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Makeover for Otago University building

Makeover for Otago University building
The University of Otago’s four-level St David 2 building is being redeveloped back into office accommodation.

Multi-award winning Dunedin construction company Cook Brothers largest project to date involves the complete interior refurbishment of the University of Otago’s St David 2 building.

Their $6.7 million contract on the 2457sqm, four level block started October 1 last year with completion expected early next month. The project is part of a $9.1 million revamp designed by Dunedin architects McCoy & Wixon.

Once completed, the ground floor of the block will feature a new front entrance, reception and circulation area. The rest of that floor and the other three floors would be filled with modern, open plan offices with flexible break-out or meeting areas.

Cook Brothers Construction project manager Glenn Forrester says the building had been completely stripped out, “just leaving the bare outside walls and roof before we started”.

“It’s heavily serviced in terms of mechanical services. $1.8 million of the total includes radiator pipework for heating and mechanical fresh air, hydraulic services and hot and cold water supply.”

The St David 2 building, originally an office block built in 1997, is on a long, narrow site located behind the Centre for Innovation on St David Street. It was discovered in 2013 that St David 2 met just 34% of the national new building standard.

It was seismically strengthened to 100% of the standard in 2015. The four-level building is now being redeveloped back into office accommodation.

The planned University Shared Services centre will occupy the first three levels, and Human Resources staff (currently in the Jamieson Building) will be located on Level 4.

The ground floor – Level 1 – will have a new front entrance, reception and circulation area. The rest of that floor and the other three floors will be filled with modern, open-plan offices with flexible break-out or meeting areas.

Work includes exterior painting and landscaping to tidy the area. Cook Brothers Construction was delighted to win the tender, Glenn says.

“It was a tight market at the time and a few companies were chasing the contract, so we were very pleased to win the tender, and obviously to work with the university again was very good for Cook Brothers.”

Cook Brothers Construction has also completed a $1.3 million contract for Mondolez, the owner of Dunedin’s Cadbury Factory. Parts of the 1400qsm building, particularly it’s roof, were in a “bad state of repair”.

“We brought the building to where they could do a future fit-out inside; we reroofed the whole building .”

Work included removing a 40 metre high chimney, and structural strengthening throughout the building which involved tying the walls to the roof and floor with structural steel brackets, based on design specifications provided by Stephen McKnight of Dunedin.

Cook Brothers Construction is a national construction company with regional branches in Auckland, Canterbury, Southern Lakes and Otago.

Apart from construction, the company offers construction management, pre-construction services, design and build and seismic upgrades.

Its nationwide presence creates the capacity to undertake projects throughout much of New Zealand, with regional teams working collectively to ensure that high standards of communication, leadership, quality and innovation are consistent across the board.

Established just twelve years ago, the company has won several significant industry awards for projects completed over a variety of sectors throughout New Zealand, from residential, commercial and retail projects to community facilities.

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