Reporoa Service Centre
Homestead Road, Reporoa
Woodham Meikle Zahn
This new state-of-the-art service centre at Reporoa is one of several regional hubs operated by Ballance for the distribution of fertiliser and other agri-nutrients to local farmers. Built to replace an ageing facility and located in the middle of pastureland beside State Highway 5, it also represents something of a road test of next-level automation, including an extensive conveyor belt system to move product from the intake pit to 14 individual storage bins.
The client used other subcontractors for the mechanical and electrical fitout, engaging Haydn & Rollett to design and build the 130m x 40m warehouse and distribution facility and to relocate and upgrade a Keith Hay home from Mt Maunganui to serve as a standalone office.
Based on previous experience building storage for Ballance, the Haydn & Rollett team knew that fertiliser products tend to be particularly corrosive. Rather than use steel sheeting, the building is roofed in a new fibreglass product called Webglass. Structural steel members were treated with a three-coat epoxy system – every bolt was coated – and the interior and exterior concrete slabs are fibre-reinforced to provide tight crack control.
Local conditions proved both a blessing and a curse. On the plus side, the ground conditions were dominated by fine, well-draining pumice, allowing for shallow foundations and no piling. By contrast, working through a Taupo winter provided unfamiliar challenges for the Auckland crew, from pouring concrete and handling steel in sub-zero temperatures to limited visibility due to morning fog.