Discover the Keola difference, and see what the client said about us:
Gold! Keola’s success at the Commercial Project Awards 2016
Keola was awarded Gold at the Commercial Projects Awards earlier this month, for the construction of New Zealand’s largest childcare centre (at the time it was built) in Avondale, Auckland.
The owners of the Chrysalis childcare centre are repeat clients of Keola, as we have previously worked together on another childcare centre in Blockhouse Bay. (Which, incidentally, also won an award in 2013.)
“I chose Keola for this build because we’ve worked with them in the past and they’ve done an excellent job. The confidence in them was just a given,” says Darius Singh, owner of the Chrysalis childcare centre.
Sanjesh Lal, Director of Keola say: “We’re so very proud to have been selected to build this spectacular building, which sets a very high benchmark for childcare buildings in New Zealand. To be measured against some very large national construction firms with fantastic projects to their names made our award very surreal! I’m also extremely proud of our very hardworking team who has made this all possible.”
What makes this this project so unique and special?
Two notable and protected trees dominated the building site – a Pohutukawa and an English Oak. These trees had proven too problematic for previous developers, but for this project the ‘problem’ of the trees became the solution and also the success of the project.
The solution to the problem of the trees was to build the childcare centre in a crescent (moon) shape with 31 radiating gridlines – the apex is a point between the two trees. The shape of the building protects the roots of the trees, and the glass is oriented north to allow it to collect as much winter sun as possible under the lowest branches. Overheating in summer will be avoided because the Oak tree will be in leaf.
There were also some other challenges…
The site had numerous challenges: it had geotechnical issues; plus a sewer shown on council plans didn’t actually exist, and contractors had only a 4-hour window to shut down a high pressure system and reconnect drainage. There were also some design challenges in keeping the leaves from the protected trees blocking the gutters.
… But the outcome was a success!
Keola constructed the childcare centre within acceptable timeframes, and with zero health and safety issues; and zero abatement notices or prosecutions.
We put the success of the project down to the team approach. The project team consisted of the Architect (Phil Smith), the client (Darius Singh, owner of the Chrysalis childcare centre) and us at Keola as the main contractor. There was an excellent working relationship between all members of the project team, with everyone being committed to the success of the build.
Nature provided the challenge – and the solution
This is a building very much in sync with nature, and not just because of the shade provided in summer by the heritage trees. There are solar panels to provide power, and the rainwater is re-used.
During construction, approximately 70% of waste materials were recycled, and there is an on-going recycling programme within the childcare centre. The nature theme continues with an edible garden, to teach the 150 children at Chrysalis about food and nature.
Darius Singh, our client says: “The vision for this build was that we wanted an exceptional customer experience. And when parents and families come here, they walk through every corridor and walk around the playground and say “wow” seven times.”
“What I’d say to somebody’s who’s looking to hire Sanjesh for their next project is that I’ve already done it once before: he built a Bronze Award building for us three years ago; he built this fantastic building here for us; and later on this year he’s building our home for us!”