Piles: Eight in, more than 500 to go

### Radio New Zealand News Updated at 7:40am on 28 June 2009
Construction work underway at Dunedin stadium site

Early construction works have begun at the site of Dunedin’s new stadium, a month after demolition works started.

Demolition will continue at the Awatea Street site for the next few months for the controversial $198 million enclosed stadium.

Many opponents claimed the ground at the new site would be boggy and unsuitable for construction on such a scale, but Carisbrook Stadium Trust development director Darren Burden says eight piles have been successfully drilled in.

Mr Burden says that gives the trust some confidence, though there are still more than 500 piles to go in.

It is hoped the stadium will be built in time for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.


Not reported are the piles that sank without trace…

See the post from Alex on Friday:

“I heard yesterday that there was surprise amongst engineers when they dropped some piles down on the site, they disappeared completely into the ground (sediment?).
And, that the cost has gone up, $35 million has ‘appeared’ on the cost, beyond what was calculated for interest and inflation.
Sorry I can’t back this up with facts guys …”


Filed under Architecture, Hot air, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums

12 responses to “Piles: Eight in, more than 500 to go

  1. Rosemary

    You can see at least one sunken pile – still a trace left – from the entrance to Magnetic St. It has been decorated with tape saying keep out and the crater around it has been back-filled with gravel, though still leaving a depression sufficient for a Remuera tractor.

  2. Hell in a hand cart I tell ya, the engineers never saw this coming, I mean they’ve only been coming along to eat their lunch and play cards on the millions of the city’s money.

  3. David

    Engineers get it right all the time – don’t they Paul …… except when they don’t, and the whole thing collapses like the brand new stadium in

    Malaysia (new stadium, roof collapsed June 2009)
    http://razali.vox.com/library/post/collapse-stadium-collapse-pride.html (with picture)
    http://maverickysm.blogspot.com/2009/06/gong-badak-stadium-roof-collapse.html (with picture

    AND other collapses this year
    Dallas, USA (May 2009)
    Spain (stadium roof collapse on children – Jan 2009)
    Ivory Coast (March 2009)
    Paraguay (February 2009)

    As well as

    Columbia (collapse July 2008)
    Texas, USA (2008)
    Brasil (2007)
    Phillidelphia, USA (2003)
    and more collapses in Russia, Russia, Russia again, France, Paraguay, Seattle, USA, Iran (stadium roof collapse)

    I’m not saying the design is not good (althought a couple of the above collapses were with light weight rooves).

    I’m just saying questioning and getting answers is good.

  4. Here we go.

    Malaysian roof collapse: The report into why that failed is not yet ready, and until we know the cause anything you suggest is pure speculation.

    Dallas: Again this PARTIAL failure of some of the building was down to a Hurricane. Now I’ve lived in New Zealand long enough now to have only ever experienced one Hurricane, the remnants of one, not an actual one. New Zealand isn’t in the path of Hurricane (extent is 22°S, it is in the path of Tropical Storms, but as these (on our shores) are very rarely as powerful as full blown hurricane’s I’d suggest that we have nothing to worry about here.

    But, due to Tornado force winds the roofing material failed, and the Canopy collapsed, not a stadium collapsing as you so dramatically put it.

    Texas 2008: “A bank of stadium seating designed by Liverpool FC stadium architect HKS has collapsed during mid-construction in Texas.” This is hardly a stadium collapse, and again are you sure this is down to engineers and their work, was it material failure, construction methods?

    Spain 2009:
    A study into the tragedy ordered by the local Town Hall has shown that there were deficiencies in the construction of the building, but the Mayor, Jaume Bosch, ruled out the possibility that these provoked the collapse of the roof.

    The report said that winds reach as much as 160 km/hour in the area at the time, and that is more than that met in current design safety regulations.”

    Not sure which engineers you are going to pin this one on?

    Ivory Coast March 2009: Sorry by all accounts it was a rushing crowds which caused a wall to collapse and that “Reports in Ivory Coast suggested the stadium was over-crowded”.

    Come on David, if you are going to blow us away with this smugness, please at least lets be comparing apples with apples not rotten African crowds.

    Paraguay: “Officials said a concrete section of stands fell 13 meters“, now unless you have seen the investigation reports that show that engineer’s were at fault, then once again what’s your point?

    Brasil 2007: “Police Maj. Edmilson Tavares said it was not clear what caused the collapse, but the 56-year-old stadium was recently highlighted as the worst of 29 soccer venues across Latin America’s largest nation in a survey conducted by a Brazilian association of engineers and architects.
    We’ll allow this one eh, I can’t say that our stadium is going to be built to Latin American standards 56 years ago – just a hunch.

    I’m saying that of the tens of thousands of sports stadiums which sprinkle the earth, how many of these have collapsed as a result of the failure of Engineers failing to do their job correctly – those sorts of odds I’m more comfortable than wishing upon the lottery that’s for sure.

