Solving problems on site: Ruawai electrical substation construction monitoring
Ruawai, a small town near Dargaville in Northland, is home to an electrical substation operated by Northpower. An expansion of the substation with a new building was planned to make room for new equipment. The additional space would also allow a larger transformer to be housed there to increase output capacity.
With the designing engineer based in Auckland, GRIT was engaged by them to carry out construction monitoring, as our proximity to the site was a benefit. GRIT was also selected because our senior structural team are well versed in concrete and steel design. We are also renowned for our responsiveness and problem-solving skills, which all came into play on this project.
As expected, our team exercised high attention to detail, ensuring everything was constructed as per the issued structural drawings. Our proactive approach, checking regularly on progress, ensured any potential issues were identified and resolved quickly, to allow construction to proceed on schedule.
Challenges dealt with swiftly
Acting as a bridge between the designing engineer and the construction contractor, good communication was critical. Any issues we observed were communicated to the construction contractor and designer promptly. It was particularly important that the issues we raised were fully understood by the construction contractor, and rectified fully before construction proceeded to the next stage.
This was often challenging, with tight construction timelines allowing minimal time for GRIT to inspect and process the information in order to give the green light to proceed. This sometimes meant construction was held up, and our team had to work under extreme pressure to ensure the work could progress as quickly as possible.
We were able to add value to this process by rapidly developing solutions to rectify several on-site problems, only engaging the designing engineer when necessary for work outside our scope. This helped to minimise down-time on the project by cutting out unnecessary back-and-forth between the designer and contractor, allowing construction to proceed faster.
A win-win for all involved
The result was a build where the quality of construction precisely matched the design engineer’s specifications and one that was completed with minimal delays.
“Being an engineer, you naturally want to solve problems”, said GRIT project lead David Wong. “In this project, we helped solve site issues, which is not only what we love to do but also is a win-win outcome to our client and the contractor.”