How do you strengthen a very large building, whilst maintaining safety, confidence and full occupancy?
New Zealand is an extreme seismic region—the seismic hazard in Wellington is comparable to San Francisco. The Majestic Centre building was assessed in 2011 and demonstrated lower than expected seismic capacity. Over the course of five years, costing NZ $83.5M , it was strengthened to 100% of code requirements, while remaining fully tenanted. The project demanded highly complex and innovative analyses, and the design and construction of a wide array of detailed strengthening measures. Our assessment used non-linear time history analysis (NLTHA) and was performance based, in accordance with ‘ASCE-41 (American Society of Civil Engineers, USA), Seismic Rehabilitation of Existing Buildings’.
Choosing a sustainable solution
Holmes Consulting were the lead Structural Engineers and Holmes Farsight led the compliance. Originally completed in 1991, the Majestic Centre is a 30 storey (116m) modern tower, providing 25,000 square meters of office space. When the seismic capacity was assessed as between 35-45% of current code requirements in 2011, the building’s value reduced from NZ $101M to NZ $67M.
Demolition was considered, with the Demo/re-build cost estimated at NZ $120M. Instead, it was elected to strengthen the building to 100% current code requirements, while maintaining tenant occupancy. This was the most sustainable solution. Significantly less energy and new materials were used in the strengthening scheme compared to what would have been required for demolition and redevelopment, not to mention less waste generated. The project also prevented the relocation of 2,700 people and loss of business/activity in this part of the city. If a large seismic event does occur, the project will also have likely prevented catastrophic failure of the structure, the associated loss of life and long term impediment to the function of this part of Wellington
The strengthening cost was NZ $83.5M, but NZ $41M was earned in rent during construction and upon completion of strengthening the building’s value increased to NZ $121M. Tangible value for the client.
The Holmes strengthening scheme design made this solution possible and was recognised by being awarded runner-up in the sustainability category of the 2017 Institution of Structural Engineers awards (the global Oscars of Engineering). Designing to minimise loss of occupied space and allow strengthening to be installed while the building remained occupied made this an economic choice for the owner as well as a sustainable one.
Some of the challenges
- The challenge was how to carry out significant invasive seismic work, ensuring stakeholder’s continued confidence, whilst taking the lead in a new era of uncharted regulatory compliance issues.
- From early engagement Holmes Farsight acted as the coordinator, guide and translator between the project team and the Council.
- The solution required the parties to be focussed on ‘the real compliance risks and needs’, so a clear evaluation of all parties needs and concerns was established and agreed with Wellington City Council.
- Holmes Farsight provided a project specific ‘smart regulating’ solution. ‘The ‘Compliance Pathway’. It achieved a comprehensive and clear compliance process, which is both cost effective and efficient.
- It now creates precedence nationally for successful seismic improvements.
Collaborating on award winning projects across New Zealand
- Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities Multi-Unit Residential Property Award
- Greenstone Group Education Property Award
- RCP Commercial Office Property Award
- Holmes Consulting Tourism and Leisure Property Award
- Templeton Group Urban Land Developments Property Award
- Yardi Retail Property Award
- CBRE Industrial Property Award
- Warren and Mahoney Civic and Arts Property Award
- Fagerhult NZ Health and Medical Property Award
- Naylor Love Heritage and Adaptive Reuses Property Award
- Resene Green Building Property Award
- Rider Levett Bucknall Supreme Award
Our Civils Team and Structures Team have done extremely well, as their project – Waste Management Headquarters (by Stride Property) completely swept the awards ceremony picking up three awards, including the prestigious Supreme Award Winner!
The NZ $45M project is a 9,100m2 facility set on five hectares in East Tamaki, is one of the first New Zealand projects to utilise the new Greenstar Design and As-Built rating tool, meaning green stormwater infrastructure was integrated into this light-industrial zoned site. The use of quality 3D modelling and construction information also enabled coordination between civil works and architectural and structural design—resulting in a complex network of pipework installed on time, with no clashes.
The office buildings vary in storeys and consist of office space, communal areas, and staff amenities. The workshops are large steel portal frame buildings used to store, repair and maintain the trucks and bins, and the auxiliary buildings are open structures used to wash the trucks and bins.
Waste Management needed to occupy the site by a set date due to an expiring lease at their current site, and so our team of experts delivered the design to a tight programme.
The project beat 114 other nominees to take home the Resene ‘Green Building Award’, the CBRE ‘Industrial Property Award’ and the Rider Levett Bucknall ‘Supreme Award’ – a huge achievement and one we’re super proud of for the teams involved!
But these weren’t the only accolades for this stellar project! Waste Management Headquarters also received an Excellence Award for the RCP ‘Commercial Office Property Award’ category too.
But this wasn’t our only major project winner last night!
The Christchurch Town Hall Conservation Project took out the Naylor Love ‘Heritage & Adaptive Reuses Property Award’, which was won by the Christchurch City Council (and project partners). Another well deserved accolade for the team, who are also finalists in the IStructE Showcase and finalists in the 2020 ACE Awards to be presented on 25 November 2020.