    And I’m assuming that the engineers have questioned and got the answers – as these are the test piles, there is still stuff to learn. It is incredibly smug of us to watch them going in and assume that the stadium is not going to be structurally sound. I mean I don’t stand over the shoulder of a surgeon and question their professional ability, but somehow the likes of “the Watcher” have deemed themselves citizen engineers and qualified to give opinions?

    Most bizarre.

  5. David

    Calm down Paul.

    There’s been all sorts of collapses – some old, some new, some first world, some third world, some roof, some stands, some because of wind, some because of snow, some because of rain, some because of design,…….

    And some collapses which have factors more relevant to Dunedin – i.e. cost cutting that forced structural design to a bare minimum, a couple of collapses of roofs with new light weight design, and some because of unstable land beneath the foundations

    All I said was it’s good to question.

  6. David, I’m not the one about to have the ulcer.

    You made outlandish comments, I took 10 mins on the web to see these ‘engineering faults’ and bugger me, seems that we are willing to put hurricanes in this category now, and 56 year old Latin American stadiums, or as yet undetermined causes – come on, if you are going to play that game, me too.

    So now we are cost cutting, is that it? But I thought we were cost cutting to save the downtrodden some hard earned dollars, save the city. Now you are suggesting that we are using unsafe materials and measures (that WONT PASS inspection).

    Question away all you like, it’s about as useful as me standing over me mum’s open heart and saying to the surgeon, “that artery looks a little dodgy”, or “is that the right materials you are using there my son”.

    Yes it’s a light weight roof (so is my glass house), but the structural members supporting said roof (same material ladies and gentlemen as the Water Cube in Beijing and Allianz Arena in Munich) is, one would assume, not so light weight. I can see where you are angling this one, light weight roof in Texas collapses therefore building materials here must be substandard.

    It’s bloody arrogance to suggest that we very untrained critics have any knowledge of the processes of design, engineering, construction and finally critical testing of material and structure before final opening to the public.

  7. Peter

    Then maybe Elizabeth those trained individuals should post under their own names so their political allegiances for or against can be taken into account with their opinions. I see no reason why I or others should accept anonymous opinion because you may claim to know the veracity of the poster and their claims. This is my big bugbear with this site of late (and the ODT). After all the chagrin about misinformation and disinformation, there appears no moderation or quality control; any opinion (usually anti) is published and appropriated as evidence of actual problems with the project.

  8. Peter, allow me to jump in here.

    I started this blog with a very simple wish – for people to debate everything and anything.

    Yes I’d like to see informed debate, and on the whole (apart from lapses into insanity) there is a heck of a lot of great debate here.

    I’m comfortable with the non-de-plum approach of some, at least it enables them to have their say. Political allegiances are exactly what I don’t want to cloud this site. I’m a member of the Green Party, who have openly opposed this development, but I don’t want this to be a barrier to debate.

    Besides, it’s pretty evident that the outlandish claims can stand on their own two feet as silly – I used to bother with it, now, let the world see the silliness for itself.

    If you are at all concerned – apart from personal abuse, this is an open forum, we expect a level of respect. But if all else fails, Elizabeth and I are THE ONLY ONES who can or do see people’s emails (and we would never divulge these to anyone), but a simple on the quiet email is usually all that’s needed.

    heck I’ve battled the anti-stadium brigade more or less solo for a heck of a long time, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d believe that everyone was against the stadium, they are very organised and want to tell the world what’s wrong with the development including unstable substrata.

    The stats have shown (now surpassing 8,000 visitors this month) that at least people are willing to talk about the stadium – this is a good thing.

  9. Peter

    Paul, yes you have battled long and hard for the stadium, and there are others on different sites who have done likewise both for and against, but surely there needs to be some responsibility about the dissemination of information. The anyone can post anything stance is all very well and good but does it contribute to an actual understanding of issues? What’s achieved by posting hearsay and then seemingly passing it off as fact? It seems to come down to the role of media and how the internet changes the way new information is conveyed to the public. Perhaps a little off topic but I have some difficulty with the idea that anything goes just because the facility exists to publish it to the world in the blink of an eye.

  10. David

    Paul – the wind that wrecked the stadium in Texas was slower than winds we’ve had in Dunedin earlier this month.

    The point was that engineers can and do make mistakes too, even more so when there’s project pressure – i.e.
    – we’ve got a set price contract. We can’t afford to waste too much money on stabilizing reclaimed land.
    – we’ve got a set price contract – roof design and materials have to be kept to the absolute minimum. Don’t over design it.
    – only do the minimum needed for steel reinforcing in the concrete – we can’t afford extra.
    – use that concrete. I don’t care if ambient temperature has dropped below optimal for curing, we can’t afford to waste it, and we don’t have time to waste it
    – it it’s not perfect, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got really tight time constraints. AND penalties if we don’t make it.

    Tight budget, critical time constraint, climate constraints, and a project that few of the workers have any experience at.

    Just a few of the problems that will need to be overcome on a job with enormous price pressure and time pressure.

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