Best of the best recognised at NZIBS conference

//Best of the best recognised at NZIBS conference

Best of the best recognised at NZIBS conference


How do you turn a “dirty job into a fun job”? Basically, you reinvent the wheel.

Registered Building Surveyor, Darin Devanny, was awarded the NZIBS Innovation in Building Surveying Award 2016 on September 23 for designing a robot called ‘Hades’.

In front of more than 100 NZIBS Gala Awards Dinner attendees, he said he was surprised to receive the award, which was presented at the Church Road Winery.

But, he acknowledged it felt good to be recognised after working on an idea sparked by the health and safety concerns of his employees.

“When a client wants to know what condition their house is, ultimately, you have to get underneath the floor and investigate,” Darin says.

“But it’s not a very healthy or particularly safe environment. Neither is it a fun job but it has to be done as part of doing a thorough residential inspection for clients.”

Naturally, Darin called his innovation – which looks like a battery-powered miniature tank – after the ancient Greek god of the underworld.

Over the past year, he has tweaked certain aspects of the prototype so that it can fit in spaces where most building surveyors cannot.

While remotely controlling ‘Hades’, Darin seeks out damage and defects with a camera mounted in a protective plastic shell which feeds video in real-time via Wi-Fi to an iPad-like screen.

“It allows me to assess and investigate the underneath structure of most houses because Hades is only 200 millimetres high,” Darin says.

“Most inspections can only be completed manually if the space is 400 millimetres or more, and about 50 percent of houses in New Zealand have less clearance than that.

“I’m hoping the second ‘Hades’ will only be about 130 millimetres high, mitigating any limitations I might have trying to get under houses.”

While Darin’s innovative idea was inspired by the safety of his employees, it also has flow-on effects for customers.

“This means a far better service for our clients. We can complete an under-floor investigation more thoroughly, faster and with greater accuracy, all without even getting dirty.”

Best in Class 2016



Richard Cakar, winner of this year’s NZIBS Best in Class Award, proves the point that the early bird always gets the proverbial worm.

Richard’s dedication to study was also celebrated at Gala Awards Dinner on September 23.

Receiving the award was recognition of the early morning and late evenings the building surveyor committed to complete the Institute’s 10 comprehensive modules while working fulltime.

“I was really chuffed to get the award. I put in a lot of hard work and the award is a nod towards my dedication,” he says.

“The modules tied in really well with the work I’m doing with Kaizon Building Ltd, and as I’ve only been in the country since November, the training has also helped me to better understand New Zealand’s construction industry.”

Richard graduated with a First Class Building Surveying BSc (Hons) degree from Northumbria University, England, and is currently undertaking his APC with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Based in Auckland, he now undertakes varying building surveyor roles for both the commercial and residential property market.

Service Recognition Award 2016


Warren Nevill’s passion for education and a willingness to further improve the credibility of NZIBS members earned him the Service Recognition Award.

A member since 2003, Warren has steadily increased the amount of time he has dedicated to giving back to the Institute which afforded him so many benefits.

He has played an integral role in drafting and teaching modules, and continues to do so.

Warren is also a well-respected moderator of the Institute’s training modules to ensure each member receives a consistently high standard of education.

“Education, particularly educating of the Institute’s members, is my passion,” he says.

“So it has been a pleasure to try and further improve the educational standards of the Institute which now consist of a robust, well-structured and well-maintained set of modules.

“This has been my way of giving back due to the NZIBS because being a member of the Institute has been very good to me.”

As a senior NZIBS member, Warren is also a qualified New Zealand Certified Builder who currently reviews the Institute’s courses and presents the Forensic Investigation/Cladding Education modules.