Work on the refurbishment of the Whakatane and Tauranga Regional Council offices is due to begin in the next few weeks, with the contract for the construction awarded to Canam Construction.
The works involve Bay of Plenty's Regional House building in Tauranga undergoing a major refurbishment and recladding, and the Whakatane office building receiving an internal refit.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council property manager Annabel Chappell says the work in both offices has been planned and needed for a number of years, and is included in Council's 2015-2025 Long Term Plan.
“We're pleased to be able to begin this work in both offices as it will improve our ability to work with and for the regional community,” she says.
“In Tauranga, the 30-year-old Regional House has had weather-tightness issues, and the aluminium joinery and air conditioning was at the end of its useful life, while in Whakatane the Quay Street building is in need of modernisation to create more efficient use of space, and system replacement work.”
She says the Regional Council was especially pleased with the proposed methodology put forward by Canam Construction while assessing the tenders.
“Importantly, it includes the use of local sub-contractors on both sites which was a key factor for us, and their experience in refurbishment, structural strengthening and weather tightness remediation work.
“Upgrading these buildings is a significant investment, and we've worked closely with both Tauranga City Council and Whakatane District Council to ensure our project aligns with their wishes to revitalise the Tauranga and Whakatane CBDs.”
Energy savings gained through more efficient systems is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 50 tonnes per annum across the sites. As well as including environmental design elements such as photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting, wind turbines and electric vehicle recharging stations in the buildings, she says the Regional Council is working to ensure the building process follows the same principles.
“We're working with the company to develop a waste management plan to ensure as much material as possible is recycled and reused in the demolition and construction that takes place.”
Once the work on Regional House in Tauranga is complete, the focus will shift to Wallingford House which sits below the building, on The Strand extension.
This will become the Bay of Plenty Civil Defence Emergency Management Group's Regional Emergency Coordination Centre, which will also be used as a multi-agency response facility for local events.
Work on both sites in Whakatane and Tauranga is due to be completed by mid-2019.