They Realised Our Architectural Vision to a Tee with Their Design Smarts
Greater Wellington Regional Council was undertaking a major revamp of its bus services, looking to improve service levels while cutting bus congestion in the central city.
The client need
As a key part of the council’s strategy, eight transit hubs were needed to connect suburban routes to high-frequency, high-capacity, central city services.
In order to make the transfer experience as good as possible, hubs needed to be very user friendly, with improved comfort, shelter, security and information.
This meant more glass for better visibility, lighting at night, and CCTV cameras – but there were no existing products available to do all this.
James Meffan, project manager at GWRC, describes the quest to achieve the vision…
The Metco experience in the client’s words
Is anyone up to it?
“We engaged Isthmus architects and collaborated with Wellington City Council to find a suitable solution. Our tender sought ‘Early Contractors Involvement’ (ECI) in order to engage the successful supplier to bring their manufacturing expertise to the detailed design phase.
Metco showed the kind of “can do” spirit we were after and we invited them to come on the journey with us – putting them in the crucible to satisfy the exacting demands of our architects and engineers.
We saw pretty quickly that they had the capability for very detailed design and weren’t afraid to ‘think around corners’ or do new things. They also showed us the fine finish they could achieve with their machines which looked good even close-up.”
Forging a Creative Solution Right Down to the Detail
“We really appreciated Metco’s personal engagement, explaining why one design was better than another. We saw real ‘design intelligence’ and were assured that they would find the smartest and most efficient way to do things.
They attended to the fine details that customers might not even notice such as weather tightness and structural elements that could withstand extreme conditions.
It’s ironic that something so simple, clean-lined, and apparently effortless is actually quite complex to engineer and deliver.”
Getting around Challenges On-site
“Civil works typically have ‘coarse tolerance’ so ground conditions can vary widely. Whereas most fabricators stay in the comfort zone of their factory, Metco stepped-out to deal with on-site problems such as concrete slabs with variable slope. They took responsibility to ensure seats would be consistently horizontal by making the mounting brackets adjustable.”
Rare Agility to Deliver
“Metco have been very responsive to the timing and quality challenges of this project. In this they have proved to be market leaders. It’s great having a local supplier that we can chat with and watch things take shape. Sustainability is also important to us, so we’re pleased with the reduced shipping that a local supplier entails. Their ‘design smarts’ have created a solution that meets the need cost-efficiently.”
Fulfilling the Architect’s Cutting-Edge Vision
Earl Rutherford, project architect, sums up what Metco has brought to the table…
“Metco showed us what was possible and what their machines could achieve. Alternative options became feasible by getting their direct feedback, so we could quickly arrive at an optimal solution for fabrication.
The final design satisfied our brief in a real-world ‘as-built’ situation, with a more efficient design than we’d get from the traditional process of ‘here’s the drawings, build that please’.
The modular approach makes the bus hubs easy to manufacture, with flexibility to add or change components without changing the basic design. Their design smarts have proved the old adage that one hour’s planning saves four hours work.
Metco’s enthusiasm and expertise have really been key to making this project happen and to realise the full potential successfully. They are fun to work with and it’s never boring. We’re doing really interesting cutting-edge stuff together – the way the world is going.”