Well, a couple of months after lodgement down at Auckland City Council, our building consent has finally been approved. This is a major step forward for the development at Akiraho St for Greenpeace. It gives us the green light to get moving on the plans and start to timeline when the organisation can expect to be in its new home.
Although we are running behind the original and very ambitious timeframe we had at the beginning of the year we've still managed to gain resource consent, building consent and be in possession of the full fitout drawings in a timeframe that would have pleased a professional developer. Not that it's a competition of course but the faster we get in the less impact we'll have on the organisation's ability to campaign and minimise the budget, so this is a very important step.
Look at that natural light!
Our case manager at Auckland City was very pleased with the level of documentation we provided and congratulated us on the thoroughness of our application. The project, although not a big one in terms of property development does however touch on a wide variety of issues that contribute to a safe and efficient workspace. Some of the these issues include ventilation planning, disabled access planning, issues around structural integrity, full fire system reinstatement and new fire ratings, acoustic planning as well as the greening that we have embarked on which includes light treatment, insulation, double glazing, solar PV, solar hot water, minimising the use of PVC, installation of VOIP communications, water use etc.
Currently on site as a result we can see an acceleration of the progress. Demolition is almost complete on the first two floors of old partitions, not fire-rated walls and non structural walls within the old building shell. Our team of builders headed by Vixen Construction has moved in and started the required ceiling battening and wall framing on the first floor, which is where the bulk of the office works will be situated, and moving in behind them is our electrician Mr Nicholas Tz of Anything Electrical who I found through the Greenpeace supporter database and who's taken over the coordination of the entire electrical rewiring of the building at a price so competitive it could never be beaten. The electrical job is not a small one and the old building literally had a spaghetti network of wiring and cabling that needed to be completely dismantled and rebuilt. The plan is to rebuild it with a minimum of cabling thereby cutting down the use of PVC and also cost, and the plan for that involves several relay switchboards in the building rather than only two or three meaning a lot less metres of cable required.
The data cabling guys from Datacable have also moved in and are currently wiring the building for the IT side of things as well. They've already sourced two 19 inch IT racks for the server room donated by Vodafone.. All of this is happening on the first floor and by the end of the coming week the builders will be mostly finished on this and mezzanine floors. So we are currently transitioning between the floors and we've now started on the ground floor where reception is. The Greenpeace volunteer demo crew moved here over the course of this weekend clearing old partitions and cabling and already Chris (our head builder) has started the foundation work on the new lift pit, which means a hole in the floor has been cut and the first concrete poured. This has also meant we've had our first inspection, the first of 20!
In other news, the last week has also seen the action unit's equipment move into the new building ground floor and the new pallet racks being constructed to house this. We've done this in order to save an unnecessary doubling up of rent on the old warehouse and thereby gaining a little more budget into the refit works. We've also been joined on site by Astrid Gluth from Nelson, a builder whose come up to volunteer her time for the next week and assist with Chris' team.
This coming week will also see us preparing the way for the major concrete cutting works we need to engage in. This means clearing the steel beams that hold the first floor up of fire retardant so that we can safely access them for the structural steel work needed to frame the new stairs from the reception area to the main office space, and of course the lift shaft. We ought to be in a position to cut these holes now in two weeks time, once this is completed and we've finished preparing the lift pit. We'll also be gearing up for starting work in the basement where we need to fire rate the whole of the ceiling and walls as well as creating the walls for the archiving and storage areas.
The Greenpeace voting assembly meets for the Greenpeace NZ AGM.
I'll also be visiting the BNZ who are donating office equipment from one of their mid city offices, they have more to get rid of and we've already scored ten corner workstations. Other donations include a full brand new kitchen unit donated by Ron Niven, one of our key supporters who saw the appeal in the magazine and got in touch to see if we could use it. Thanks Ron, we can and we will, that's for sure and you'll certainly be invited to the opening party no doubt about that.
I've also found some time to take a set of new photos to keep you in the loop on progress. More in a week or so.