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2018 OFPANZ Awards for Excellence winners

Awards | December 1, 2018 | By:

Twelve projects were recognized as winners of the 2018 Awards for Excellence competition hosted by The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ). The Awards for Excellence offers OFPANZ members a chance to showcase design excellence, technical skills and innovation to other members and the industry. Entries are judged by appearance/workmanship, complexity, design/innovation, and function and environmental awareness.

Categories: Supreme Winner & Tension Structures (area greater than 100 sqm)

Structurflex Ltd.

Auckland, New Zealand

Project: Naenae Bowling Club

Fabric used: Serge Ferrari Tx30 Iii

Supplied by: Serge Ferrari

The client requested a facility that would provide a modern aesthetic focal point for the community. The building’s design and tension membrane structure had to accommodate for lateral displacement under seismic conditions, leading to a complex structural steel design and base isolation that would allow for movement and return to design geometry after a seismic event. Minimizing the consumption of resources for heating, ventilation and lighting was incorporated into the design. The fabric shape with central ring allowed for heat to rise and escape, the tilt up slab walls and large concrete apron heated by the sun during the day provides for re-radiated heating in the cool winter evenings, and highly translucent fabric allows for natural light. The project was demanding in terms of design, fabrication and installation due to the number of designers and contractors involve—and a seismic event that damaged numerous surrounding buildings. The project was completed with a satisfied client and an outstanding community facility that has been in use from the first day it opened.

Category: Awnings

Dave Giddens Sailmakers

Auckland, New Zealand

Project: Beachside Moneymaker

Fabric used: Ferrari 502S

Supplied by: W Wiggins Ltd.

The client wanted a waterproof and windproof cover for an exposed outdoor area—one than provided 100 percent coverage without compromising the seaside view, ambient light or sense of space. Each rafter and supporting post was manufactured to a different height and length prior to installation. Two gutters, including one that was “floating”/unsupported, were also required along with a fixed triangular section in the same fabric as the roof skin. Track-guided blinds that combined mesh and clear PVC provided added weather protection.

Category: Blinds and Screens

Fresco Shades

Auckland, New Zealand

Project: Black Rice

Fabric used: Vinistar

Supplied by: TopFab

The brief was to fully enclose Black Rice Restaurant’s outdoor area to create extra seating. The design changed several times,
and CAD drawings were required to illustrate the look and feel. During the installation, wind and height were significant issues. Curtains were tailored around different shapes and obstacles while working around the angled roof and angled posts. Fire doors were also installed to comply with requirements. The
final design encompassed a mix of statics, doors and ziptrak blinds.

Category: Marine Fabrication

Douglas Auto & Marine Upholstery

Hastings, New Zealand

Project: Catamaran Canopy and Covers

Fabric used: Boatmaster

Supplied by: Reid and Twiname

Having just purchased a boat, the client wanted the canopy raised and requested a road/storage cover and motor covers. The existing frame was modified to increase height and a new cover style was designed using a CAD program. The road/storage cover was cut, shaped and used 2-meter-wide canvas to minimize joins. The cover was reinforced using PVC and was secured to the boat with a draw cord in a PVC pocket and bungee ties. The motor covers were cut and shaped to fit the engine profiles, with zips to close.

Category: Upholstery

Hawkes Bay Trim & Canvas

Hastings, New Zealand

Project: Wildflower

FABRIC supplied by: Reid and Twiname

The client requested a new style for all interior car components. The front seat frames were cut down and the foam was changed, and the rear seat frame was altered and foamed to match the fronts. The seats were covered in black leather with red stitching. New door panels and parcel tray were marked out and cut. The design on the door cards utilized lines from the exterior of the car stitched through the black leather. The boot was lined with panels, and the same lines and black leather were carried through. The center console and steering wheel were wrapped in black leather and red stitching. The carpet was patterned, cut and bound in leather.

Category: Shade Structures (Domestic)

Shade Plus

Christchurch, New Zealand

Project: Domestic Twin Sail Crossover

Fabric used: Z16

Supplied by: Rainbow Shade 

The client requested a shade solution for an outdoor area. The project was complex because the client wanted a two sail crossover look that would maintain a near 100 percent shade throw. The gap between the sails was minimized so that the bulk of the shade was unbroken under the sails. This was achieved through a large height difference on the sails off the building. The results met the client’s needs, and the choice of colors complemented the system.

