Maru, Victoria University of Wellington - Hawkins | ArchiPro

Maru, Victoria University of Wellington

Maru forms part of Victoria University of Wellington's 20-year development plan to expand and upgrade their current facilities.

Maru (also known as the K-POD New Building Project) began with the demolition of existing structures; excavation to form a new basement car park; and associated retaining structures being built on the side of a reclaimed cliff.

The build required installation of six anchors drilled 20 metres underneath an existing building. The anchors were stressed to 1600kN and tied off. The aim of these anchors is for the building to remain standing even if the cliff slides away in a major seismic event.

The main structure was built using a lightweight material, 400x90mm and 150x50mm LVL purlins and exterior timber framing. This allowed the building to be clad in a highly insulated cladding and roofing system that provides a high level of acoustic performance on this very exposed site.

Hawkins used 3D CAD to model the reinforcing and work out the sequence of installation. This proved invaluable for the project in terms of cost and programme savings.

To ensure quality at an early stage, the team worked with the consultants and trades to benchmark key elements of the work.

Producing full scale mock-ups highlighted issues before installation. They highlighted details that required additional work and would increase costs, so that the client could gain approval well ahead of time. This achieved a high standard of finish where all parties were happy with the final result from a visual and cost perspective.

Weekly coordination meetings were undertaken with key trades discussing programme, HSE risks, design coordination, logistics and agreeing what needed to be mocked up before full installation occurred.

Working on the side of a cliff with a small site footprint proved challenging. With no space for storage and no parking for trade vehicles, Hawkins had to develop a sequencing plan with the trades each week to ensure diggers, trucks, piling rigs and anchor rigs had a position to set up and work without impending others. This meant the site remained clean and tidy allowing easy access for workers.

Hawkins provided the client with a hassle-free project that was completed under budget and within programme.

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