Ministry of Education

Completion Date

February 2024

Comprehensive programme of repairs and upgrades.

The maths block at Nelson College for Girls is a two-storey, eight classroom building that connects to the several other classroom blocks via a glass atrium. We refurbished the block in an 11-month project, replacing the roof and cladding, completing seismic strengthening, updating the fire alarms, lighting and passive fire features, and installing accessibility upgrades including a new lift in the atrium.

The site was tight, with classrooms and boarding hostels adjacent to the area we were working in, limited laydown area, and access via a narrow driveway. This posed challenges when we were installing the steel framed lift shaft in the atrium. We split the steel into four parts and modelled them to ensure they could fit into the building before carefully lifting them into place with a spider crane.

We made the most of the two-week holiday periods to remove asbestos cladding and soffits and install new windows and wall linings, minimising disruption to the school. An early decision to shrink wrap only the cladding and eaves rather than the entire building made it much easier to work on the roof and to get materials in and out.

We recycled and reused as much material as possible, even chipping the trees and branches that needed to be removed to make room for our scaffolding and leaving it on site for the school to use around the grounds.


Categories: Canterbury & Nelson, Education, Seismic