Project Case Study.

Kiwi Base Camp
69 Bealey Ave, Christchurch

2 story Multi-unit backpackers facility
Commercial Building
Structural Strengthening and Earthquake damage repair
Architect / Engineer – Opus / Frontier Engineering

The Challenges.

The owner of Kiwi Base Camp was referred to us in 2015 for the strengthening and upgrade he required for Kiwi Base Camp. The building dated back to the 1940s and was severely damaged from the 2011 earthquakes.

The repair and strengthening required the following:

Releveling the building by 150mm on one side of the building.

Installing 50 new piles – each pile was embedded in 1mx1mx1m holes.

New ring foundation.

Upgrading sprinkler system.

Relining 75% of all walls with bracing plywood.

Handicap accessibility to the entire building: ramps, handrails, and bathrooms.

Fire doors installed in all rooms.

Brand new Stainless steel kitchens upstairs and downstairs.

Brand new outdoor communal area.

Recladding with custom weatherboards.

Strip drain / retaining wall to neighbor’s property.

Custom Joinery, Fencing, Data and security hard landscaping.

Sleep outbuildings upgrade.

The Solution.

In the beginning, we needed to remove the ground flooring to gain access for installing the 50 piles beneath the building. We brought in 15 Army recruits to assist with the monumental dig out of 50 M3 holes. This required custom ramping and wheelbarrowing of tones of dirt. Once the holes were dug and inspected we wheelbarrowed in the concrete for each of the holes. From there we releveled the house with a jack and pack lift system and then poured the new ring foundations.

A new plywood subfloor was installed and then we started the renovation. It was at this point in the repair that the owner decided he wanted to bring the proposed strengthening of 67% NBS to 100% NBS. This required new engineering drawings and amendments to the existing plans. The engineer required us to remove almost all of the existing Lath and Plaster walls and line those walls with Bracing Plywood. The enormity of this task was great because of the age of the home and the amount of debris we needed to remove. 

After a month of demolition, straightening of walls, and reconfiguring the Fire Sprinkler system we were ready for the next stage. Insulation, installing plywood then Lining the entire building with New GIB. We moved walls, stairwell configurations and created wider access for Handicap bathrooms while keeping inside the envelope of the existing structure. 

Once the building was relined inside, we removed all of the exterior Cladding that was original, except for one side. To match the side that was existing we contacted a boutique sawmill who custom-made the profile we required that none of the standard timber suppliers carried. The weatherboard cladding came out perfect and looked amazing when installed and painted. 

The Kitchens were fitted with custom, stainless steel counters, and new appliances. 

We custom-built exterior timber awnings and multi-stepped Kwila decking and bench seating for the BBQ area. 

Every room required custom fire doors with keypad entry locks. 

Custom Wheelchair ramp ways were required as well as Custom Stainless-steel handrails along the entry, rampway, and stairwell. 

Brand new bunk beds, linens, communal areas, TV rooms, reception area, and carpeting finished off the brand new Backpackers. 

The Conclusion.

As a result of our efforts, The Kiwi Base Camp Rankings improved to one of the top-rated back Packers in Christchurch and achieved a 100% NBS rating once we were finished. Another great project we look back on with much fondness as the challenges we faced was met with smart solutions that didn’t break the bank.