Demolition of the building at 95 Willow Street
The demolition of Tauranga City Council’s old administration and library building in the city centre has finished ahead of schedule, on budget and has exceeded sustainability targets.
Commencing in June this year, the demolition of the building at 95 Willow Street was required to make way for our new civic precinct – Te Manawataki o Te Papa, the heartbeat of Te Papa.
A post-demolition report* has confirmed that a total of 3,240 tonnes of concrete and 396 tonnes of steel removed from the site was successfully recycled, achieving an impressive 100 per cent recovery rate for those materials.
The report also shows 89 per cent of all the material removed from the site during the demolition will be either recovered, recycled or reused, meeting waste processing obligations under the New Zealand Green Building Council Green Star reporting criteria. This result is well above the initial target of a 75% recovery rate.
Commissioner Shad Rolleston says everyone involved should be extremely proud of the results, which reflect council’s commitment to making sure sustainability is at the forefront of its projects.
“From the outset, our goal for the demolition was to divert as much waste from landfill as possible and it’s great to see that ambition has been achieved,” says Shad.
“Before the demolition commenced, our Sustainability and Waste team rehomed thousands of unwanted items from the building to charities across the city, which are now putting them to good use.
“It’s great to see that approach has been followed right through to the end of the process by the project team and our construction partners, LT McGuinness,” says Shad.
“The sustainability philosophy that applied to the demolition will be carried forward into the design and build phase of Te Manawataki o Te Papa and reflected in the final Green Star accreditation for those buildings, once developed.
Shad says the fact that the demolition was completed six weeks ahead of schedule, due to the successful methodology used by the contractors, and on budget, was “the icing on the cake” for the project.
“We can now look forward to the future development of Te Manawataki o Te Papa, which will play an integral role in unlocking our city centre’s potential and revitalising it’s heart.”
LT McGuinness Project Manager Joe Plamus says the demolition was a success from an environmental and health and safety perspective.
“At LT McGuinness, we pride ourselves on forming and maintaining strong relationships. We would like to use this opportunity to thank local residents and businesses for your patience and support during the demolition," says Joe.
“Thanks also go to the council staff involved in the project. We're looking forward to working together on the next phase of Te Manawataki o Te Papa,” adds Joe.
Now that the demolition is finished, Geotech work is underway to inform planning for the design and construction of Te Manawataki o Te Papa. The programme of work will see a $303.4 million investment in developing the civic precinct in the city centre over the next eight years and includes facilities such as a civic whare (public meeting house), museum, library, and an exhibition space, as well as the associated landscaping.
Senior Programme Manager Beau Fraser says while initial preparation work is underway, a section of the old library’s first floor and the floor plates remain on site at Willow Street to keep the ground solid and reduce dust.
Some utilities and buildings will stay on site and be removed at a later date. The LT McGuinness site office and compound will also remain, ready for the next phase of the project.
“We’re pleased to let the community know that pedestrian access along Willow and Wharf Streets has been restored and people can now move through the area without disruption,” says Beau.
*Find out more and read the post-demolition report compiled by LT McGuinness’ waste removal sub-contractors Ward Demolition.
Read the full story on local organisations that benefited from the rehoming of furniture items prior to the demolition.
Above: Last load of demolition equipment leaving the Willow Street site
Above: Phil Gregg from local social enterprise, Sustainability Options, removes carpet tiles from the Willow Street building prior to the demolition commencing. Around 370 squares of carpet tiles were put to good use through its 20 Degrees programme, which supports those living below the poverty line in inadequate, unhealthy housing.
A long time coming - background to demolition
Constructed in 1989, the building at 95 Willow Street originally housed council’s Mayoral and Executive offices, Chambers, Customer Service Centre, Library, and other council services over the years.
Mould was first discovered in parts of the building in 2014, as well as in the adjoining administration block, which was demolished in 2017.
After the discovery of mould, further investigations revealed significant weather-tightness problems and moderate earthquake risks.
The need to address these issues prompted the council of that time to explore what our future civic spaces could look like, and the role the area could play in reinvigorating our city’s heart.
No action was taken, however, and the partly-occupied building remained in place.
Following the appointment of the Commission in 2021, initial redevelopment plans for the civic precinct site were included in the 2021-31 Long-term Plan. In December last year, the Commission approved the refreshed masterplan for the civic precinct site - Te Manawataki o Te Papa.
Plans to demolish the remaining building moved ahead and in June this year, following community consultation as part of the 2021-31 Long-term Plan Amendment, the Commission approved the implementation of the refreshed masterplan as part of a single-phase, staged development.