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Steel work likened to open heart surgery

Steel work likened to open heart surgery
The redevelopment of Auckland Airport’s international terminal has nearly doubled its size.

D&H Steel Construction has taken out the supreme award at the 2019 Steel Construction New Zealand Excellence in Steel Awards. The project which won was the redevelopment of Auckland Airport international terminal, which D&H Steel Construction project manager Richard Hine says he has heard described as “like doing open heart surgery.”

“We basically had to open up the existing terminal and undertake work in the ‘heart’ of the building while it remained alive,” he explains.

It was in 2015 that D&H Steel Construction was appointed steel contractor by Fletcher Construction to deliver Auckland Airport its $200m international terminal retail expansion project. The expansion is in line with the airport’s 30-year vision to make the airport future-ready by eventually increasing its capacity to 40 million passengers a year by 2040 from its current 14 million.

The project has almost doubled the size of the international terminal departure processing zone and also included reconfiguring the landside farewell area, building a new and expanded security screening and processing area and building a new passenger lounge and duty-free shopping hub.

It also included the removal of significant legacy structures, such as redundant mezzanine plant areas plus a bridge and stair. Richard says that the project was extremely complex and encompassed a vast number of interfaces with the existing structure requiring numerous modifications and resulting in over 30 discrete packages of work.

“All this activity was required to take place against a tight construction program while the airport remained operational and minimising the impact on passenger movements or disruption to flight schedules,” he says.It helped that D&H Steel has been involved with the airport’s development for almost 40 years and understands what is required when working in this challenging, unrelenting, operationally live environment.

At the peak of the contract, D&H had over 40 staff on site booking some 90,000 person hours, on top of the 40,000 person hours of work undertaken offsite, over the 24-month duration of the project.

“Our project management process is focussed on the holistic project outcome calling upon the expertise and experience of the team that enables us to consistently deliver projects on program,” says Richard. “We manage the entire steel construction process from project conception to erection sign-off by our site crews.”

Richard says that as the Auckland Airport project was so large it involved most of the D&H Steel Construction team at some point during the project. “Winning the award demonstrates the skills of our team and our ability to develop strong relation-ships with long term clients and work dynamically with other consultants to troubleshoot and find solutions.

“As always we found BECA awesome to work with. “We think the D&H team commitment and ease to work with is what makes the difference. “The mantra within the company is to proactively take control of the project as early as possible, identify problem areas, propose solutions and drive the project through to a successful completion.

“We call this ‘the D&H way’.” D&H Steel Construction also won the projects under $500,000 category at the Steel Construction New Zealand Excellence in Steel Awards for its work on the ETNZ refurbishment at the Viaduct Events Centre in Auckland.

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