We talk to the team behind the project to learn how they helped develop solutions that contribute to building healthier and happier communities.What has been the most exciting part of the project for the team?
Being a big part of the local community. It was fantastic to be able to be part of a key project and the rebuild of the local community post the 2011 earthquake. This hospital has been one of the largest hospital developments in the country and gave us the opportunity to design its systems from the ground up in a lot of cases. Being of this scale, some of the technical issues are not commonly dealt with. At the heart of it we are engineers and love to have big problems to solve.
What challenges did the team face?
1. Services crossing a base isolation plane (a movement joint). Isolation planes allow a building to move at one level differently to another level. By doing this, vibrations up a building can be reduced and the building is better able to withstand an earthquake. One challenge of this however is that services that cross this plane are exposed to significant movement and flexing. Our team works to design our services systems so they move as required and maintain the building separation after an earthquake.
2. It was one of the first large scale projects to use BIM in NZ nationally and across the world (The project was so large we had design team members in Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga, Auckland, Myanmar and Jakarta collaborating to find solutions). Sharing information over this range of locations was a big challenge at the time as the technology was not developed. How did the team solve it? We invested heavily in technology and dedicated staff to solve the issues – a lot of personal and discretionary efforts were made to get it working.
What creative/problem solving techniques or processes do they use to stimulate/propel them to a satisfied solution as a team?
We worked to foster a collaborative culture within the team so that everyone was comfortable proposing solutions and also comfortable challenging these. Getting the best out of our amazing engineers was key. We also used technology to allow us to visualise what was happening. For example we used full 3D modelling, Virtual Reality walk throughs and 3D printing of key areas to ascertain access and buildability.
Did you discover something new or notable as a team?
Engineering design is a social activity if it is to be successful. You need to bounce ideas, challenge, understand and communicate possible solutions. One of the key lessons was that we can work in multiple locations (and cultures/languages) and achieve this successfully. Yes, it needs technology, good planning, leadership and a committed team approach, but it’s achievable.
Find out more about oppportunities in our team - www.beca.com/buildingsteam