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The Grand Central Project – Christchurch – New Zealand

By October 28, 2015 No Comments

It has been just over 4 years since the devastating series of earthquakes that changed the landscape of Christchurch, New Zealand’s 2nd largest city. The rebuild of the city has taken several years to build momentum given the extent of devastation and the need to re-build much of the City’s underground infrastructure. However the City skyline is now filling with construction cranes indicating that the re-build is now well and truly underway. One such project is the Grand Central building being developed on the former Hotel Grand Chancellor site by Grand Hotels International.

Warren and Mahoney the original designers of the Hotel Grand Chancellor along with Aurecon were commissioned to design the NEW Grand Central Christchurch which will be a seven-storey building including premium office space and a mix of ground floor retail.

Frank Delli Cicchi (Grand Hotels International General Manager), Bruce Goodger (Project Manager RCP) and Eugene Duggan (Project manager Fletchers Construction) are building a new and better facility using the new heavy building code that has come into effect following the lessons of the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. These new requirements place an increased emphasis on certification and asset documentation to demonstrate compliance and to ensure owners and users are properly informed on how the new facilities are to be maintained and operated.

To ensure this is done well, the Project Team together with consultants and sub-contractors are using WebFM’s OMTrak online system to build smart operations and maintenance manuals and to manage defects. This will ensure the owners and the tenants have peace of mind that the right asset information is available and ready for use at handover of the new facilities.

History of the Original Grand Chancellor Building

The Hotel Grand Chancellor was originally completed in 1986 and the building stood proudly on the Christchurch skyline as the tallest building for 23 years at a height of 85 metres, and with a total of 26 stories.

In September 2010 the Hotel was hit by the first of a series of Earthquakes which measured a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the building sustained minimal damage and was deemed to be safe by the structural engineers and continued operation as normal.

In February 2011 the Hotel was again hit by a less magnitude, shallower and more direct earthquake. This smaller earthquake ultimately lead to the key supporting share wall located in the south east corner of the building collapsing. Luckily due to the time of day when the earthquake struck most guests were not in their rooms. After many investigations into the structural integrity of the hotel it was deemed uneconomical to repair, and the decision was made to demolish. The time lapse video shows the demolition work.