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More than a decade ago they were included in the settlement with Tūhoe, this year they feature in Whakatohea's - but Te Upokorehe say they belong to themselves.

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More than a decade ago they were included in the settlement with Tūhoe, this year they feature in Whakatohea's - but Te Upokorehe say they belong to...

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Blink and you’ll miss the progress occurring at Te Tii. The team is ripping through the mahi and the appearance of site is changing daily. The ‘bones’ of the structure or timber frame is going up. This is what gives the buildings their shape and stability.  There’s a lot of work involved in getting six buildings framed at the same time so the workers have split into teams. 
 
This photo shows how the new buildings sit within the landscape. The only building left to frame is the laundry and toilet block, but the fuel tank needs to go into the ground before that work can start.
 
Framing1.JPG
 
All of the walls in the Tribal Office building are up, and the Store and Café building follows close behind.
 
Framing2.JPG
 
Looking from the Tribal Office building, through the Store and Café to the chalets in the distance, you can start to see the flow of the place.
 
Framing3 new-min
 
Nestled into the bush, the chalet walls and roofs are in place. The area in front of the deck will be planted to create more privacy while still allowing for light to come in and views out.
 
Framing4 new-min
 
The next stage is to get the framing covered by a roof and wrapped up in building paper to keep the timber dry and allow work to take place inside out of the rain!
 
Framing5 new-min
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Building the Bones

16 August 2017

Blink and you’ll miss the progress occurring at Te Tii. The team is ripping through the mahi and the appearance of site is changing daily. The ‘bones’ of the structure or timber frame is going up. This is what gives the buildings their shape and stability.  There’s a lot of work involved in getting six buildings framed at the same time so the workers have split into teams.    This photo shows how...

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Te Wharehou o Waikaremoana, by Lake Waikaremoana, is one of seven public buildings to make the shortlist for the 2017 New Zealand Architecture Awards. Built using sustainable building practices, it followed living building principles in its design and build.

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Te Wharehou o Waikaremoana, by Lake Waikaremoana, is one of seven public buildings to make the shortlist for the 2017 New Zealand Architecture Awards. Built using sustainable building practices, it followed living building principles in its design and build....

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In preparation for the pouring of foundations, a lot of work has been put in by our local team; Saul, Moata, Darryl, Poutewha, Hone, Bonnie, Graham and the team from GRB Construction.
 
Over the past couple of weeks, Firth has delivered concrete to site for foundations and floor slabs under the Tribal Office, Store and Café buildings at Te Tii. The two and a half hour trip to Ruatāhuna from Rotorua took ALL of Firth’s local trucks out of their usual circulation.
 
Concrete_trucks
 
To pull off this event without hiccups has taken a significant amount of coordination, but the impact of reaching this milestone is worth it. 
 
“The foundation is a big deal for us, it reflects the community’s aspirations for change and the change has to begin from the ground up. More importantly, seeing the work commence signals that we are no longer just talking - this is going to happen.”
Iharaira (Max) Temara - Tūhoe Manawarū Tribal General Manager.
 
The community is making the most of every opportunity with the build taking place in the centre of the village. The senior math class from Te Wharekura o Huiarau came out of the classroom to exercise their area and volume skills with our team. They worked out how much concrete it would take to finish one of the floors and how many trucks would be needed to deliver it.
 
Math_class
 
Ruatāhuna tamariki came down to place their hands in the concrete as it dried. Their handprints won’t be visible once the carpet is down, but the mark they’ve made will be captured for all time.
 
Kids_handprints
 
Firth and Tūhoe first made their mark together on the build of Te Kura Whare. Tūhoe use Firth because they are willing to prove why their product is the best option for the environment. They source their materials from within New Zealand wherever possible and don’t allow harmful ingredients within their mix. This is important given that concrete often comes into contact with the whenua.
 
Because Tūhoe demand the best products for the environment, the butterfly effect on New Zealand’s construction industry is huge. Firth’s Bernice Cumming tells us;
 
“The influence of the project going ahead in Ruatāhuna is important. Some of Firth’s regional plants still use imported cement because of the amount of building going on in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Tauranga which is sucking the local cement supply from the country.  Now, because of the Ruatāhuna project and the frequency of Tūhoe projects requiring this sustainable focus, the Rotorua and Whakatane plants have changed their mix to reflect this.”
 
Concrete_placing
 
The locally sourced cement she’s talking about comes from Golden Bay Cement – they’re the only cement company who use entirely New Zealand sourced ingredients. In addition to this, they’re currently planning a new fuel mix including shredded tyres to reduce their reliance on coal in their manufacturing facility.
 
Around New Zealand, around five million tyres go to waste every year. The piles stack up and contaminants are picked up in the water as they deteriorate. The contaminants make their way to aquifers, rivers and lakes and make life difficult for ika. By introducing shredded tyres to their fuel mix, Golden Bay Cement will not only be helping the contaminant issue, they’ll also be reducing their carbon emissions by 13,000 tonnes; the equivalent of around 6,000 cars!
 
When setting a solid foundation, it’s important how you go about it and what materials you choose to connect with the whenua.
 
