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Hotel construction breaks new ground

Hotel construction breaks new ground
Christchurch’s Cosa Hotel is the first high rise building in the country to make use of prefabricated modular units

Ground breaking and nearing completion, Christchurch’s Cosa Hotel is the first high rise building in the country to make use of prefabricated modular units built to New Zealand specifi cations overseas.

Responsible for delivery and site installation, TLC Modular Construction NZ Ltd has spearheaded the project from design concept, building consent, through to manufacturing.

Located in the corner of Colombo and Salisbury Street’s, the boutique hotel spans five storeys encompassing 88 well-appointed rooms along with a café and retail space on the ground floor.

Gary Lepine, Director of TLC Modular Construction NZ, says that while modular technology is not revolutionary, TLC Modular, which has its origins in South East Asia, is taking an old methodology and modifying it to work better and more efficiently, resulting in significant time and cost benefits.

“TLC’s modular design has the ability to significantly reduce construction time-frames for developers—it can be 30% quicker in timing delivery for occupation, significantly reducing holding costs. There are a lot less trades required on-site, reducing congestion around busy built-up areas as well as on-site—which generally means more can get done.”

Cosa Hotel has been constructed from 48 steel framed modules, each consisting of two rooms and a hallway.

Built in TLC Modular’s Vietnamese workshops by a skilled workforce trained in a controlled factory environment and the ability to design structurally sound multi-storey projects, the modules took four months to complete including fit out.

Tested to the standard required for the location the modules are being delivered to, the modules are also designed to withstand freight and lifting cycles—being lifted out of the factory, in and out of ships and on road transported.

The additional design rigor typically results in the building’s performance exceeding acoustic and structural durability standards.

The fitted out modules include painted walls, floor coverings, curtain tracks, all in-built furniture, wall tiles and bathroom fittings.

“It took just four days to put all the modules in place,” says Gary. “The remaining work includes the solid 3mm, aluminium façade, the plumbing and electrical fit-out. Fire extinguisher and HVAC teams also need to come in and tidy off their remaining work. We expect the project to be completed in March.”

Garry says that being the first of its type built in New Zealand, Cosa has not been without its challenges.

“The project has taken longer than expected due to a learning curve both from our point of view and the Councils.

“It took us two years to get a building consent because the concept was so new. “Going forward with future projects the consenting process should be within a normal time frame.”

With a number of projects already lined up for 2019, the future for prefabricated modular construction looks promising.

“We will be doing the Godley Hotel extensions in Tekapo, which is a two-storey unit at this stage, involving 20 modules.

“There’s a 56-unit hotel in Mt Cook over two levels and a basement. “We have a 6-storey building in Epsom and we’re currently looking at a 260 room Holiday Inn, in Auckland.”

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