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The 2019 OFPANZ Awards for Excellence Winners

Awards | January 1, 2019 | By:

This year, 11 projects were recognized as winners in the 2019 Awards for Excellence competition hosted by the Outdoor Fabric Products Association of New Zealand (OFPANZ). The contest offers OFPANZ members a chance to showcase design excellence, technical skill and innovation to other members and the entire industry. Entries are judged by appearance, workmanship, complexity, design, innovation, function and environmental awareness. 


Category: Green

Duncan’s Canvas Ltd.
Hamilton, New Zealand
PROJECT: Noise Pollution Solution
FABRICS: Batyline, Quietspace Cube; from W Wiggins Ltd

The pool owners had both major health and safety issues due to noise, and two original noise-deadening systems in the complex had failed; noise-deadening ceiling tiles installed a few years earlier had been falling from the ceiling, risking hitting swimmers. Duncan’s Canvas installed a temporary solution (bird netting) to catch the falling tiles, then removed them. To enhance the noise-baffling work already done on the complex ceiling, the company suggested making a “feature wall” of a giant silver fern made from the noise-reducing material.  

Staff had to work 12 meters above the huge swimming pools, often at night. Duncan’s subcontracted to Fletcher Construction, the firm overseeing a total upgrade of the complex. Fletcher Construction reported to Opus International, the project managers. Complex issues had to be worked out to the finest detail—even to which grade of stainless steel rivets should be used. 

The combination of the ceiling and wall projects saw noise levels fall to well within acceptable levels. The giant silver fern provides a patriotic backdrop to national swimming events, and has become a talking point; even the mayor has commended Duncan’s on the new look. The 3D effect of the waterjet pattern cut into acoustic panels has cut noise pollution and continues to create a distinctive environment for the pool complex.

Category: Awnings

Jaks Awnings Ltd. dba Cool Awnings
Takanini, New Zealand
PROJECT: Krispy Kreme
FABRICS: supplied by Omnigraphics

For new awnings intended to attract attention to a new store opening in a busy weekday area, Cool Awnings had to complete the job out of hours, with a large team onsite. The curved end of the building complicated the installation. Double-sided digitally printed fabric had to be arranged to make the dots on the top and bottom line up on five frames bolted together. The framing also had to be designed to hold the customer’s lights and branding. The customer has successfully used the eye-catching frames to attract customers.

Category: Blinds and Screens

Jaks Awnings Ltd dba Cool Awnings
Takanini, New Zealand
PROJECT: GSL Newmarket Train Station
FABRIC: Atmosphere 1% black; from Shann NZ Ltd.

To block afternoon glare, curtains were mounted 6 meters high over thick first-floor glass panels. Cool Awnings manufactured a channel to fit over the customer’s mullion and pre-installed the curtains, working in a tight area with a narrow ledge. The heavy curtains were motorized, situated on the inside of the windows; installers had to place them from the outside, and over the top of the mullion from platform ladders, while complying with all health and safety regulations. Installation had to be completed after 7 p.m. and before 5 a.m. With the curtains complete, ticket agents were once again comfortable in their work.

Category: Marine Fabrication

Douglas Outdoor & Textile Innovation
Hastings, New Zealand
PROJECT: Stanton Boat Cover
FABRIC: Recasens Nautimer; from Reid & Twiname

The customer wanted a boat storage cover that was lightweight, a good fit, easy to handle and very secure. It was decided to keep the cover as tight as possible around the rear of the hull and motor, which had a separate cover; this required fabricating a separate cover for the spare motor mounting bracket. Additional reinforcing was added, and shock cords and hooks were used to tension the cover to the trailer to keep it taut while still fitting easily. Douglas created a cut out and separate cover for the anchor roller at the bow to keep it as tight as possible along the waist line.

Category: Recreational, Other

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
PROJECT: Nordic Tipis
FABRICS: Flagship 450R polycotton canvas/tentcloth; from Contender

The challenge was working from a customer’s photo and recreating a product; there was intricate detailing used to add a complete “boho” look. The canvas cap was designed to retract for venting purposes. All parts were developed in-house and designed to fit together in a nine-sided shape. Baytex provided a frame system in alloy tube with a powder-coat finish to mimic the original timber look, packed into a crate for transporting to protect the coating. The eye-catching tipis were secured on base plates with Earth Anchors, and engineered to withstand winds up to 95 kph. Custom-designed fittings allow an accurate set-up every time.

