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Time-Saving Groundscrew Foundations for a Carbon Neutral Commercial Building

Currently under construction, this 1,200m² commercial building for Network Tasman has been designed to be carbon neutral, contributing to the company’s aim of reducing their environmental impact. This carbon neutral goal has meant a number of low carbon products, systems and processes have been incorporated into the project. One stand-out was the StopDigging Groundscrew System — a smart, low carbon foundation option that also significantly speeds up construction time. 

Contractors, Scott Construction, worked together with the architects, engineers and Network Tasman to incorporate low carbon materials and processes into the build. “There was a focus on bringing the building up to a more low carbon footprint from all aspects of construction — from swapping polystyrene insulation for a cleaner, greener option, right through to us recycling everything on site,” explains Ben Turnbull, Project Manager, Scott Construction. 

The Scott Construction team had recently used StopDigging’s Groundscrew Foundation System on another local project and knew it would be an ideal choice for providing a low carbon foundation, while bringing greater efficiency to the Network Tasman build. 

The CodeMark-certified StopDigging Groundscrew Foundation System works as a cantilever pile foundation. The system offers a lower carbon footprint than traditional foundations, while eliminating the need for earthworks and creating zero waste on site. It’s also fast and easy to install, helping to keep projects on track.

“One of the main benefits of using StopDigging is just the speed and ease that you get from the groundscrew system,” says Ben. “A traditional timber floor would take weeks using traditional methodologies. By installing groundscrews it speeds it up by at least half. You’re not burning through labour, and have a lot more efficiency and faster delivery.”

The StopDigging team supported Scott Construction throughout the project with design support, on-site testing, and even weighing the screws so the engineering team could calculate carbon content. 

“Jeremy from StopDigging was great to work with,” says Ben. “He gave us design input at the start in terms of the loading of groundscrews, and how far we could push the groundscrews before they would fail, so we could understand that from an engineering point of view. He then came to test the site to make sure the ground was suitable for the type of groundscrew.”

Installation of the 402 groundscrews specified was completed in three stages — first, the ground screws for the main building, then the screws around the perimeter, and finally the screws for the deck. The process was done by both the StopDigging team, and the Scott Construction team who took the opportunity to learn the installation technique so they can provide the service across the Nelson region. 

“It took roughly a week for a 1,000m² timber floor which is unheard of. We would have been doing it for a month if we were doing it traditionally,” says Ben. “From my point of view I think groundscrews are a real game changer in New Zealand. Up until now timber floors have been very expensive to construct, so you rarely see timber floors. This is a showcase of how a 1,000m² timber floor can be constructed efficiently and at a good cost — it would have cost around two-thirds more using traditional methods.” 

Ultimately, the StopDigging Foundation System has helped keep the project on track in terms of time, costs and meeting the carbon neutral goal.“The project is much better off for having the involvement of the groundscrews and the StopDigging team,” says Ben. “It really showcases how we can utilise groundscrews to start putting timber floors in our market. If you source timber sustainably plus use groundscrews, it's very environmentally friendly.”

View more information on StopDigging!, including contact details.
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