Artist's rendition of the proposed hotel. Photo supplied.
Preliminary construction advice on Dunedin's
controversial waterfront hotel proposal says it is ''entirely
feasible'' to build a 28-storey hotel on the soft soils of the
It would simply necessitate careful planning and site
management, including some ''significant foundation
solutions'', and does not present any insurmountable issues,
a construction effects assessment of the project by Andrew
Holmes, of Hawkins Construction, says.
The assessment is one of five pieces of information requested
from Betterways Advisory Ltd by the Dunedin City Council
committee considering the company's application for a
resource consent for the project, before the hearing resumes
The company was asked to provide new images of the hotel,
which it did last month, an assessment of environmental
effects covering construction and wind disturbance, a report
from a recognised landscape expert and a demonstration of the
It has ruled out using a tethered balloon to demonstrate the
building's height, because it felt the cost of the exercise
would outweigh the benefits, and it is not providing any
additional evidence from a landscape expert, because it felt
the committee had enough information already.
The assessment of construction effects and a proposal for a
consent condition about wind effects have been provided and
copied to submitters.
In the proposed wind-effects consent condition, supplied by
Opus International, it was suggested that thresholds that
would need to be met be identified and tested via wind tunnel
once the final design was known.
The proposed condition also set out a provision for adjacent
landowners to have mitigation measures offered to them if, as
a result of the building, wind speeds breached the condition
Mr Holmes said his advice aimed to identify the challenges
and set out the underlying construction principles of such a
project, which could be identified even in the absence of a
geotechnical investigation or final building design or
construction programme, as was the case here.
He said that because the site was closely bounded on all
sides and the location of cranes and the airspace they could
use was restricted to the south and west because of the
railway lines, the project would require high standards of
site housekeeping, construction programming and traffic and
Because the site was on reclaimed land close to Otago
Harbour, it was understood the water table would be about 3m
above the finished basement level.
That, combined with a perceived low soil bearing capacity,
the potential for liquefaction and the structure's tall,
slender shape, necessitated significant foundation solutions,
possibly including a selection or combination of sheet
piling, diaphragm walls and pile foundations.
He described how draining of the site could be carefully
managed, as could material storage off-site and access to the
site, which was envisaged to involve one entrance only, on
Wharf St. Although the project was still in the planning
stages, he estimated an overall construction period of about
three years and three months.
Longer work shifts, night shifts for interior work trades and
greater use of prefabricated internal units such as kitchens
and bathrooms could reduce the project time.
He concluded that, by using appropriate construction
practices, it was entirely feasible to construct the proposed
hotel on the Dunedin foreshore.
''It is acknowledged that the site has a number of
constraints; however, this is the case for many sites. Such
constraints simply necessitate careful planning and
management. I do not consider that this site presents any
Most of the submitters said nothing in the latest round of
information altered their opposition to the project.
Many said they were dismayed Betterways declined to answer
some of the committee's requests, and the height and visual
impact of the building were still their main reason for
objecting to it.