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Complex job wins national recognition

Complex job wins national recognition
Schick Civil Construction won a national award for its work on Hamilton City Council’s project Victoria on the River.

Winning the national award at the 2018 Construction NZ Excellence Awards for projects up to $5 million is proof that Schick Civil is at the top of its game in New Zealand, says Waikato regional manager, Ryan Smith.

“We know our reputation in the Waikato having won the regional supreme award for three years in a row. But this national award was a first for us and was recognition on a national scale,” he says.

The company won the award for its work on Victoria on the River, a project for the Hamilton City Council to help connect the city centre to the Waikato River.

As initially the project was over budget, Schick worked with the council and designer in negotiation and value engineering meetings to scope out opportunities for savings. The site itself was once a derelict run down car parking building with a drop off to an eroded bank.

Being right in the heart of the city meant vehicle movement had to be carefully planned to avoid high traffic and pedestrian flows, says Ryan.

There were also a couple of blocks of apartments right on the site boundary, which made the site very noise and vibration sensitive so compliance to the resource consent was closely monitored, he explains.

Other challenges included the fact that contaminated soil covered the whole of the site.

All the contaminated material down to subgrade level was removed – over 3000 cubic metres – in a covered truck and trailer, under permit to a controlled fill site.

The old concrete and brick foundation for the old Waikato Times building that was once on the site was removed.

Ryan says that the project design required a timber piled boardwalk to be built across and down the riverbank to connect the precast concrete terraces to the existing river path walkway below.

He says that providing the piling rig with a platform on which to drive piles meant a broad path needed to be cut down a soft unstable 35degree slope.

Installing the three tonne precast panel to millimetre accuracy for location and height required an innovative solution for the foundations,” he says.

“We constantly battled with old or redundant services, every time we opened the ground we found something else that was not known about. Old 19th century bottles and brick foundation were discovered along with an old steam boiler. These all needed to be reviewed and catalogued by the archaeologists,” says Ryan, citing just some of the unexpected challenges of the project.

Only a few specialist contractors were used with Schick carrying out a large portion of the work internally.

“We don’t think that a project of this level of detail with such exotic and complex materials in such a challenging environment has been delivered on time, under budget and with such a collaborative team on a site in New Zealand. “This project is an absolute credit to everyone that was involved.”

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