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NDHB Te Kotuku Facility Extension by DESIGN ENGINEERS

Developer: Northland District Health Board 
Architect: Klein Architects
Contractor: Argon Constructors Ltd
Location: Whangārei, Northland
Service Type: Facade Engineering
The Te Kotuku Redevelopment Project will replace the existing Paediatric Inpatient Ward and Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at Whangarei Hospital. It will also provide a new Medical Laboratory for the hospital. The project will more closely connect the Paediatric Inpatient Ward and SCBU with the maternity and birthing ward, creating a healthcare hub for women and children. The works will be planned and staged in such a way to enable continued use of the existing maternity unit and to minimise disruption. There is a high focus and importance on operational continuity, health and safety of staff, patients, whānau and ambulances during construction. The project will complete the fit out and expansion that was originally allowed for when the new maternity building was designed and built (2012-2015). The existing shell space at level two will be completed and a new level constructed above (level three). The expansion will include a new vertical circulation core at the east end of the building to provide public access to the upper levels, and connection with the existing hospital from Hospital Road. There will be an additional lift and stair core at the western end of the building to provide staff and logistics access to the upper levels as well as stair egress for emergency situations. The project is due to be completed in January 2024.

The project involves the expansion of the existing two storey maternity building. It includes the construction of an additional floor level on the existing space at Level 3, a roof top plant platform, a service core at the east end, and a lift and stair core at the west end of the building. The new structure will be enclosed by flushed glazed window systems, insulated profiled metal panels, solid aluminium sheet cladding, and precast concrete panels.

The project's inception involved a comprehensive feasibility study of the overall louvre system, addressing various critical aspects to ensure its viability and effectiveness. The feasibility study encompassed a thorough examination of the louvre system's structural integrity, blade design, support system, railing system, fixing mechanisms, and overall connection scheme. Each component was scrutinized individually to gauge its compatibility with the architectural vision and functional requirements of the project. Structural verification constituted a pivotal stage in the louvre system assessment, with a detailed examination of the structural elements ensuring their capacity to withstand anticipated loads and environmental conditions. The intricate louvre blade design underwent a meticulous check to ascertain its durability, aerodynamic performance, and alignment within the architectural framework. The support system for the louvre structure underwent a rigorous assessment to confirm its robustness and compatibility with the overall architectural design. Similarly, the railing system and fixing mechanisms were subject to meticulous checks to guarantee their stability, functionality, and compliance with safety standards. The connection points of the louvre system were a focal point of scrutiny, involving a detailed examination of the joints and interfaces to ensure their strength, durability, and seamless integration into the broader architectural context. This comprehensive evaluation extended to wind loading assessments, considering the louvre system's ability to withstand external forces and environmental variables.

The final phase of the assessment involved a meticulous examination of the louvre system's connection to the building structure. This critical aspect ensured not only the structural coherence of the louvre system but also its seamless integration into the existing or planned building framework. The connection check encompassed a holistic examination of the attachment points, load-bearing capacities, and overall compatibility to guarantee the successful incorporation of the louvre system into the architectural fabric of the project.

In summary, the feasibility study and assessments undertaken for the louvre system encompassed a multi-faceted approach, addressing structural, aerodynamic, and integrative considerations. This detailed examination laid the foundation for a robust and functional louvre system that aligns seamlessly with the architectural vision while meeting the project's performance requirements and regulatory standards.


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