Ocean Beach Platform Redesign

Client - Whangarei District Council

Views to the future

Ocean Beach Platform Redesign for Whangarei District Council

Ocean Beach is a hugely popular destination for locals and visitors to the Whangarei District. A viewing platform there provides the public with spectacular views over the beach and Pacific Ocean. It also helps protect delicate flora and fauna from disturbance by human activities.

When the timber platform was damaged by a vehicle, Whangarei District Council engaged local experts GRIT Engineering to review and upgrade the existing platform design, ensuring it complied with current building codes, and was fit for purpose for the future.

Experts in condition assessment

With our significant experience in asset management and structural inspection, as well as sensible, fit for purpose design, GRIT was a natural choice for the job.

Timber structures such as this one present several challenges. Timber is subject to natural degradation by myriad factors, many of which are exacerbated by the exposed coastal environment where it is located.

GRIT’s structural assessment of the existing platform, including the pile foundation, allowed us to determine whether the foundations could be reused, and to design a suitable, cost-effective upgrade to replace the damaged platform.

Curvature challenges

The timber platform features a striking curved boundary joist, originally designed to be constructed with MSG8 timber bent to the required curve. However, this was a challenging aspect to construct on site, as the strength of the timber made it too hard to bend.

Working closely with the construction contractor, GRIT proposed an alternative solution for the design. Replacing the MSG8 timber with F8 grade structural plywood connected by stainless steel nails and glue provided a workable, durable and economical solution to the problem.

Construction was then able to proceed at pace, with GRIT providing construction monitoring on the structural parts of the viewing platform. Furthermore, we were able to provide the asset owner with a cost-effective maintenance scope for the next five years of the platform’s life, allowing them to plan and budget effectively.

Local understanding

Being local to the area was an additional benefit for our client, minimusing travel expenses and also utilising our understanding of local sentiment and culture. GRIT considered locals’ preferences in the structural design, ensuring the viewing platform is a valued asset for the community for many years, in terms of its suitability and durability, as well as its cultural value.

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