Handprints
 
Our foundations bind us to Te Urewera, to a proud past and to a bright future forever Te Kohanga o Tūhoe.

 

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In preparation for the pouring of foundations, a lot of work has been put in by our local team; Saul, Moata, Darryl, Poutewha, Hone, Bonnie, Graham and the team from GRB Construction.   Over the past couple of weeks, Firth has delivered concrete to site for foundations and floor slabs under the Tribal Office, Store and Café buildings at Te Tii. The two and a half hour trip to Ruatāhuna from Rotorua took ALL of...

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It’s always an exciting moment when you can say ‘we’re out of the ground’, meaning you’ve gotten through the bulk of earthworks, ground conditions are ticked off and you’re into foundations of the building. 
 
This moment is even more satisfying when your site has been hit by not one, but two cyclones; when the main access road has been closed due to slips and washouts; and when the soil under the building was found to be less stable than you first thought.
 
Because of these circumstances, earthworks have taken longer than was planned. The earth was dug out to the level required under the café, store and office buildings creating what started to look like a swimming pool. At this point, the engineer tested ground conditions and found that the bearing capacity of the soil was much less stable than anticipated. To picture less than ideal bearing capacity, imagine that the building is a glass of water and the ground beneath it is a fresh, wet cow pat. 
 
This obviously needed to be made stronger. After considering multiple options, it was decided the best way forward was to bring in pumice to create a more solid platform.
 
Given the state of the roads, we were only able to deliver two loads of pumice a day – but at long last, around 1500m3 and 960 tonnes later the pumice platform was ready for foundations to be set up.
 
Pumice Platform_1
 
Pumice platform_2
 
The team on site is ready for the first large concrete pour for the floor slab of the Tribal Office building. This was scheduled to take place on Saturday, but the current rain has beaten us again! The pour takes ALL OF FIRTH’S TRUCKS from Rotorua out of circulation for the day so they're coming at their next available date, this Thursday 29th June.
 
The team has set up shutters which the concrete will be poured into (much like a cake tin) and laid a damp proof membrane which stops moisture rising from the ground into the floor. They've set up reinforcing steel which makes the concrete floor slab even stronger. This was inspected and approved by the engineer this morning.
 
Reo_1
 
While the floor is drying, people are invited to come and place a handprint in the concrete at 1230pm on Thursday 29th June. The concrete will be covered up, so the handprints will be like a time capsule and a memory of those living in the area at the time.
 
Reo_2
 
A silver lining from the cyclone delays is that while the great-pumice-move was taking place, the team on site was able to divert their attention to construction of the chalets, which wasn’t planned to start this early in the piece. Four chalets of varying sizes are nestled into the bush at the back edge of site. 
 
The team cleared only low shrubbery and trees necessary to locate the buildings with minimal impact on the ecosystem in the bush. This also means that the bush creates privacy for those staying in the chalets. Firewood was cut up and delivered to those who needed it most locally.
 
Because the chalets are smaller than the other buildings, they’re supported on simple timber piles with concrete footings. This photo shows one of the chalets timber piles and the view that will be experienced by those who stay there.
 
Chalet_1
 
While some of the team are preparing for the concrete pour for the Tribal Office Building, others are preparing the pumice platform under the Store and Café building, shown in the photo below. The team will repeat the same process on the second floor slab and before we know it, we’ll be able to see how all of the buildings are located!
 
 
Tribal_1
 
Let us know what else you’d like to hear about in the comments below!
 

 

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It’s always an exciting moment when you can say ‘we’re out of the ground’, meaning you’ve gotten through the bulk of earthworks, ground conditions are ticked off and you’re into foundations of the building.    This moment is even more satisfying when your site has been hit by not one, but two cyclones; when the main access road has been closed due to slips and washouts; and when...

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earthworks

The team is moving roughly 500 trucks of soil from Te Tii across the road to create an improved ground layout. This will make for better vehicle and walking access to the new buildings, good stormwater management and useable outdoor spaces. GRB Construction provides leadership and machinery on site, and is joined by eager locals to do the mahi.

When grass is stripped from the top layer of site, rainwater could run through the exposed soil, become dirty and contaminate the neighboring stream. To stop this happening, the team has created mulched earth bunds as a first line of defense and then a silt fence and layer of coconut cloth to filter the water before it enters the stream.

After Cyclone Debbie some of the team was flown in to be at their machinery on site and help clear the road. They then continued on with earthworks and the site is now cut down to subgrade level under the two main buildings. The soil has been saturated and isn’t providing a solid enough base for foundations to start but we’re looking way over this hump now. It’s likely we’ll either dewater the soil or import pumice. While this decision is being made, the team continues shaping the earth and awaits the beginning of the buildings.

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Moving the Earth

7 May 2017

The team is moving roughly 500 trucks of soil from Te Tii across the road to create an improved ground layout. This will make for better vehicle and walking access to the new buildings, good stormwater management and useable outdoor spaces. GRB Construction provides leadership and machinery on site, and is joined by eager locals to do the mahi. When grass is stripped from the top layer of site, rainwater could run through the exposed soil,...

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