155 Queen Street: The Makeover of a Landmark Building

Auckland’s skyline is undergoing a transformation, and one of the key projects contributing to this change is the refurbishment of 155 Queen Street, located at the bustling intersection with Wyndham Street. This commercial and residential building, constructed in the 1970s, has long been a recognisable fixture in the Central Business District (CBD). However, as time passed, the structure required significant updates to ensure its safety and maintain its aesthetic appeal. Sound Homes, a leading building remediation specialist, took on the task in 2022, and it has been one of their most ambitious projects to date.

Sound Homes Takes on a Landmark

Since its inception in 2012, Sound Homes has made a name for itself by providing comprehensive remedial work and innovative solutions for building restoration. The contract to refurbish 155 Queen Street represents a significant milestone for the company, with extensive works aimed at modernising the building’s external columns and joinery. The project comprises three stages, with the team currently nearing the completion of stage two, approximately 80% done.

The building’s location is prime, offering views of Auckland’s iconic waterfront, the Harbour Bridge, and proximity to key destinations like Britomart and Commercial Bay. Given its high visibility, the project carries a lot of responsibility, as it affects not only the building’s occupants but also the broader community.

The Scope of Works

The refurbishment project encompasses a range of activities, from structural repairs to aesthetic enhancements. A crucial part of the job involves the building’s external columns and joinery, along with variations to concrete columns and architectural details. Sound Homes has partnered with notable industry players, including Dynamic Scaffolding, Resene, and Stoanz, to ensure the work is done safely and efficiently.

Here’s a glimpse into the extensive scope of works:

  • Traffic Management and Scaffold Installation: The team has implemented full traffic management to ensure safety during the project. An engineered scaffold has been erected on all necessary elevations, with gantry bridging over the Wyndham Street carpark entrance to maintain vehicle access throughout the refurbishment.
  • Surface Preparation and Remedial Work: This includes removing tiles, grout, and delaminated coatings, applying adhesion primers and reinforcing coats, and installing protective scrim and catch nets. The works also address moisture ingress issues by installing sealants and flashings to prevent further damage.
  • Painting and Finishing: The building’s exterior will receive a complete facelift with new paint and finishing textures. This process involves applying Sto Armat remedial coating systems, Stolit 1.5mmk flexible finishing textures, and Sto Maxicryl paint systems to ensure durability and visual appeal.
  • Additional Remediation Works: To address unexpected issues, Sound Homes has included extra works such as installing powder-coated aluminium flashings, removing and reinstalling balustrade cappings, and repairing impact damages or substrate fractures.

Challenges and Resolutions

Like any significant construction project, the refurbishment of 155 Queen Street has faced its share of challenges. An internal leak caused a temporary power outage, delaying the project. Additionally, significant façade casing delamination and moisture ingress required special attention, particularly since these issues can affect the building’s structural integrity. To address these concerns, Sound Homes applied high-pressure chemical washes and concrete primer/sealers to the affected areas, ensuring a stable foundation for the subsequent work.

Despite these hurdles, the team has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability, working diligently to overcome obstacles and maintain progress.

A Promising Future

As the project nears completion, the property owners are optimistic about the outcome. They believe that once the work is finished, the building will not only look fantastic but also maintain its integrity as a key establishment in Auckland’s CBD. The refurbishment represents more than just a facelift—it symbolizes a renewed commitment to preserving and enhancing the city’s architectural heritage.

With the collaborative effort of Sound Homes and its industry partners, 155 Queen Street is poised to become a shining example of successful building remediation. As the final stages of the project approach, Aucklanders can look forward to seeing a refreshed and revitalised landmark that will continue to be a cornerstone of the city’s vibrant urban landscape.

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