Project staging - making it fit together like a glove.

When Babbage architects and engineers designed a new 5,300 square metre supermarket to be built around an existing operation, it was completed in just two stages to minimise disruption to the existing store. The ambitious project saw the new PAK’nSAVE in the South Auckland suburb of Clendon built while the original supermarket was still trading, on a limited construction site, with minimal disruption to the existing store, neighbouring retailers and the public. 

Babbage Consultants senior architect Wilson Pickering said that despite being built in two stages the new building was seamless. “The two stages fitted together like a glove,” he said. “That comes from understanding the client’s business, clever design and outstanding engineering.

“The new structure had to be seamless - and it is.”

The first stage comprising 3,750 square metres was built on two abutting sides of the existing supermarket. On completion the store’s operations switched to the new building virtually overnight. The old supermarket was then demolished and the rest of the new structure built on the cleared site.

“We had a public park on one boundary, a really confined site to work on, the existing New World supermarket was still operating and other traders in the complex,” he said. “That meant there were a lot of safety issues to be addressed, especially for shoppers and the members of the public using the area as well as having to minimise disruption to the neighbouring stores.

“Building the first stage of the new supermarket, getting it operating, demolishing the existing supermarket, and building the rest of the structure required extensive planning and careful staging.”

The new supermarket was designed as one building without structural or seismic joints between the stages. Meticulous design eliminated having to move structural components when work commenced on stage two. For operational continuity the administrative function was incorporated within stage one as a mezzanine level.

“That’s where the staging came in,” he said. “It’s not two buildings bolted together, it’s one seamless building.”

A key to the infrastructure was moving a 900 mm storm water pipe running across the site, while keeping public drainage operating in the adjacent Clendon Park. At the same time a temporary delivery yard had to be built to keep the existing supermarket operating while earthworks were carried out for the new structure.

To keep the existing store trading, the Babbage mechanical services team designed a computerised control and monitoring system to ensure plant and equipment in the original supermarket operated correctly.

Senior mechanical engineer Aslam Javed said facilities such as water and drainage were rerouted to bypass construction zones, risk assessments were completed and mitigation strategies prepared.

The success of the project came down to planning and working closely with the client.

“This was a complete rebuild while working around an existing operation, and at the core of the project was the planning,” Wilson said. “It required robust, co-ordinated construction documentation, detailed planning from our specialists, and close co-operation with the client and the contractors. Once the work started, we had to be flexible to deal with issues as they arose and keep the project on track.


“It was delivered on time and within the project budget, and that was a fantastic achievement.”

The Babbage team included:

  • Architecture: Wilson Pickering, Richard Elliott, Dejan Petkovic, Dusko Blazin
  • Structure: Dr. Victor Lam. Ivy Lo, Amresh Kumar
  • Building Services: Matthew Foskin, Aslam Javed, Ivan Loh, Vito Brkovic
  • Civil Engineering: Michael Martin, Felix Tan
  • Geotechnical & Environmental Engineering: Malcolm Stapleton, Mustafa Al-Haidar

For more information contact:

Wilson Pickering  09 379 9980

The project staging of the new PAKn'SAVE Clendon created a seamless new building around the existing New World supermarket.