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Curve balls part of complex build

Liki Udam Aug 8
Curve balls part of complex build
Dealing with asbestos contamination during the demolition phase and additional earthworks were some of the challenges for Isles Construction when building Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North.

Isles Construction is completing work on the new Te Papaioea Birthing Centre in Palmerston North.

Company director Cameron Isles says he thinks the project aptly demonstrates the company’s ability to complete complex builds with unexpected challenges.

Completed for client Horizon Resources Limited and designed by Proarch Architects, the purpose-built 12-suite primary birthing centre
with five ground floor tenancies is located at a site in Ruahine Street near the Palmerston North Hospital.

The challenges began when asbestos was discovered during demolition of the previous building and then additional earthworks were needed to provide a stable building platform.

Around 1300 cubic metres of earth needed to be removed from the site and hard fill brought in to stabilise the ground.

A 60 metre section of existing 900mm concrete culvert that cut across the site in an
unexpected position that differed from drawings threw in additional challenges and had to be moved to make way for the building platform.

Isles Construction has also had to be flexible to accommodate client changes to the building design along the way, says Cameron.

Built from structural steel with precast concrete panels and shopfront glazing on the ground level and a mix of composite aluminium, vertical metal cladding and cedar weatherboard on the second storey, the project is earmarked for completion in late August.

“It’s a stunning looking building completed to a very high standard.

“During the 12 month build we’ve had in excess of 400 instructions and, at its peak, over 50 workers on site,” says Cameron “So it really shows our ability to manage complicated builds,” he says.

Isles Construction is a second-generation family-owned company originally established by Cameron’s parents Bob and Desma.

Curve balls part of complex build

Structural steel, precast concrete panels and a mix of composite aluminium, vertical metal cladding and cedar weatherboard were used on Palmerston North’s new Te Papaioea Birthing Centre.

They still own Isles Construction today along with Cameron and his sister Tarsha.

The company has now been in business in the Manawatu region for over 40 years and has gained a proven and respected track record for providing consistently high quality workmanship.

Based in Palmerston North Isles Construction focuses on commercial construction and has completed close to 1000 projects in the Manawatu and lower North Island.

Because Isles Construction can also undertake site works and excavation in house Cameron says this often gives the company an edge in terms of quality control and time-frames.

The company has invested significant resources in this side of the business.

Isles Construction has been the winner of multiple Registered Master Builders awards over the years and recently won a silver award in the 2017 Master Builder Commercial Project awards for the construction of a Green Star rated two-storey office building at 227 Broadway in Palmerston North for client Wallace Development Company Ltd.

Cameron says it was a complicated precast panel structure on a structural steel sub frame.

“It took a lot of coordinating to get all the pieces to align perfectly,” he says.

“But the project was completed ahead of schedule because we have the ability, knowledge and resources at our fingertips.”

He says the handover date was vital as the construction programme had to align with tenancy time-frames.

Isles Construction also completed tenancy fit outs for Cooper Rapley and the New Zealand Automobile Association as well as fit outs for Columbus Coffee Roasters, People Safe and Wallace Development Company Ltd.

Alongside its focus on commercial projects, Isles Construction also completes a number of architectural new home builds and also offers residential home building services through the Jennian Homes Manawatu franchise which was purchased in 2013.

Another family member, sibling Carmen Wineera, heads this. Cameron says that it is the strong family focus – both in ownership and operational structure – that sets the company apart.

It is Tarsha and Cameron who are responsible the day-to-day running of the busy business.

Tarsha oversees all financial and administrative aspects of both the commercial and residential sides of the business.

Qualified builder Cameron heads the commercial construction team of project managers, quantity surveyors, and construction staff and is Past President of the Manawatu Master Builders.

Isles Construction covers the lower North Island. The company set up a branch in Christchurch three years ago and this continues to steadily grow.


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