2019 Merit Award Winner Story: Seascape Showroom by Livefirm Construction

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KOHLER Construction and Project Management Meritorious Award Winner:

Seascape Showroom by Livefirm Construction

This project is the seismic strengthening and renovating of a historic building known as The White Rabbit. The building was constructed in 1876 and is one of the oldest buildings on Auckland’s waterfront. It was originally constructed as a hotel and was known as the Britomart Hotel.

Once upgraded and renovated, the building will be incorporated into, and be a key feature of the larger development, referred to as Seascape Auckland, which will be a 187m high apartment building. Once completed it will be the second tallest building in NZ behind the Sky Tower. The building will house the Seascape Apartment showroom and Shundi Customs Ltd.’s office for the next few years.

The building is scheduled in the Auckland City Council's Central Area District Plan, in Category B. It is also scheduled in the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan, in category B. The building is registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust as part of the Customs Street Historic Area.

Project Summary:

NZCBIA members that were involved in the project, and their project roles are as follow:

• Frank Xu is the project manager representing the client, Shundi Customs Ltd;

• Ken Hu is the structural engineer of BECA, playing the main role in design and monitoring of the seismic strengthening;

• Origin Fire Consultants is the Fire Engineer;

• LiveFirm Construction is the main contractor.

The project started on site on 16/10/2018 and targeted to open the showroom before 2019 Chinese New Year on 5/2/19 (Stage 1) and the office area by 30/4/2019 (Stage 2). There were many challenges, the biggest one was working on a heritage building with very tight timeframes (for both Stages). So all parties needed to work together closely and efficiently. The notable collaboration effort were:

• Frank and LiveFirm Team worked closely to ensure the project plan and targets were clear with everyone moving towards the same direction; and ensuring that key heritage items were planned and ordered well ahead to avoid any delay to the programme. Weekly project meetings were used to coordinate all parties in terms of safety, programme, cost, design coordination, quality control, and heritage management works.

• Ken and LiveFirm Team worked closely to overcome the typical issues of renovation works:

▪ Removal to expose the existing structure

▪ Fast track design (or redesign & approval by BECA or Council

▪ LiveFirm Team to provide practical details when needed

▪ Carry out construction work under very close monitoring and supervision by BECA

• Frank worked closely with Ken and BECA’s team also broke down the structural design works into stages to fast track the construction works on site without delay from the consenting or amendment process.

• Frank worked closely with Origin’s fire engineers to ensure the most effective fire protection solutions for the building and protection of heritage items. Achievements: The team’ collaboration efforts enabled them to successfully deliver the project and achieve the following goals:

• Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 completed on time as planned;

• Successfully controlled the contract cost within the budget;

• All heritage items comply with heritage architect specification and Auckland Council Heritage team requirement;

• Seismic strengthening complies with engineer’s specification.




  1. 受保护历史建筑抗震加固:现有建筑是奥克兰港口区最古老的建筑之一,建于1876年,后来又经过多次的改建扩建(光光一楼的地板就有4层)。要将加固符合现有的抗震要求,无论在设计上和施工管理上都很有挑战。
  2. 历史建筑的保护和现代化:现有建筑的外墙和室内的许多建筑构件是受保护的(如铸铁天花板和柱子),需要剥丝抽茧的耐心和工艺水平,这就意味着对控制工期和造价的苛刻要求。
  3. 固定造价和交付使用时间:众所周知,改建项目极难控制造价,签署固定造价的合约不仅仅需要承担风险,更需要业主,设计方,施工单位的紧密配合。该项目分两期完工,两期的竣工时间是固定的,无形中增加了以上挑战的难度。

LiveFirm建筑公司针对以上挑战,合理调配公司资源,与设计顾问(包括BECA的结构工程师,Origin Fire的消防工程师,Babbage Consultant的机电工程师)紧密合作,积极协助业主控制造价,积极配合市政府历史建筑团队和古迹建筑师保护修缮保护构件。