Keola’s success at the Commercial Project Awards 2016

The Keola project team with well wishers at the Commercial Project Awards prize-giving ceremony.

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!”

Hilary Barry with Sanjesh Lal of Keola and his Gold award. The photo bomber is Phil Smith, who was the architect of the award-winning building project.

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Award winning

Our unique engineering approach to construction management is built on strong analytical minds that say there’s ‘never a problem, always a solution’.

We have an ethos of building things that work. Added to this an exceptional back office team who offer a streamlined, process driven approach to project delivery. On time with industry leading quality.

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Award winning

Keola has received industry recognition with a number of Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in the Residential and Commercial construction sector.

Excellent track record

We take care of the details, expertly navigating the intricacies of working with Council for RMA issues, noise, fire rating, inter-tenancies, unit titles, parking, infrastructure etc.

Can-do approach

Sometimes it takes a little Kiwi ingenuity to figure out a cost-effective way of bringing an architect’s vision to life. So if you’re looking for a builder that’ll add value and finesse to your project, call us.

Exceptional experience

Director Sanjesh Lal is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Registered Master Builder. He’s backed by the exceptional and experienced Keola team to expertly manage your construction project.

Difficult site? No problem

Constructing a building with difficult site constraints? Rest easy. We take pride in our engineering approach to construction management on challenging sites.

Low Variations

Our approach and deep understanding of the process means we price very accurately and pride ourselves on low variations. That means you can trust the figures we put forward.


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