Category: Shade Sails, Commercial

0800 Sunshade
Hastings, New Zealand
PROJECT: Heinz-Watties Shade Walls
FABRIC: Monotec 370; from Nu Range Products

The client needed a shading element as part of a contract at a local food processing plant, and requested 11 vertical shade sails anchored to the existing structure to shade beetroot that is loaded into the existing concrete bays. Installation was achieved over two mornings, saving plant shut-down time for Heinz-Watties and reducing costs for DSK Engineering on labor and equipment on-site. Because this was a new fabric used by Sunshade’s manufacturing department, welding tests were carried out before beginning the project. The produce at the plant is now shaded from the morning sun on eight bays on the east side of the structure and the three bays on the west side.

Category: Shade Sails, Domestic

Shade Plus
Christchurch, New Zealand
PROJECT: Merivale Masterpiece
FABRIC: Z16 Shade Cloth; from Rainbow Shade

The clients needed some shade on a new home’s outdoor area, including a cover over the spa, and all additions had to be in keeping with the style of the house—but not attached to the house. The tight spaces involved in getting the poles positioned in a way that would not detract from the outdoor areas also added complexity. The resulting sail system, finished with powder-coated black square profile posts, kept the home’s upmarket flavor while providing an accurate shade throw over the outdoor seating areas. The clients were pleased with the sail system installed and have since been in touch for work in other areas of their home.

Category: Tensioned Structures and Canopies, less than 50 sqm

Douglas Outdoor & Textile Innovation
Hastings, New Zealand
PROJECT: Hope Curved Canopy Extension
FABRIC: Hiraoka Sundream; from Rainbow Shade

The request: to replicate the existing canopy in form and function and create a seamless flow between the two connected deck areas. The asymmetrical design made it challenging to ensure a smooth fit between the two triangular skin sections where they meet. The tinted translucent PVC fabric was matched with the existing skin, as were the aluminum frame members. The new canopy extension is less than 50 square meters, but the entire combined canopy now measures more than 80 square meters, allowing for separate morning and afternoon entertainment areas directly linked to create a larger entertainment area when needed.

Category: Tensioned Structures and Canopies, 51-100 sqm

Fresco Shades
Auckland, New Zealand
PROJECT: Oaktree Kindergarten
FABRIC: Ferrari 502; from W Wiggins Ltd

The owners wanted to replace the deck, revamp the roof and gutter and modernize the look with a new and larger canopy—to provide a modern-looking sheltered area for the kids to play and keep toys and learning aids. Changes in height and different angles, as well as the deck material, made installation challenging, but was worked out in advance with 3D CAD software. The installation had only seven working days, including creating custom brackets. Builders on-site worked over Christmas, giving Fresco Shades little time to get the canopy in place before the kindergarten opened. The client was pleased, and is working with Fresco on other projects.

Category: Tents, Marquees and Air-Inflated Structures

Mount Maunganui, New Zealand
FABRIC: Ferrari and Ultra Clear; from Ferrari and Contender

NZ Cricket wanted a completely clear marquee, allowing training groups to prepare for overseas tours on grass wickets through the winter. The marquee has a controlled atmosphere with air flow systems on each end to control grass growth, and is region-rated for wind and snow loading, using arched purlins for added strength. Zip-tracked roller walls were designed specifically to bring machinery inside easily. Soft guttering with hard downpipes controls waterflow, and Earth Anchors are used to secure the 18-by-48 meter marquee, which is now cricket-ready for winter training under cover.

Category: Upholstery

Charman Motor Trimmers & Upholsterers Ltd.
Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand
PROJECT: Offshore Pontoon 1170
FABRICS: Carpet–Miami, Vinyl–Florida, SeaDek; from W Wiggins Ltd and SeaDek

The client requested that all walls and roof be done so no alloy could be seen, and wanted removable roof panels for easy access to electrical wiring. All seating and bunks had to be custom made, with the main cabin styled to match a photo. Charman took patterns for the stern, duckboard, bow and roof, sent them to the supplier for scanning and CNC cutting, and installed the soft cell matting to all areas. Everything was completed off-site before installation, which took place alongside painters, welders, glaziers and electricians in a confined space, in a short time, meeting all Health and Safety regulations. 

In addition to these 11 2019 Awards for Excellence winners, OFPANZ also recognized nine other projects as “Highly Commended.” 

For more information on the Highly Commended projects, please visit:

For information on how to enter the OFPANZ 2020 Awards for Excellence competition, visit:

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