Tenders sought for council housing rebuild

SOCIAL HOUSING: There are plans to knock down and rebuild the Arlington Apartments.
SOCIAL HOUSING: There are plans to knock down and rebuild the Arlington Apartments.

A major social housing redevelopment in Wellington needs a design and builder - as well as someone to knock down the old buildings.

The right to design and build the first stage of the replacement for the Arlington Apartments has been put out for tender by Wellington City Council.

Expressions of interest documents for phase one of the redevelopment project, focused on the units between Taranaki and Hankey Streets, were released last week.

The council is looking for someone to come in and design, manufacture and build 114 flats based on modular housing for the site.

The project is funded by a $33m grant from the Housing Upgrade Project (HUP), a joint $220m venture signed between the council and Crown in 2008.

The council is keen to use modular housing, an increasingly popular method of pre-fabricated construction, attracted by the speed and relatively cheap cost of building, as well as its flexibility.

The existing 675-bed concrete complex dates from the 1970s and the council has described it as outdated, in need of proper insulation and too small for some tenants.

The apartments could either be based on modular design but built on-site, assembled from flat packs on site or fully finished, built off site and shipped there for installation, the council says.

City architects Novak+Middleton and engineers Dunning Thornton were asked to develop a prototype scheme delivering 114 apartments with 360 beds.

There would be 72 one-bedroom apartments, 24 two-bedroom, 12 three-bed and six four-bed flats.

However, their design has not gone beyond the concept stage and interested parties can chose to go with a design team of their own choice, the council says.

"It is envisaged the market can/will organise a capable consortia either as a joint venture with a sponsoring partner . . . or as head contractor offering a complete package."

Another expressions of interest document has been released, looking for site engineers and demolition experts.

The council wants a consultant firm to survey the site, map where the underground services are and create a blueprint for demolishing the complex.

The engineering design EOI closes on July 28, with the design and build EOI closing two days later.

Potential winners of the tender will be shortlisted after EOIs are received: they will then be asked to produce more detailed proposals.

The Ian Athfield-designed Arlington Tower, on Hopper St, will be revamped in phase 2 of the project.

Upgrading its surrounding low- rise units may involve community housing organisations and the private sector.

The Dominion Post