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Out with the old

Demolition of the Greater Wellington Regional Council building was due to be completed at the weekend. PHOTOS/KAREN COLTMAN

KAREN COLTMAN
[email protected]

Last week marked the beginning of the end for the old, two-storey Greater Wellington Regional Council building as demolition started to make way for a new, modern building.

By Friday afternoon, the Chapel St skyline was more spacious with three-quarters of the building in a massive pile where it had stood for more than 50 years.

Building and site owner David Borman is aiming for preparations for the buildings to start today.

With more than 1000 tonnes of rubble to clear off to Waingawa, where it will be sorted and turned into aggregate, comings and goings from the site continue at pace.

Friday morning was spent clearing 10-metre-high mountains of “rubbish”. Some of this will go back on to the site to level out a carpark area and to make up new foundations.

Quality Demolition excavator operator Taurin Monk said he and workmate Johnny Fussell had to clear a path through the mess before he could pull down the last section of the building. He intended to smash out the roadside walls first, aiming to pull them inward and then to pull down the rest of the roof.

During the week, the new $300,000 excavator suffered its first ‘war wounds’ but Monk said it was pretty difficult to damage or tip over the powerful machine.

Borman said he preferred to use local contractors on his jobs and engaged Silverwood Architects to design the new buildings.

Silverwood architect’s concept design for the new building on Chapel Street. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

The planned building consists of elements of natural wood and eco-friendly aspects that Borman specified.

The building will be leased to the Greater Wellington Regional Council. Their staff are temporarily in the government buildings across the road from the site.

As well as a new building for staff, there is to be another smaller building for laboratories.

“The staff building is having more than the usual amount of insulation and solar power panels that will feed power back into the national grid,” Borman said.

“I have arranged for two water supply tanks to go in underground.”

In addition, Borman and Silverwood architect Stephen Geuze worked together to come up with the plan for an interior open-air garden at the centre of the building.

This will allow staff to open windows internally and bring “life” into the work zone environment.

Borman said the build was scheduled to take 14 months with the regional council moving in mid-2021.

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