This massive 18,900m² updates the rubber manufacturer’s facility with a new distribution centre, separate moulding and industrial halls, an office and civil works.
Skellerup, a 105-year-old Christchurch-based industrial and agricultural rubber product manufacturer, needed an upgrade. So, Calder Stewart stepped in with a Design Build project, installing a Development and Manufacturing facility at Wigram Business Park. The aim was to optimise Skellerup's manufacturing processes alongside their warehouse and distribution.
The facility we built is comprised of five areas:
• Distribution centre
• Moulding hall/engineering and amenities area
• Industrial hall/raw material warehouse
• And civil works
An incredible 182,000+ hours went into this project. The result is a massive 18,900m² build that's functional, practical and sustainable, providing lots of room for future growth.
Funnily enough, we were only initially tasked with building the factory shell to accommodate Skellerup's manufacturing machinery. However, as the project got underway, we decided to integrate a base build and fit-outs, which allowed us to create a design that provided much greater efficiency for the client, especially for the installation.
One key design step was to 'future-proof' the building, allowing further expansion. On that point, and others, the finished building exceeded client expectations. Major gains in efficiency meant a decrease in internal movement, with people and products moving more easily around the site — all of which saves on operational costs.
Other features that define the complexity and success of this project include the massive processing tower, which had to be built tough enough to handle the extreme vibrations that come from mixing rubber polymers. Since the plant and equipment were so large and heavy, they were installed alongside construction. We also found that some of the equipment was so old that original structural drawings didn't exist. This time around, a critical aspect of the design phase was using scanning technology to provide a 3D image of the plant. The base build was layered, with the internal plant fit-out design, and clash detection and analysis were performed early.
Since Skellerup is a 24/7 operation, the new factory had to be operational before vacating the old one. This process was set up to test and validate the rubber prior to mass production. There was also the pressure of an upcoming lease termination on the temporary premise they were using. Through excellent teamwork and communication with partners and subcontractors, we were able to get the client into one end of the building early on. Through excellent time management, we managed to have the building finished ahead of the intended programme.
Overall, the quality of the Skellerup building is second to none. Durability and low maintenance were essential parts of this project. Our unique integrated supply chain includes manufacturing a significant portion of the precast and steel building materials, offering much greater quality assurance, with a guaranteed supply and on-time delivery.
More than just the tensile strength, though, this build is exemplary in design. Rework, and potential errors were kept to a minimum through a meticulous designing process.
Our quality shop drawings for precast and structural steel, including an X-steel model produced by Skellerup's structural engineering partners, allowed for a seamless process, from fabrication right through to assembly.
- Guy Keogh, Agri Division General Manager, Skellerup