Sustainable engineering – The Majestic Centre, Wellington

How do you strengthen a very large building, whilst maintaining safety, confidence and full occupancy?

QUICK OVERVIEW
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.

Property Council New Zealand Awards for 2020

Collaborating on award winning projects across New Zealand

Congratulations to our Holmes Consulting Civils Team and Structures Team for their projects which were winners at the Property Council New Zealand annual Property Industry Awards, which celebrate excellence in the built environment.
There are 11 award categories (shown below along with their sponsors) and one Supreme Award winner on the night:
  • 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

WE ARE HIRING!

Are you an experienced engineer?

For more than six decades, across NZ and the world, Holmes Consulting (NZ) has led the engineering industry in invention, creativity, and quality. We’ve built our reputation on the strength of our technical brilliance, ability to innovate, and our unwavering commitment to delivering engineering excellence.

Through the current Covid-19 situation, Holmes has continued to focus on the highest standards, and the Holmes team remains a vanguard for quality in the industry. We have an exciting set of projects both in progress and in the offing over the longer term, and a strong pipeline underpinned by long term relationships with many of NZ’s leading clients, architects, contractors, and other stakeholders.

We’re looking for experienced Structural and Civil Structures Engineers. The type of projects you can work on range from the Commercial Bay precinct, to the Historic Place Category 1 listed Arts Centre Te Matatiki Toi Ora, or even the award winning Perry Bridge in the Waikato.

Visit our website to see our current job opportunities.

And watch our #HolmesGrown video below to see what it’s like to work here at Holmes.

First glimpse at the Concept Design for the Christ Church Cathedral.

Newly released Concept Design video shows the impressive Cathedral being reincarnated in all its glory.

Video credit: Warren and Mahoney.

Yesterday morning was a momentous occasion for the Christ Church Cathedral Reinstatement Project as they showcased the Concept Design for the reinstated Cathedral and its supporting buildings that will make up the ‘Cathedral Quarter’ in downtown Christchurch (watch the video to view the design).

The design shows the plan for the Anglican Cathedral and its supporting buildings that will make up the ‘Cathedral Quarter’, designed by Warren and Mahoney in association with Snøhetta Architects and Salmond Reed.

Our team here at Holmes Consulting is incredibly proud to be part of this important rebuild project and are incredibly impressed by team we’re collaborating with on this exciting project!

Watch this space for more information, photos, and behind the scenes from the team here at Holmes.

Final piece of the puzzle!

PwC Tower officially open for business!

Monday, 27 July 2020 was a momentous occasion for us here at Holmes, as we celebrated the opening of the PwC Tower (part of our project at Commercial Bay).

PwC, the main tenants of this incredible structure occupy six floors within the tower, with their open flowing space for their 900-strong Auckland based team being expertly designed by the talented team at Warren and Mahoney.

Standing at 180m tall the tower has been bestowed the name Te Toki i te Rangi (The Blade in the sky) by the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei, who officially blessed the tower before PwC New Zealand and fellow tenants Jarden could move in yesterday morning.

The NZ $1 billion dollar Commercial Bay development, which incorporates the new PwC Tower, also integrates with the nearby existing structures: HSBC House, AMP Centre, the former PwC Tower on Quay Street, and Jarden House. Plus, the project also straddles the two newly constructed City Rail Link (CRL) tunnels. Collectively, all these sites welcome nearly 10,000 workers a day into their offices – revitalising the commercial hub and transforming downtown Auckland.

Holmes Consulting is incredibly proud to be part of building this legacy in Auckland, along with our numerous project partners, and we hope the new tenants enjoy their stunning new offices!