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  • Writer's pictureBarry Satchell

Blind Low Vision NZ, Manurewa

BSCL is currently assisting Blind Low Vision NZ to develop multiple new mobility training facilities, office, recreation centre, guide dog kennel & training buildings, roading and carparks on a 6,000m² site utilised by the charity.

Our services included:

  • Concept design

  • Infrastructure Report to support an Outline Plan of Works (OPW) approved by Auckland Council

  • Detailed design of all civil infrastructure

  • Construction services including:

    • Survey setout of all works

    • Construction monitoring

    • Construction signoff to enable certification

Other services we provided:

  • Review of existing infrastructure

  • Flooding assessment

  • Ecological assessment of a wetland within 100m

  • Geotechnical Investigation Report (GIR)

  • Detailed design included an assessment of existing drainage infrastructure, capacity calculations, recommending upgrades, design of earthworks volumes, retaining walls of various heights, a sloping site with natural stream environment at the base and all infrastructure including stormwater, wastewater, water, and roading design.

Some interesting elements of the project included:

  • The GIR found non engineered fill, which was undercut during construction

  • Design of the site provided for suitable drainage and building heights, while reducing earthworks and the need for expensive structures

  • A Water Permit Resource Consent was needed to address dewatering requirements resulting from the proposed retaining walls

  • Design elements for finished surfaces allowed for the preservation of a nearby wetland and stream to ensure that this development did not result in a partial or complete drainage/ dewatering of these features as this is prohibited under the NPS-FM

  • Designed cut to fill balanced earthworks and separated the area into 2 zones for Erosion Sediment control which reduced the catchment for each zone which resulted in significant cost savings for the client.

  • Due to multiple crossings of the existing and proposed stormwater and wastewater systems, special attention was required to the design of the roads and cut areas, in relation to these underground elements. We identified that in order to achieve adequate clearance levels from stormwater lines, a length of existing wastewater line was required to be re-laid.

  • To promote water recycling, the roof area was designed into a set of rainwater tanks to allow for storage of harvested stormwater for reuse in the wash down of the kennels. Detention tanks were also incorporated into the roading to accommodate stormwater storage/control.

  • To assist with the protection of both people and property, an overland flow path was designed into the road surface profile to ensure stormwater was controlled and contained within the road area. This design feature enabled flood waters to be channeled to the Homai Stream, keeping surrounding buildings and sidewalks safe.

It has been a true pleasure for us to be involved in this project, tackling the engineering challenges it presented and collaborating as a design and construction team to support the Blind Low Vision NZ organization in creating a cutting-edge facility for their guide dogs and contributing to their valuable community efforts. We invite you to visit the websites of Blind Low Vision ( and Terra Firma (New Zealand) ( to find out more on these great organisations.

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