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Company:Naylor Love Wellington
Project:Wellington East Girls’ College Major Redevelopment, Wellington
Wellington East Girls’ College is on Mt Victoria, right above the western entrance to the Mt Victoria Tunnel. Dating from 1925, some of the buildings were due for replacement. The new build comprised three multi-story buildings totalling 2,060m2: The Link, Main Block and West Wing, with the Main Block being a new building behind a heritage facade, requiring associated site work.
This project had its challenges. They included operating within a live environment with around 1,000 students, which meant deliveries needed to be planned and made outside of the School’s opening and closing hours. The steeply sloping site was tight, providing limited laydown space or room for on-site accommodation. Further issues involved asbestos within the buildings that were being demolished, asbestos in-ground pipes, and within excavated soil. Lead paint also needed removal from the 2,000m2 of heritage facade. These problems required careful planning, isolation measures and clear communication with the School as well as the wider School community.
Naylor Love had, in an earlier contract, secured the 70m wide by 12m high heritage facade built in the 1920s while demolishing the building behind it, so it remained in place until the new Main Block was constructed.
Project Manager, Carl Bohnen maintained a focus on risk management, sensitive to the needs of the School and as required in a live environment. He managed this by running a number of information sessions for the School community, outlining critical works, and engaging in Q&A sessions. Project handover was completed to the agreed timetable, although not the original date due to the discovery of unknown elements that took time to mitigate.
The judges felt that Carl’s communication and leadership skills ensured the success of a highly complex project, beset with unforeseen challenges and requiring a significant number of changes on a difficult site.