Soils look set to impact hospital build

The new Dunedin Hospital build seems set to become more complex and more costly, after drilling on the site found soils that will make the project more difficult.

Hold-ups in the geotechnical work and results have also caused a further delay of several weeks to the already overdue master site plan, which was expected at the end of last month.

Southern Partnership Group chairman Pete Hodgson said it was not clear yet what the effect would be on the planned starting date of 2020, despite logic suggesting the problems would delay the build.

Mr Hodgson said the delay of several weeks until the master site plan was finished was because there was not "sufficient geotechnical evidence to be sure where it might be best to place each of the main buildings''.

"In particular there is apparently a change between alluvial material underground and sedimentary material underground; in other words mud.''

That meant there were two types of material on a potential building site.

While it was possible to build on such ground with "decent foundations'', there was complexity in the transition from one material to the other.

"We are not yet sure where that transition occurs, and how clearly demarcated it is.''

While it would still be possible, to build, it would be more complex and costly.

``It is sensible to have better information than we have now before announcing where we think the main inpatient, or ward block, will go, and where we think the main outpatient building will go.''

Mr Hodgson said the University of Otago dental school building had faced a similar issue.

The Otago Daily Times reported last year inconsistent ground conditions had delayed work on the $130million dental school project.

The conditions meant different piles were needed, which took longer to install.

At one point last year the cost of the problem to the university was $1million.

Mr Hodgson said it was not straightforward as to whether or not the problem would delay the hospital build.

"Logically, that would delay the start date,'' he said.

However, it was not certain it would, "largely because decisions still need to be taken on how to best phase the buildings''.

Asked if he was still expecting a 2020 start date, he said that was more dependent on decisions yet to be taken about the phasing of different buildings, and the workforce needed, than it was by the geotechnical delay.

Mr Hodgson said he hoped to have a better understanding of phasing before Christmas.

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

Comments

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Is this site suitable for a hospital?
Being built on reclaimed land, like much of Dunedin's foreshore is, there is the potential for soil liquefaction in an earthquake. This would hinder any patient flow into and out of the hospital. With that in mind the build could place other historic buildings nearby at risk from vibrations from piling and construction materials.

Part 2,
This maybe another reason why Cadbury closed, the cost of upgrading the building's to modern earthquake standards became prohibitive.

The hospital site is close to an old tidal inlet that was clearly mapped before the 1870s when it was filled and drained. It was most likely the old mouth of the Leith before its path though the central city was silted up.

Classic planning fallacy. All large projects have way too optimistic and wrong estimates.

This is the sort of stuff up that can be expected when a city council starts meddling in things way beyond their expertise, like the siting of a regional public health facility, and politicizes the decision. Expect more.

What's the city council got to do with this story? They had nothing to do with this.
We all know you hate the council, but please at least pick the appropriate stories to have a go at them.

It is reclaimed land.. of COURSE it is going to be a problem. Would anyone hellbent on building a clam on the foreshore like to take note?

save money and move it before it is built stop wasting money - idiots

Hello...Wake up! how long ago did the Stadium run into problems and the Dental School , what does "reclaimed land" mean ? Hello is there anyone with a brain running our City ?

No need to wake up.

The stadium didn't run into problems with the reclaimed land. It was known at the outset what the nature of the ground was and it was designed accordingly. As far as I know there have been no issues since its construction.

Building on reclaimed land is something that's been done successfully all over the world for a long time.

They had problems with the piling at the stadium , with some disappearing into nowhere and having to put extra piles in on a angle to shore up the vertical ones.
The stadium ins not the only place to have foundation problems.
Of course it can be built there it will just add to the cost.

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