The projects managed by NDG are unique, diverse and often challenging.

We use innovation, logical thinking and an unshakable commitment to seeing the job through to make infrastructure projects and complex projects go smoothly from the concept stage through to completion and every stage in between. Where there’s an obstacle we apply our considerable experience and expertise to design the ideal solution, saving time and money all while ensuring we are working within health and safety guidelines. We love what we help achieve. Below are some projects we are particularly proud of.

Unique and Challenging Projects

Low Earth Orbit DebrisTracking Radar System

This build was both challenging and fascinating. When a US based client were looking for the right environment to put their tracking system for space junk we were on hand to show locations throughout Central Otago. With the selection of a place outside of Naseby, a disused substation site, New Zealand went from bottom of the list to top for the proposed project’s first build.

Our Client needed help navigating the more demanding processes required to gain both resource consent and building consent in New Zealand. Managing this process is a specialty at NDG because we enjoy building a logical case for consent.

In this case, the key was explaining the functionality of the radar to stakeholders who were not technical experts by showing it had similarities to a cell tower, but positioned up towards space. Consent is achieved more easily when a logical case is made that the council can understand. This was especially challenging in the Leolabs case as the site chosen had been contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, after an explosion in the ripple plant at the substation previously on the site. A million dollars had been spent remediating the site, which included capturing the water run-off and removing all of the soil. The polluted area was supposed to have been capped with concrete, as this was seen as the only logical use for the site, given its potential contamination, instead, due mainly to miscommunication, the site was left abandoned, and locked up.

The design for the radar system required that we build large concrete pads, effectively capping the part of the site necessary as originally intended. Our solution for the client also made the environment safer. This enabled us to gain full consent, allowing them to build a radar design that was a first in New Zealand.

Dog Daycare and Kennels

Because of our innovative approach and its effectiveness we’ve designed a few dog daycares and kennel facilities. These projects focused on providing a secure, customer friendly facility, combined with acoustic engineering to manage noise in order to avoid complaints from the neighbours. Our approach – proving that dog day care facilities and kennels could have reduced levels of noise, was supported by an academic study from researchers at Massey University. The study concluded that happy dogs are quiet dogs. Citing this, along with incorporating into the project suitable acoustic fencing materials, acoustic testing data and the thoughtful placement of buildings, gates and other access points, we were able to provide a robust argument to the council that the end result would not breach residential noise regulations. Almost unheard of, we gained consent for a dog daycare and kennel operation in a residential area without the consent application having to go to a public hearing.

Then we were able to involve in the build a fun and engaging environment for the dogs to play in, with a sawdust pit and pool to accompany the more technical acoustic fence. To further mitigate noise, we created what is described as a noise channel, which points the noise into a surface that absorbs and defuses the sounds of the dogs barking. Remote IP based video and audio monitoring allowed staff members to see the dogs at any time, throughout the site, talk to them, and hear any noise being generated. Changing the focus of the daycare operation was important, as this shifted the times that the dogs were in the kennels. Allowing the dogs to play from 7am to 6pm meant they were dog-tired by nightfall, further ensuring a good night’s sleep for both dogs and residents in the area. This was a win for us, the clients, the residents and the dogs themselves. Activities and features for the dogs included a large play area, tunnels, hills, established trees and shelters for shade, a dog accessible swimming pool and a sawdust pit the dogs could play in all day long. NDG strives to create ideal solutions that work for all involved, even if they’re four-legged.

Backhaul Cable Replacement

Even before Covid-19, health and safety was a crucial factor in project management. The pandemic took the necessity for correctly identifying, managing and mitigating risk factors to a new level. At NDG we have become proficient in documenting and implementing health and safety protocols. This, combined with our experience in project management and infrastructure projects was critical for our client during the backhaul cable replacement project.

The project involved the replacement of a fibre optic cable that was washed out due to earlier flood damage. The work was scheduled to start a week after the pandemic made social distancing and lockdown necessary, what had promised to be a relatively straightforward project, became extremely complex. The client and NZTA required Covid-19 health and safety protocols. This was quite a challenge as little was known about the disease at that time and no protocols had been created before. When assessing regulations for onsite workers to follow it was important to be detail oriented, to fully understand the big picture, know the specific tasks and how projects and people work together on the tasks assigned.This meant thinking about unusual things being high risk, like picking up a pen onsite and signing onto the sign in sheet, or completing a risk assessment for the project. To combat contact vectors we came up with a form on a tablet that people could sign with their finger, then the screen was wiped, and both people’s hands and the tablet were cleaned between signings.

Already using heat sensing cameras to show concrete curing and to measure temperature, we repurposed the technology to capture images of onsite workers at the start of every day to take their temperature which we compared with images taken at the end of their shift. We ensured that there were only two people per utility vehicle, and that every worker wore face masks. We were then able to send all that data to the client at the end of each day so that they had an up-to-date compliance record and knew that the project and workers, and therefore the greater community, were all safe.

Data Centre Move and Fit out Assist

This project was unique due to its location. The idea was to move and fit out a data centre at the top of a mountain to take advantage of the cold and windy environment to maximise the free cooling in the environment to reduce the heat the centre generated. The most major factors involved in the process were making sure the project was safe and didn’t leave the environment negatively impacted. The more than 30 tonne containers made the job precarious, requiring traffic management with consent to close the road to transport the data centre. Creating and implementing a plan consistent with health and safety and convincing authorities of this was crucial. Complicating matters was the negotiation required to permit cables across private land with legal easements and remediation to ensure any damage to a mountain bike track and an eco-sanctuary was repaired. Further ensuring the environment was treated with respect was having a local artist paint the data centre itself to fit the environment.

We worked with the client to get the best outcome through delays that extended the project from 6-7 months to a year and a half because we were committed to ensuring the project was completed. The data centre equipment was moved up a steep, winding, narrow, gravel road more suited to Rally driving than hauling million dollar infrastructure. Due to the practical nature of projects, we never misrepresent hazardous factors, either to the client, or for the consent process, but we planned and worked with all parties to help identify and mitigate all risks identified and frame the project in the best light.This is ultimately what allayed concerns for the client’s internal risk management process and the local district council to consent to our proposed activity.

Excellent engineering advice from our contractors, being practical about logistics, working closely with a highly experienced transport operator and NDG remaining flexible and committed to the project enabled us to maintain the health and safety regulations, superceed the clients expectations and move the data centre along state Highway 1, and various residential streets in a safe, reliable and consistent manner. Most would not have believed it possible to accomplish such an activity, given the constraints, but we knew we could achieve what most would give up on because there is always a solution if you are prepared to listen, work with the contractors, and correctly assess the problem, using innovative thinking to solve it.