Invercargill Velodrome

Calder Stewart Construction Ltd knew it was on to a winner when it was contracted to turn Cycling Southland's aging outdoor concrete track into a world class cycling arena and sporting complex to service the community.

Invercargill branch manager Lindsay Bowmar says the project is Calder Stewart's "crowning glory," and it was fantastic for the company to be named national winner of the Tourism and Leisure Project in the RMB 2007 Commercial Project Awards, in association with PlaceMakers.

2007 was just the second time Calder Stewart, primarily a design-build company specialising in large buildings, had entered the awards, and its first national win.

"In 2003 we entered two projects in the awards, Gore Vets in the under $1million category, and Harvey Norman Invercargill in the over $1million category," Mr Bowmar says.

"We were awarded second prize nationally for Gore Vets and a second for our region (behind the eventual national winner) with Harvey Norman, so it's great that we have built on this success with a win for our largest local project to date," he says.

Much more than just a building job, the project commenced with a trip to four velodromes in the UK, Europe and Australia to discover the "behind the scenes" workings of these projects.

From these learnings, the world-class sports arena was designed, and construction commenced on 4 May 2005.

Calder Stewart's factories in Christchurch and Milton produced the more than 400 pieces of precast concrete required and all of the structural steel. Some concrete panels were too heavy to truck and were made on site - a challenge during a chilly Southland winter.

Budget and ongoing running costs were a key consideration throughout the project, and with this in mind Calder Stewart designed a structure using 13 rafter trusses and four lightweight columns inside the track to create a close to clear span environment at a much lower cost than a full clear span option.

Alsynite New Zealand TS20 Twinskin System is utilized throughout the roof area offering excellent natural light. The Alsynite New Zealand Twinskin System eliminates the risk of condensation and provides added thermal insulation to the building. Calder Stewarts Mega 5 Steel Roofing Profile and the Twinskin System clear roofing match perfectly to create a natural lighting concept not achievable in single skin systems.

The project also included a link area to Stadium Southland, incorporating a seismic joint which enables the Velodrome and the Stadium to move independently, four netball/tennis courts with pedestrian tunnel access, vehicle access and a cyclist tunnel, and offices, a retail area and physio rooms housing more than 50 people.

And although the cycle track wasn't part of Calder Stewart's contract, the team was required to provide the building, walls and concrete floor to the required specification.

Operating to their usual exacting standards, the team delivered with an accuracy that impressed the Spanish surveyor who travels the world for the German track builders.

Mr Bowmar says once the project kicked off, it ran like clockwork from start to finish, with the dedicated committee that was formed taking any issues that arose in its stride.

"What also really struck me about the project was the public buy-in and interest from the very beginning, with that enthusiasm for the project growing as it neared completion."

"It was great to deal with so many positive people. With their help and support we were able to create an outstanding facility that both the client and the community are rapt with."

Competition judges say it is clear that communication and coordination between the various subcontractors was seamless, as was demonstrated by the highly professional end result.

"The accuracy and precision with which the structure was built is testament to the team's skill."

Mr Bowmar says as a result of the success and resulting commendations received by Calder Stewart's Invercargill branch, the Milton head office has entered Clutha Valley Primary School in the Education Project category of this year's Awards.

"We're aiming for a win to further cement our profile as an innovative and reliable construction company that delivers top-quality results."

Article compliments of "Building Today" official magazine of the Registered Master Builders Federation