No summer holiday for earthquake strengthening
No summer holiday for earthquake
Wellington, NZ – March 2013
The recent refurbishment of Willis Street Hall: Cumberland House, highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by Wellington building owners.
What began as a relatively straightforward refurbishment of Victoria University’s student accommodation grew into a major earthquake re-strengthening project. This change occurred after engineers produced further structural designs to meet Victoria University’s requirement of 70-80% of New Building Standard.
Simon Owen, CEO of Cumberland House’s Sydney-based owner, Ingenia Communities Group, agreed this effectively doubled the work required for completion.
Kitchens and bathrooms at the end of each floor had to be removed to allow access to the existing concrete walls, which act as braces. Once reinforced, it all had to be put back together and the original brief to redecorate completed.
Ingenia had a very firm date for completion due to the return of students in mid-February.
“There would have been significant damages in place if we weren’t able to deliver” explained Owen. “We would have had to put 250 students up in hotels until work was finished.”
The project was further complicated by suppliers shutting down over the holiday period.
Main contractor Arrow International credits their innovation and experience in extensive strengthening projects for their ability to meet project requirements.
Ingenia’s CEO was highly complimentary of Arrow and their achievement.
“Arrow were extremely pro-active. In particular, Andrew McKenzie and Robb Noble – they were great to deal with. I’d have no hesitation in dealing with them again.”
Arrow International is a construction company that plans, manages and builds capital works projects. Arrow is recognised for innovation in the earthquake strengthening, however it was their efficiency at executing a huge volume of work in a short time frame that impacted the Cumberland House project.
“We had 70 people
working 12 hour days, 7 days a week” said Noble.