Our awesome project partners at Precinct Properties won for our project The Defence House in Wellington. It was awarded the RCP ‘Commercial Office Property Award’ for their successful delivery of a fully refurbished modern office building (23,200m2) with new services, finishes, glass façade, and strengthened to 100% New Zealand Building Standard (NBS).
And lastly, the following exceptional projects were also recognised for their urban innovation which is crafting the future of Aotearoa.
- The Wanaka Community Pool, part of the Wanaka Recreation Centre, which we worked on with Warren and Mahoney, RCP, and the Queenstown Lakes District Council received a ‘Merit Award’ for the Holmes Group ‘Tourism and Leisure Property Award’.
- Building C – Mt Eden Corrections Facility received an ‘Excellence Award’ for the Warren and Mahoney ‘Civic and Arts Property Award’. This is a project we collaborated on with Beca and the Department of Corrections.
And our friends at Holmes Fire were part of these award winning projects too:
- Beatrice Tinsley Building (part of the University of Canterbury) was awarded an ‘Excellence Award’ in the Greenstone Group ‘Education Property Award’.
- SKHY received an ‘Excellence Award’ for the Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities ‘Multi-Unit Residential Property Award’.
Check out the full list of winners here: 2020 winners for the Property Council NZ Awards
Here at Holmes we work collaboratively with a lot of different project partners…
…from architects to construction companies, project management firms, property developers, other engineering services, and more!
The Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) is a membership-based professional organisation who represent registered architects and promote architecture in Aotearoa. They have close to 4,000 members and are NZ’s most highly regarded professional body for architects. That’s why their Local Architecture Awards, which honour the best new architecture in each of the NZIA’s eight regional branches, are such a high-profile event every year!
The Local Architecture Awards honour quality new architecture at a community level. Run by the eight branches of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA), the awards receive more than 400 entries each year.
This year, we’re proud to celebrate the success of our project partners for the following Holmes Consulting projects who all won NZIA Local Architecture Awards this year:
- All Souls Anglican Church, Merivale (Christchuch), project partners Warren and Mahoney
- Christchurch Town Hall (Christchurch), project partners Warren and Mahoney
- Cashmere High School’s – McCombs Preforming Arts Centre (Christchurch), project partners Athfield Architects Limited
- Paragon Apartments (Christchurch), project partners Sheppard & Rout Architects Ltd
- University of Canterbury – Electrical Link Building Re-clad, project partners Warren and Mahoney
- Toitoi: Hawke’s Bay Opera House (Hastings), project partners Dave Pearson Architects Limited
Last week the Trafalgar Centre in Nelson was honoured to be awarded the 2019 Pixel Medium Venue of the Year at the EVANZ (Entertainment Venues Association of New Zealand)
The Nelson Trafalgar Centre was an interesting project for Holmes Consulting, as we were asked to assess both the 1970s ‘Main Hall’ building and the more modern ‘Southern Extension’ built in 2005. Both required seismic strengthening which Holmes designed in 2015 and then carried out the work between 2015-2016. Among the challenges for building was accommodating the Nelson Giants basketball team for a season in the midst of construction.
The Main Hall is quite a cool space with timber glue laminated arches which Holmes then added steel to for support, creating an aesthetically pleasing result for the client. We added some buckling restrained braces to the sides of the building, roof bracing, and also improved the foundations.
Their recent win adds to the venues collection of accolades, after the architects [Irving Smith Architects] won a Public Architecture Award for the Centre last year.
The inaugural winners of Engineering New Zealand’s inaugural industry awards, the ENVIs, were announced at the start of this month. Congratulations to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and KiwiRail who set up the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) Alliance with Fulton Hogan, Downer, Higgins, and HEB Construction for taking out the ‘Engineering Impact Award’ for their efforts in the Kaikōura Earthquake Recovery.
The judges commended NCTIR on its efforts to rebuild, stating it ‘set the standard for how we [New Zealand] need to mobilise as a country following a natural disaster’.
[Image credit: Engineering New Zealand, 2019 ENVI Awards Night].
Chris Mackenzie, from Holmes Consulting, was recognised last Friday evening for his contribution as an engineer, with over 30 years of public and private sector experience, as well as for his vast contribution to the Property Council New Zealand and wider industry by winning the prestigious JLL ‘Property Professional of the Year’ Award.
Chris is recognised both as an industry professional and generous volunteer, with judges calling him a “consummate and humble professional who is highly recognised in his field and is extraordinarily generous with his voluntary time to assist our property industry.”
Humble as ever, Chris has credited the recognition behind this award as “due to the achievements of the teams he has been privileged to be part of at Holmes, and with the PCNZ”. Congratulations Chris!
We’re proud to be part of the brilliant teams that delivered two of the winning projects at the Steel Construction New Zealand Awards! The awesome Viaduct Events Centre refurbishment transformed the facility into the Emirates Team New Zealand Base—go Team NZ! The Cambridge Pipe Bridge over the Waikato river has added an important new piece of infrastructure to the region—with no less than five cranes on site to swing the sections into place. Two very different projects with some clever engineering on show … we’re still celebrating!