Saving time and reducing H&S risk in windy Welly

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Located close to downtown Wellington and adjacent to the capital’s Centre Port, Toll Aotea is a new, purpose-built logistics facility created to allow faster and more efficient handling of freight for the lower North and upper South Island.

The new hub is 8,400m2, twice the size of the previous facility, and was designed and constructed using a bespoke Steltech® custom designed portal frame with Colorsteel Dridex® cladding.

The use of Steltech® was key to the design as it enables a clear span internally so that vehicles can move through the building without obstruction. It also reduced the time taken to complete the project, due to the fact that the beams are locally produced. The benefit of the local manufacturing of the products and the domestic fabrication makes for a quicker lead time in comparison to a structure made off shore. 

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Flinn Clark, area manager at construction company Watts & Hughes, says the use of Steltech® simplified the construction process. “The construction using Steltech® involves less components, so we were able to stand the columns and then build full roof sections on the ground and lift them into place.” This both saved time and meant less risk to Health and Safety as some of our subcontractors were less exposed to work at 15m heights in Wellington’s famous winds.

Watt & Hughes engaged sub-contractor Patton Engineering as their Steel Constructor for the project. Patton Engineering undertook the 3D modelling of the building from the construction issued drawings to enable them to create workshop drawings and CAD files as part of their quality management system. Once manufactured the core Steltech® sections were supplied as partially fabricated structural members which then enabled Patton engineering to fabricate and weld all the connections plates, secondary steel and bracing requirements prior to the painting, delivery to site and then assembly.

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In terms of the construction contract, the use of Steltech® beams in the design meant that the construction was ahead of schedule from the beginning, explains Patton Engineering’s Managing Director Johno Williams.

Steltech® were ahead of the programme from day 1, which enabled us to be ahead of the client’s programme, when we completed the project, we were approximately 6 weeks ahead of schedule. Primarily, this was because of how well Steltech® performed which subsequently allowed Patton Engineering to make significant gains on delivery.”

Dridex® cladding also helped to reduce the time taken in the construction process. Dridex® has an anti-condensation fleece layer adhered to the reverse side, which negates the need for building paper, a process which would have been difficult and time-consuming to complete on this exposed site.

The resulting building is fit for purpose and is already seeing great results in time savings by Toll.

Steel Fabricator: Patton Engineering Engineer: Day Consultants Architect: Williams Architects Main Contractor: Watts & Hughes