The team constructing Whangārei’s new Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Māori Art Gallery have laid out detailed plans demonstrating how large construction projects will be required to work under Level 3 restrictions.
Trigg Construction project manager Bronson Brown said the plans would allow work on the iconic new building to progress, despite the difficulties Covid-19 restrictions would pose.
“We have split the building site into six separate zones and our intention is to place the various teams within those zones effectively into their own ‘site bubbles’ for the day. Break and lunch times will be staggered so that there is no cross pollination of people on site and tracking is made more effective.”
If work assigned for a day is complete – and a change of zone required – workers would be required to report to the site office for reassignment. Brown said the main intention was to keep people safe, but also to ensure that the project had a robust system to allow tracking of personnel movements and contact on site.
“We’ll be operating at around 75% efficiency,” Brown said.
The project would have up to 30 people on site each day. Trigg expects to increase these numbers as restriction levels ease.
“The new requirements will obviously slow us down but by rethinking the programme and how we construct the building, we’re able to make sure we get people working again, keep our teams effective and keep the project moving forward,” Brown said.
Brown said plans had been adjusted so that certain areas of the build could now be completed earlier. This would allow other trades to commence work earlier than planned, which would in turn open more employment opportunities.
“As builders, we must show the ability to adapt and find ways to keep productive. Operating under these new requirements is just another problem we have to solve,” said Brown.
Whangārei Art Museum Trust chief executive Kathleen Drumm is leading the project and said it would be good to see work recommence.
“I have a great deal of admiration for the way the team has been able to innovate and find flexible ways to get things moving again, despite the restrictions that will be in place.”
The centre was due to open in July 2021, but Ms Drumm said the effects of the lockdown would cause an obvious delay. “We now expect to open around Christmas 2021, however our final decision will be dependent upon how long restrictions remain in place,” she said.
In reaction to operating under the Level 3 restrictions, Trigg Construction had created and circulated a guidance document to all its workers. The measures include:
- Access in or out of site only with a security access card and through the automatic turnstile gate so all personnel movements can be tracked.
- All deliveries to site must be pre-arranged. Any new personnel delivering to site must sign declaration that they are symptom free before access granted.
- No social interaction on site, borrowing of tools, etc or unnecessary entry into another zone.
- All workers must wear a face shield, respirator or mask when working within 2m of a team member.
- Smokos and lunch times will be staggered for workers within different zones.
- Extra antibacterial handwash soap dispensers and sanitisers installed throughout site.
- Cleaners to constantly keep surfaces within common areas cleaned, including fridge door handles, microwaves, Zip heater handles, cupboard handles and table surfaces.
- Forklift handles, steering wheels and gas bottles valves will also be wiped down directly after use.
- The main turnstile gates and scanner locations will also be wiped down every hour.
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