Pacific gets its foot in the door

MAJOR JOB: Pacific Doors general manager Michael Pearson, left, and managing director Derek Pearson  on  the factory floor at the company’s Wellington plant.
MAJOR JOB: Pacific Doors general manager Michael Pearson, left, and managing director Derek Pearson on the factory floor at the company’s Wellington plant.

Wellington-based Pacific Doors has landed a contract to supply 4700 doors for a new A$1.8 billion (NZ$1.9b) hospital in Adelaide.

The contract, worth more than NZ$7m, would see the company employ an additional 12 workers - nine at its factory and office in Seaview, and three at its satellite Timaru-based factory.

Once the year-long manufacturing process started in April, its employee roster would swell to 72.

Pacific Doors managing director Derek Pearson said the "top-driven" push for innovation by the hospital project leaders was an attractive proposition.

"We have product that is not currently used in Australia . . . it's not just that the product is different, they will also have to change their methodology of building walls."

Over the past 22 years, Pacific Doors has introduced technology that revolutionised the way doors are installed in New Zealand's big institutional buildings.

Its success saw them recommended by industry insiders for the Adelaide hospital project.

Traditionally builders installed a door frame in a wall. The wall was then lined before a door panel was installed. The process took several visits to complete and was done when a building was only partially constructed. It led to doors being damaged as work progressed.

Pacific Doors came up with a system which saw the entire unit - frames and door panels - being designed, manufactured and assembled in the factory. The doors were then installed at the end of the building construction process.

"It halved the time it took to install and just about totally got rid of the cost involved in fixing site damage," Pearson said.

Pacific Doors specialises in designing, manufacturing and supplying doors and windows which have a performance aspect - such as fire, security and acoustic doors - to a certified standard.

They have an acoustic lab on site for testing, a production development division, and computer-controlled manufacturing equipment.

It all fits in nicely with the Royal Adelaide Hospital project which includes a range of cutting-edge technologies such as automated guided vehicles which deliver meals, and electronic tags to keep track of equipment and patients.

Its 800 single, en suite rooms would include day beds for visitors, a desk, and opening windows with river or park views.

Pearson said they priced the Adelaide job in October when the New Zealand dollar was weaker against the Australian dollar. The contract was signed about two weeks ago.

"We priced it with cover but certainly we would be reasonably keen for the New Zealand dollar to at least stay where it is, certainly not get any stronger."

The list of buildings already with doors from Pacific Doors is extensive.

It includes nearly all doors at all new and upgraded hospitals around the country.

"I suppose we could say that half the doors in commercial buildings in this country we have made.

"Out of that came our hospital door system . . . we've made over 25,000 units in the last 20-odd years."

It includes all the doors at the Wellington Regional Hospital in Newtown, including the doors in the linear accelerator bunkers used for cancer treatment.

Their doors are also in key Wellington locations such as Te Papa, Parliament, Westpac Stadium and the High Court.

All 2000 doors for the new Wiri prison would come from Pacific Doors. The heaviest would be around 250kg, with an average cell door weighing in at 110kg.

Prisoners at Mt Eden, Springhill, and Northland Regional correction facilities can already vouch to the effectiveness of the product.

The family-owned Pacific Doors had grown by more than 400 per cent since Pearson bought it from Fletchers in 1992. He said it now had annual turnover in excess of $15m.

"We are now of a size where we can take on this job in Adelaide while still maintaining our ability to service our New Zealand market . . . That was essential for us."

The Dominion Post