The Sir James Henare social housing in Moerewa, near Paihia, is a 35-unit social housing development. It was built by our client Canam Construction, for the Ngati Hine Health Trust. Canam is a privately-owned New Zealand business that specialises in the construction, refurbishment and fit-out of commercial and residential buildings. It has offices in Auckland, the Bay of Plenty and Northland.
After decades of under-investment in the area of social housing, new building projects are mushrooming all over the country. Northland is no exception.
Canam was looking for a local, Far North engineering firm to help deliver this project and we were delighted to be able to help. We try to put community at the heart of everything we do at Haigh Workman, so helping to grow Northland’s stock of desperately-needed social housing fits beautifully with our values and our purpose.
We had two roles in this project. Firstly, we undertook the structural design for the 35 units and an associated care centre. The plans called for eight different designs across all the units, some of which are double-storey. They vary from two to four bedrooms.
Our biggest challenge was time. The deadline we were asked to work to was very tight indeed so the team pulled out all the stops and delivered as requested, demonstrating the flexibility and commitment we like to think are the hallmarks of any Haigh Workman project.
The second part of our involvement was built around project management. In the early stages we worked closely with the project architect to ensure, between us, that Canam was receiving the very best possible value for money. With projects like this, value engineering is incredibly important. Design, engineering and construction choices – for instance, are we able to use glulam timber instead of steel – can make the difference between whether a project is financially viable or not. This focus in value engineering undoubtedly helped ensure that the project came in not only on time, but also on budget.
Once building started we were responsible for construction management.
Our team found working on this project hugely rewarding. It’s exactly the sort of end product that floats our boat and the various challenges around time-scales and project delivery really kept us on our toes. We look forward to working on other social housing projects as government investment continues and Northland providers start chipping away at the backlog.