New Zealand Parliament Buildings
1The New Zealand Parliament buildings are a hugely important part of the country’s political landscape. Like some of the politicians (!), the buildings were tired, overworked and in need of some remedial action. The refurbishment of the complex incorporated the Parliament Buildings, and the General Assembly Library, with additional work involving new underground carparking and service areas.
2Holmes Consulting Group was called in to provide all the structural engineering services for the refurbishment, base isolation and strengthening of these historic buildings. The old structures required special care to protect them from movement or settlement during the foundation modification process – the fragile, brittle structures were a significant complication over the course of the process. As with all retro-fitting projects, it was important that the end result was high quality retro-fit with no real sign of the engineers’ ‘footprints’ on the building: a challenge we were proud to accept.
3For its type, this was a very large project. It’s an internationally recognised piece of work, and it has even been used as a benchmark project for other offshore consultants, particularly in the USA, to develop their own base isolation methodologies. We were awarded an ACENZ Gold Medal by our peers for this project, and the buildings have a Category One listing by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
We certainly don’t agree with everything that goes on in Parliament, but we’re glad to have made such a strong contribution to the buildings.