The Old St Paul’s Seismic strengthening project was special far beyond being a heritage icon.
Faced with the challenge of needing to repair, upgrade and structurally strengthen the building, which was damaged in the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga partnered with BlackYARD Engineering (as part of the wider project team) to achieve a well thought out and executed electrical upgrade.
BlackYARD Engineering audited the existing electrical systems and then designed and documented upgrades to bring these systems up to the latest safety standards. This included the addition of Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDD) on all sub-circuits providing additional protection to the heritage timber building. Using microprocessor technology AFDD’s analyse the waveform of the electricity being used to detect any unusual signatures which would signify an arc on the circuit. Detection of an arc on the circuit, results in the power to the affected circuit being cut off, thereby potentially preventing a fire. AFDD’s are far more sensitive to arcs than conventional circuit protective devices.
BlackYARD Engineering also totally re-designed the lighting systems based around a user brief extracted from the heritage architects, as well as the users of the space, to deliver a multi-scene space that caters for all of the uses of the building. The change was dramatic!
This team not only delivered a very unique project but were also recognised with a Gold and National Category Award in the Heritage and Restoration category of the 2021 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards.
This was a fabulous outcome of the collaborative and trust-based approach, and dedication of a lot of people.