.

We find, those who engage with us trust us to make smarter recommendations that mitigate their project risk on time and to budget. To achieve this, we’ve developed close relationships with leading establishments and associations around the world.

Now more than ever, we’re able to stay in touch with the most up to date information.  Providing informed advice in engineering, design, building physics, seismic design and fire safety.


Standards build a strong foundation for members

In the background, we’re focused on enabling our members in the structural engineering space. Driving positive changes in standards, guidelines and best practice to enable entry to export markets.

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Make sure steel is a 'go to' material for bridge design and construction

There’s been a  government focus to connect people and communities by improving transport infrastructure across New Zealand. Consequently, we’ve seen a flurry of bridge projects arise. As a result, ensuring the metals industry is able to compete fairly against the many alternative materials out there has become a strong focus for us.

In collaboration with SCNZ we’ve developed the Steel Bridge Development Group (BDG) to assist with this.  Through this forum we’ve been able to raise the awareness of the composite benefits of steel and concrete in bridges and provide technical support.

Now, a range of design workshops, publications, preliminary design aids and services to prospective clients and engineers exist.  Because arming our members with resources to stay relevant in a competitive space is so important to us.

Contact Dr Stephen Hicks

Develop a product for competitive advantage

The fall of geographic borders has seen our members move from competing locally to globally for work. That’s why we know it’s never been so important to have a unique product to take to market.

Because of this, we’re helping our clients undertake product development through the design, testing and evaluation phases. Producing technical literature and design tables along the way, so they’re able to take control of their future pipeline.

A great example of this is our works in the development of three new cold-formed steel floor deck products for steel-concrete composite construction.

Contact Dr Stephen Hicks

Get third party verification to meet international best practise

Today, maintaining a competitive edge means ensuring your product adheres to international best practice.  However, while it’s gives our members a valuable point of difference against imported alternatives, it also requires them to meet stringent requirements.

To support this, our team is able to provide independent third-party assessment.  Here, we use the latest standards to verify performance values quoted by manufacturers have been achieved.  In addition, we also take into account international harmonised standards, CE marking and energy efficiency ratings including R-values and thermal bridging.

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Get the consultancy advice you need for projects unable to be resolved inhouse

Every so often, we know a challenging project can turn up in your pipeline that needs a different perspective on it to get it resolved. And that’s where our Structural System team shines!

Our staff have strong capability across a range of consultancy offerings – from building physics to finite element analysis, fire safety design, floor vibration and seismic design. Let us help you find innovative solutions for your client projects today!

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Our R&D projects

Evaluation of shear connectors in composite bridges

Making sure our members are on a level playing field globally means adapting to an ever-changing environment.  That’s why aligning our local data for various types of existing composite bridges to Eurocodes was necessary.  For us, it was a natural step towards helping our members embrace new technological advances in our industry.

Now, our research has led to the generation of a new standard AS/NZS 2327. We see this as an integral tool to arms our engineers with the ability to safely push boundaries for their clients.

First joint design standard for steel and composite bridges

International trends are calling us to use less natural resources, higher strength concrete with compressive strengths and quenched and tempered steels.  As a result, it’s become clear our existing standards had to react.

Working with Standards Australia, we’re working to greater align with international best practice.  In some cases significantly improving design options for our members involved in bridge infrastructure projects.

It’s a step that will increase trade flows with Australia.  Consequently leading to more cost-efficient bridge designs as we look to open the door of opportunity for our members.

Seismic design

The Canterbury Earthquake Sequence has seen construction standards react swiftly in a bid to protect our communities in the future.  Achieving safety, but often at the cost of innovation – with engineers opting for conservative and costly approaches to complex projects.

Our research seeks to drive innovation again.  Collaborating with the University of Auckland and global partners to carry out advanced FEA modelling and large scale seismic tests to optimise weld details for seismic connections.  Now, our members can confidently select the best performing and most cost effective weld solution in critical seismic connections for their clients.

Steel research panel

As an association – research and development is at our core. That’s why we’re driven to find the right topics to apply this capability to – forming the Steel Research Panel for this very purpose.

Here representatives from industry, universities and other relevant organisation come together to set research priorities for our New Zealand construction sector. Evaluating project proposals for funding with many of it’s outputs ending up in New Zealand’s structural steel design standards and our own HERA guidelines for the direct benefit and value of our membership.

So far this has led to research in structural steel connection guides, fire engineering programs, seismic research and design guides for composite bridge.

Stephen Hicks

General Manager Structural Systems

Jing Cao

Senior Structural Engineer, Structural Systems

Nandor Mago

Finite Element Analyst, Structural Systems