James Powers is a façade & structural engineer based in Auckland from the UK with 25 years experience internationally. Leading the Structural Design and/or Façade Design on major projects in the UK (Trent Bridge Cricket Ground Redevelopment), Middle East (Jabal Al Akhdar Hotel, The Wave Muscat) & New Zealand (Grafton Crossing, 135 Albert Street Reclad). He came to New Zealand in 2013 as a Structural Engineer with the aim of assisting with the seismic design & assessment of buildings. Upon his arrival he became aware of the problem of Leaky Buildings and explored the technical solutions of how to resolve these issues. Together with Shawn McIsaac he set up Oculus, a building envelope consultancy based in Auckland, to implement these technical solutions based on their shared knowledge gained internationally and in NZ. Principal among these ideas that the façade was only part of the building envelope and a holistic view of the whole building envelope was essential to provide a comprehensive & optimum design for the building fabric.
We believe that lessons learned elsewhere in the world regarding the building envelope mean that Technical Solutions are available and can be quickly implemented in New Zealand to problems such as weathertightness (leaky buildings), moisture movement (mould) and energy efficiency (sustainable design).