Mainmark shortlisted for international award

The engineering firm responsible for saving New Zealand’s Christchurch Art Gallery following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 has been shortlisted for the International Project of the Year Award at the 2016 Ground Engineering Awards.

Ground engineering firm Mainmark was able to re-support and re-level the 33,000 tonne gallery in just 52 days, rectifying severe foundation damage.

The International Project of the Year Award recognises projects that have delivered geotechnical innovation that stands out on the international stage for credentials in sustainability, health and safety, and value engineering.

“We are thrilled to have this landmark project recognised on a global scale and in company with an outstanding cohort of engineering firms,” said Mainmark Founder and Chairman, Philip Mack.

“This acknowledgement is a testament to the technical expertise of the Mainmark team and our innovative technologies, which together delivered outstanding ground engineering outcomes under tight project management,” he said.

Judges consider client satisfaction, innovation, value for money, performance against prediction, the quality of design and construction, safety, and application of quality management. Awards will be announced on 30 June at the Hilton, London, where over 800 of the industry elite will join together for an event filled with entertainment, celebration and networking.

Resurrecting the Christchurch Art Gallery
During the seismic events of 2010 and 2011, Christchurch was struck by thousands of earthquakes including one with the highest peak ground accelerations ever recorded (2.2g). The Art Gallery was badly damaged by the February 2011 earthquake and experienced 150mm of differential settlement – up to 182mm subsidence in some places.
In 2015, the Christchurch City Council engaged Mainmark to repair the foundation damage following a competitive international tender process. The requirement was to raise and re-level the gallery, a large multi-storey, glass-fronted, concrete-framed building of heavy construction, with underground car-parking and plant rooms.

Mainmark prepared and strengthened the foundations, creating cementitious grouted subsoil columns by Jet Grouting. Re-levelling then followed, by incrementally injecting a proprietary cementitious grout using JOG Computer-Controlled Grouting technology to produce the controlled lifting pressures required.

The scale and complexity of this re-levelling project was significant. The building was lifted with the client’s management staff in situ – only the basement carpark was not in use. A bespoke monitoring system was also developed to digitally visualise the building’s lifting movement in real time using data from measuring instruments throughout the building, allowing precise adjustments throughout the process.

Mainmark worked closely with the project’s engineering team to successfully re-support and re-level the 6,500 square metre foundations in just 52 days - without requiring excavation or the occupants and exhibits to vacate - on tendered time and budget. Mainmark restored the Christchurch Art Gallery’s design levels to +/- 10mm across the entire foundation. Christchurch’s gallery is the largest building globally to be lifted and re-levelled to this extent, utilising innovative ground strengthening by Jet Grouting, followed by JOG Computer-Controlled Grouting.