As many of you already know, when I got to New Zealand I got a job within the first working day. It took me by surprise before I had any other necessity organised, such as accommodation, car,… I haven’t even had my IRD (tax) number completely sorted yet and I was already working full time. I stayed at KCL for almost three years. Just after I left a good friend of mine from Uni (Gašper) arrived to NZ and joined the company. Shame we didn’t have a chance to work together. Maybe someday! They were extremely pleased to employ another Slovenian, and he got the job pretty much as soon as he landed too. Some good work ethic definitely paid off.
After KCL I moved to Structus. Both companies are relatively small, Structus even smaller than the KCL, with approximately 10 staff. One thing that I’ve learnt after my first move is that you don’t realise how much knowledge you’ve obtained until you actually move to another company. After couple of years with Structus I decided to move again to a medium sized company called BGT. Funnily they are located less than 100m away from each other. I was probably a bit too optimistic about what a small company could achieve. Don’t get me wrong, we achieved a lot! We grew from 6 to 12 people within two years, but still… There are definitely some key differences in terms of project approach when a team is bigger.
Same as the first move KCL -> Structus, the move Structus -> BGT was not driven by the salary. Guess what, both times I declined payrises and some discussions about shares to stay, and both bosses respected that. Will $10k more a year make me rich? No, is the short answer. I am hungry for the knowledge and new ideas.
Before signing the contract for BGT I was also seriously considering to do some contracting work. I would be my own boss, I could work around the surf, I could work remotely from anywhere I want, I would earn more, but the work would probably less challenging. Despite all the benefits of contracting work I could not live with myself and slower learning curvature. You definitely learn a lot more when you are surrounded by people doing similar type of work.
Below are some of my recent projects that I have completed with Structus. Unfortunately, somebody else from the office will have to pick up the construction observations.
El Kobar & Underwood 2500 Warehouse
The design kicked off just before the New Year. The project involved the design of couple warehouses (5,300m² El Kobar and 2,700m² Underwood 2500) in Highbrook area. Due to time pressure my colleague helped me on documenting four no. of offices to the front of the warehouses. The warehouses are typically constructed with portal frames in the along direction and Reid braced walls in the orthogonal direction.
Hauraki Primary School
A new block of ten teaching spaces has been designed at Hauraki School. The school consist of portal frames in one direction and concentrically braced frames in the orthogonal direction. The school has been designed for ductility factor of 1.25 and building importance level 3. A concrete slab with composite beams is located on level 1, while the roof is a light-weight roof with purlins designed for terrain category 1.5. The school is located near the Auckland harbour and it is exposed to prevailing winds from the SW direction.