Category: Shade Structures (Commercial)

Nelson Shade Solutions

Nelson, New Zealand

Project: Trampoline Park Shade Sails

Fabric used: Monotec 370 Series

Supplied by: NuRange

The client had just built a trampoline park and wanted it covered in shade. The project was unique and complex. Being on the beach front, high winds and the ground surface being sand were factored in. To concrete in the posts, holes could only be dug at low tide, and working at heights was also a challenge as the center pole was 7 meters tall. Multiple posts were used to ensure the shade sails would meet in the middle.

Category: Tension Structures (area less than 50 sqm)

Kolorful Kanvas Ltd.

Christchurch, New Zealand

Project: Enclosed Outdoor Structure

Fabric used: Ap1000

Supplied by: QCD

The clients wanted a fully enclosed outdoor deck and requested a watertight roof structure with clear screens that could be retracted vertically. The rollers were to be unseen from outside the structure, so they were fitted behind the valance of the framed roof. Due to the location of the project, the components needed to withstand the rigors of a coastal environment. The framed structure was fabricated in parts and assembled and covered on site due to the nature and size of the frame.

Category: Tension Structures (area 51 sqm to 100sqm)

Transport & Marine Covers Ltd.

Nelson, New Zealand

Project: City Lane

Fabric used: Hiraoka Awnmax, Hiraoka Sundream & Ferrari 502S

Supplied by: Rainbow Shade & W Wiggins Ltd.

Building owners and local council wanted to revamp a dilapidated city lane. The project was carried out in two phases. First, the awning track and attachment points were installed, the frame was painted and the waterproof upper transparent/white roof panels were installed. Second, after scaffolding was removed, scissor lifts were used to install smaller, colored shade sails. An upper roof of alternating white solid PVC and transparent PVC blocks between existing hoops was designed and colored shade sails were designed out of backlit fabric.

Category: Recreational Other

Peter May Ltd.

Ashburton, New Zealand

Project: Aerodyamic Fins

Fabric used: Black P-Foam Closed cell 2X1 50 mm

Supplied by: W Wiggins Ltd.

The brief was to design and manufacture a set of foil leg fins for the client’s downhill skiing competition. The main difficulty was achieving the desired shape, which required fitting the foam onto the client’s leg and then mirroring the image for the other leg to achieve symmetry. The client achieved a personal best time, a sixth place in the overall world cup ranking over 11 races and a best position of fourth place at the World Cup in Canada.

Category: Tents, Marquees and Air Inflated Structures


Levin, New Zealand

Project: Inflatable Lightbulb

Fabric used: Gen Clear 0.7Mm

Supplied by: W Wiggins Ltd.

The client requested an inflatable lightbulb to be the main attraction at an annual light festival. The lightbulb would measure 4 meters in diameter, be suspended in mid-air, inflated and have an acrobat artist dancing inside. A zipped entry/exit point was inserted at the bottom and offset to one side. The “base” of the bulb needed to be constructed to house a blower. The weight of the bulb was a factor, as the clear PVC weighed approximately 50kg. A 16 millimeter solid stainless steel rod was incorporated to distribute weight evenly when it was suspended from the lighting rig.

Category: Emerging Innovation

Duncan’s Canvas Ltd.

Hamilton, New Zealand

Project: Air Station

Fabric used: Georgina Bailey

Supplied by: W Wiggins Ltd.

The client requested a workstation that would allow for repairs to be made on wind turbine blades up to 100 meters in the air. The design was a habitat for staff to be sealed inside, along with a section of the blade needing repairs. Occupants of the habitat required a constant supply of fresh humidity-controlled air and a positive pressure environment to prevent dust. Design and fabrication of lockable jaws allowed the habitat to clamp down on blades, release, move to the next work site and re-grab without specialized training.


Promoting the industry

The Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ) promotes, develops and protects the interests of the manufacture, trading and marketing of outdoor fabric products with exceptional quality and recognizes standards, both nationally and internationally. OFPANZ is affiliated with the Specialised Textiles Association of Australia and became a country sector of IFAI in 2008. For more information, visit


Sammi Jones is the associate editor of Specialty Fabrics Review.

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