Sitting on Albert Street for over 30 years, the Crowne Plaza is synonymous with a comfortable and relaxed stay in Auckland’s CBD. A well-known centre point of the city, the building is always bustling with guests coming in and out. This is why when the roof on the hotel started leaking after years of weathering, the owners knew an innovative solution would be needed to fix it.
As the hotel needed to stay operational during the leak repair, a completely new roof was out of the question and less invasive routes were looked into. Waterproofing specialists Gunac were the first ones to suggest an overlay of the existing membrane with Nuralite's Nuraply 3PM system, finding this a better solution to a total rebuild.
Overlaying an existing membrane with another layer is fairly straightforward, the Nuraply 3PM two-layer can be adhered directly over the top and create a robust, durable waterproofing system instantly.
The 34-degree pitch was the biggest challenge, as well as the height factor. Prior to project commencement, there was a mock-up of the scaffold structure and the roof to give an idea of how application could take place. The applicators Gunac attempted pulley systems and winches to hold the membrane rolls, but the speed at which they were rolling down was not safe and manageable.
In the end, they used the most conventional way of application. The roll was screw fixed at the top and manually rolled down while applying. There was a lot of planning and a lot of out of the box thinking involved to foresee any of the challenges that might be faced.
One challenge that could not have been predicted was Covid-19 locking down NZ which meant shutting down the site. This of course extended the programme and when returning to site, the implications were felt.
Crowne Plaza was one of the selected quarantine facilities around the CBD. Health and safety in accessing the site was ramped up, so were the measures put in place to access the site itself. Exclusion lifts and alternative routes were created to avoid contact with staff and guests and minimise the risk of Covid-19. This continued till the completion of the project in October and ensured staff were not exposed.
The project was a huge success and was completed without any major issues. Although the extreme height and Covid-19 proved a challenge, everyone involved felt the outcome was very satisfactory.
Overlaying the existing membrane was the most beneficial option for both the client and in terms of health and safety. Re-roofing is often the easiest option as exposing a roof to the weather for an extended period of time can damage an exposed building. Also demolishing the hotel’s roof would have been a huge health and safety risk to staff, hotel staff, hotel visitors, and the public travelling on the ground floor.
The Crowne Plaza hotel now has a brand new, weathertight roof, which will last another 30 years. The project proves with the right product and experienced team the most difficult job can be successful even in adverse conditions.