Fruehauf New Zealand



21 Hobill Ave, Wiri

Hobill Ave Limited

$3 Million

10 Months

Architect /
Woodhams Meikle Zhan

Structural /
MSC Consulting

Mechanical /
Thurston Mechanical Ltd

Starting from scratch tends to be easier than working with old bones, as was the case with the renovation of a worse-for-wear 1940s warehouse at 21 Hobill Ave, Wiri. A joint venture between Haydn & Rollett and property developers McDougall Reidy & Co, the project involved modernising the existing structure, as well as building a new office extension for one of the tenants, truck trailer manufacturer Fruehauf.

The age of the building created several challenges. The electrical reticulation, for example, was a spaghetti-like mess of cabling that had to be stripped out, with new mains and metering installed. And when it came time to lay new plumbing, the old concrete foundations proved troublesome, requiring Haydn & Rollett to engage engineers to say which parts could be removed, and which elements were sacrosanct.

Building the new office was also not without complications. Among them was the fact the facility was tenanted during the construction phase, a situation that raised potential health and safety concerns. In response, staff were rehoused in onsite portacom accommodation, while Haydn & Rollett isolated the construction site using large temporary walls.

Additionally, there was a challenge trying to keep the weather out of the old part of the building while tacking on the new office, exacerbated by the pressure of a very tight programme. The Haydn & Rollett team used various protective measures, including ‘shrinkwrapping’ parts of the structure to keep the worst of the winter weather at bay.

Despite these and other challenges, the project was completed in ten months, delivering smart offices and a new-look warehouse.