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Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Wins 2018 Supreme Concrete3 Sustainability Award

Monday, 15 October 2018  
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The McConnell Dowell – HEB Construction Joint Venture (JV) has collected the 2018 Supreme Concrete3 Sustainability Award for the Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant BNR Upgrade, the largest single-site capital works delivery of wastewater plant for almost twenty years.

Supreme Award Winner, McConnell Dowell - HEB Construction (JV) for Mangere Wastewater Treatment Plant BNR Upgrade, Auckland

The Award, presented at the Concrete NZ Conference in Hamilton on 12 October, celebrated concrete’s role in realising an important piece of Auckland infrastructure; one of the most significant mechanical undertakings the country has ever seen, says Concrete NZ chief executive Rob Gaimster.

The judging panel commended the McConnell Dowell – HEB Construction JV, along with project partners Watercare, Holmes Consulting and CH2M Beca, for working collaboratively to enhance the programme, manage project risks, and provide solutions with an emphasis on sustainability, in a culture motivated by the concept of ‘Together Doing it Better’.

Environmental sustainability was at the project’s heart, protecting the Manukau Harbour for future generations to enjoy.

Economic sustainability was achieved through astute design, excellent planning and attention to quality, longevity and durability. The design and construct of the complex concrete structures was key to achieving this goal - the structural brace system offered efficiencies that enabled a reduction in member size and the amount of material used, while post-tensioning offered enhanced durability and resilience to resist induced compression.

Social sustainability for the local community and the JV’s own employees was placed on an equal footing with the environmental and economic pillars of sustainable development’s ‘triple bottom line’; and was achieved through the integration of extensive planting along with walking / cycling initiatives, while a strong safety culture and emphasis on training was constant throughout.

On its way to the top prize, the McConnell Dowell – HEB Construction JV and projects partners won the Excellence in Concrete Innovation category award.

The Awards are part of the Concrete3 initiative launched in 2007 by the Cement & Concrete Association of New Zealand (now Concrete NZ), and recognise projects, products and initiatives which demonstrate excellence in environmental, economic and/or social sustainability for the built environment. 

Other category winners
The Awards also produced winners in four other categories for projects which excelled in different areas of sustainable concrete construction.

Excellence in Concrete for the Community went to GHD and projects partners  for the Ellerslie Noise Walls in Auckland. The project was initiated by the local community and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) to mitigate the noise and air pollution effects of over 100,000 vehicles travelling on a section of the southern motorway every day.

Excellence in Concrete for the Community - GHD for Ellerslie Noise Walls, Auckland 

Sustainability was at the heart of the project, from 3D printing of concepts and adopting re-usable formliners to reduce waste, developing the fibre reinforced foundation to cut preparation time, and using an anti-graffiti paint to minimise maintenance. In terms of social sustainability, the adjacent properties have enjoyed a six decibel drop in noise since the barriers’ installation.

Excellence in Civil Concrete Construction was awarded to CentrePort Wellington for its Concrete Waste Minimisation Project. Faced with a growing volume of material from demolition after the Kaikoura earthquake, CentrePort decided that to recycle and reuse would have financial as well as environmental benefits.

Excellence in Civil Concrete Construction - CentrePort Wellington for Concrete Waste Minimisation Project, Wellington

The project involves cleanfill concrete being processed into coarse aggregate and then used in a range of applications. This approach avoids removal and disposal costs, and the sourcing of virgin aggregate. As of August 2018, around 15,600 cubic metres of concrete had been recycled and used on port, eliminating over 4,000 truck movements – a significant environmental ‘win’.

Excellence in Residential Concrete Construction was awarded to Aurecon New Zealand and project partners  for the Frame Apartments in Wellington. Subject to the Capital’s wind and earthquakes, the slender 18-storey apartment building needed to be rigid and resilient. The reinforced concrete, extruded shearwall structure used was the only system that could deliver the key requirements.

Excellence in Residential Concrete Construction - Aurecon New Zealand for Frame Apartments, Wellington

The concrete wall system also meant insulation could be applied to the exterior of the building allowing reduced energy demand assisted by concrete’s thermal mass. Overall, the auto-climbing slip formwork system provided benefits in terms of cost, waste minimisation, build efficiency and worker safety, for a project completed on time and on budget.

Excellence in Commercial Concrete Construction was won by Allied Concrete and project partners  for the Structural Lightweight Concrete at the AUT’s Engineering, Technology & Design (ETD) Building. Commercial buildings use around 200 kilowatt hours of energy per square metre, but AUT’s EDT Building aims to use half that using a high performance precast concrete facade.


Excellence in Commercial Concrete Construction - Allied Concrete for Structural Lightweight Concrete at AUT’s ETD Building, Auckland

Structural requirements dictated the use of lightweight concrete to keep the mass of the elements down. The main challenges were achieving a structural strength of 40MPa in lightweight concrete, and matching the finish with surrounding panels. Expanded glass lightweight aggregate made from recycled glass was used to achieve target strength. Special loading and mixing techniques were required, while care was needed during casting to prevent the lightweight aggregate from floating to the panel surface.

For more information visit the Concrete3 Sustainability Awards website.