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Practical completion on Forsyth Barr Stadium achieved

Hawkins achieves practical completion on Forsyth Barr Stadium

Hawkins Construction reached practical completion on Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Friday July 22nd 2011.

Hawkins were the main contractors for the $190m state-of-the-art stadium, which is the world's largest, naturally grassed and permanently covered stadium, and the third biggest ETFE roofed building in the world.

Hawkins was awarded the contract to build Forsyth Barr Stadium in April 2009, and in reaching practical completion on July 22nd, Hawkins successfully delivered on its promise to complete the facility on time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“This was a high-risk assignment, with an extremely tight time period in which we had to deliver” says Hawkins CEO, Chris Hunter.

Although Hawkins contact time-frame was 24 months, the critical path was really 18 months in order to get enough of the stadium completed in order to start the grass growing on the stadium turf.

“When we signed up to this project, the design had yet to be completed, and we effectively exposed ourselves to a number of extraordinary risks that most other construction contractors would never touch. By not extending our normal contractual obligations on this project, the stadium would never have been completed on time” says Hunter.

“The fact that Hawkins obtained practical completion earlier than our contractual requirements, and to budget, has re-enforced our credentials in being able to deliver large and complex projects efficiently, to a very high standard, using highly creative thinking.” Hawkins Construction Ltd Level 2, 70 Stanley Street Parnell, Private Bag 93-214 Parnell 1511, Auckland Telephone: +64-9-918 8100 Facsimile: +64-9-918 8142

“If you compare this project to the Eden Park redevelopment, which had the luxury of a 2.5 year construction window, a design completed prior to construction, and better access to materials and a skilled local labour force, then the scale of our achievement becomes all the more satisfying” says Hunter

Despite the public and internal pressure to deliver the stadium safely and on time, the Hawkins team have thrived on this once-in-a-lifetime project.

“We have been watched very closely, both locally and all over the world, given the cut-throat deadline, the political sensitivities, and the unique nature of the stadium’s design and construction methodology. From that perspective it has been a source of pride to see how well our project team has responded to the pressure” says Hunter.

“This project has bought together many great individuals into an effective team environment, and has been superbly led. Each one has performed a superhuman effort in my opinion, and I can’t emphasise enough how dedicated the team has been in delivering Hawkins promise to the people of Dunedin”.

Hawkins’ Infrastructure division was also contracted to deliver the SH88 relocation project on behalf of the Dunedin City Council and NZTA. This project adjacent to the stadium construction required 1.5km of new highway and a new 3-span bridge to be constructed through an existing industrial area, and was brought together by over 2km of footpaths and cycleways which joined into the Otago University campus and existing habourside links.

Hunter also points out, “Hawkins has completed nearly $1b worth of projects in the last twelve months, and so the stadium has been a key part of a bigger jigsaw for us terms of delivering projects in time for the Rugby World Cup.”

Other projects Hawkins has recently completed around the country include the Stage One terminal extension at Christchurch Airport; the 4-star Novotel Hotel at Auckland Airport; the re-development of the Auckland Art Gallery; and the Viaduct Events Centre in downtown Auckland.

Forsyth Barr Stadium will be formally opened in an official ceremony by the Prime Minister, John Key on Friday the 5th of August.


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