Health flagship nearing completion

Health flagship nearing completion
The HREF building will become a collaborative hub for health education and research activities.

Southbase Construction is managing a construction site at its peak as services are rolled out at Christchurch’s new Health Research and Education Facility (HREF) building.
Construction of the seven-storey $70 million building started in late October 2016, with the project on target for completion by the middle of this year.
Delivering the flagship building for Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct will be another prestigious achievement for this relatively new company that has grown to become one of New Zealand’s top construction firms.
The HREF building is being developed by NewUrban Group, a joint venture between Chinese property and development company Huadu International Construction and Christchurch-based businessmen John Fairhall and Bert Govan.
Leading the company in New Zealand is former Christchurch Mayor, Sir Bob Parker. The building will become a collaborative hub for health education and research activities, housing staff and students from Ara Institute of Canterbury, along with Canterbury District Health Board staff.
Both the University of Canterbury and Otago University will also have a presence there. In the first phase of construction, the land proved challenging as piles had to be driven through ‘intensely liquefiable’ soils.
Deep holes for piles were injected with a reinforcing polymer, which was later removed to make way for concrete, with some 59 such polymer piles used across the site.
“The site is right next to the Avon River; we’ve gone through two aquifers and bored down 30 metres into the earth,” says Anthony Franicevic, project manager for Southbase Construction.
“You end up hitting rock and wood fragments from old stumps, so there is that risk of holes collapsing or of machinery breaking.
“You’ve got to take your time and know what you’re doing. You have to be very careful with positioning too, as there is only a five millimetre tolerance. If the piles are out of position, they throw the whole structure out. We paid close attention to quality assurance to ensure we achieved the right level of precision.”
Southbase Construction continues to maintain close communication with Christchurch Hospital, a neighbouring sleep clinic and other surrounding businesses to keep disruption to a minimum and help coordinate deliveries of materials in and out of what is a very tight corner site.
Its team also has daily meetings with NewUrban Group. “Logistically, this had the potential to be problematic but effective management and planning has made it a lot easier.
We have excellent systems in place.” For example, large deliveries such as 20 tonne precast panels were time-tabled to arrive as early as possible in the day.
Work site hours are restricted to between 7am and 5pm to minimise noise impacts. Prefabrication off-site has enabled construction to proceed in a smoothly streamlined manner.

Health flagship nearing completion
Southbase Construction started work on the seven-storey $70 million building in late October 2016, with the project on target for completion by the middle of this year.

Stop Ray glass for the facade, being supplied by Metro Glass, is one example of prefabrication off-site. In total, around 650 panels will be craned into place to complete the façade.
For the internal fit-out, Southbase Construction will be installing specialist features, such as piped medical air (supplied through ground floor tanks) and simulation theatres.
Southbase Construction has a proven history of successfully delivering high profile projects in Christchurch such as The Crossing, Christchurch Bus Interchange, Hagley Oval Pavillion and is currently the main contractor for Christchurch’s new central city library, which is due for completion mid 2018.
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