The Cathedral Project design and remediation manager Jenny Goddard (centre) speaks with building services engineer Patrick Arnold, of eCubed, and project architect Brenda Solon, of Tennent Brown Architects, at Taranaki Cathedral.
The people who have been entrusted with developing the plans for the earthquake strengthening and refurbishment of Taranaki Cathedral came together on-site this week, gathering information for the last push towards a finalised design.
“It’s a mark of how much closer the project is getting to actually physically starting,” The Cathedral Project design and remediation manager Jenny Goddard says.
“We’ve got the project architect, structural engineer project lead, the building services engineer, and the acousticians here to collaborate and investigate some of the details. You can have measurements on paper and photos, but seeing the real thing and being able to share information and discuss details on-site is key.”
Currently in the ‘developed design’ phase, the information used will go towards forming the ‘detailed design’.
“Now until the end of the year, this work will be documented and once the detailed plan is complete we can apply for building consent,” Jenny says.
Project architect Brenda Solon, of Tennent Brown Architects, says the on-site visit allows for a thorough investigation.
“There’s no substitute for being here to see things up close. We know where everything is going but the specifics are not fully documented, so working alongside the structural engineer and the building services engineer to have conversations together is very useful. We need to preserve what’s here and be mindful that it doesn’t affect the heritage value of the space.”
Anna Philpott, the project lead structural engineer from Holmes Consulting, says it has been a long process as standards have changed and much has been learned during remediation work following the Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes.
“It has been challenging. During the process there have been updates to guidelines, such as the behaviour of masonry, so we have incorporated those modifications,” she says.
“Because we are working with an historic building the design process is quite constrained, and we want to conceal the majority of works as it’s important the look of the building remains.
“It’s really important to be able to be on-site and investigate some of the tricky areas, such as where the roof and walls intersect, and make sure what is designed will work on site. This avoids delays and extra costs.”
Building services engineer Patrick Arnold, of eCubed, has the job of improving the cathedral’s heating and ventilation, lighting and wiring.
“I’ve been chasing wires and pipes under the floor,” he laughs. “Most of it is old and was added to as the building grew and standards changed. It’s challenging, but it’s always interesting getting to work on an historic building.”
The unflued gas heating will be replaced by electric heating, which will reduce moisture input and help protect the stone; the strip fluorescent lighting will be removed and a more discreet alternative installed; and as much of the wiring as possible will be hidden from sight.
“It’s about finding subtle and sensitive solutions,” Patrick says.
The project architect, the structural engineer project lead, the building services engineer, and acousticians were all on-site at Taranaki Cathedral this week, collaborating on and investigating the finer details of the remediation and refurbishment of the historic church.