New Zealand's First As Built Rating

New Zealand's First As Built Rating

Last week the ISCA team were in Christchurch, where we presented our first ever New Zealand As Built Rating. The project was McDougal's Alpine Chondola (a mixture between a chair lift and a gondola!), which achieved an Excellent As Built IS Rating.

The project is a collaboration between Cardrona Alpine Resort, Doppelmayr and Tonkin + Taylor.

The rating reflects Cardrona’s commitment to sustainability, and their efforts to improve environmental, social, cultural and economic outcomes on this unique infrastructure asset. This project has set a few firsts:

  • The first IS rating for an Alpine Resort infrastructure asset globally.
  • The first IS rating for a tourism infrastructure asset globally.
  • The first IS As-Built rating in New Zealand.
  • The ISCA Verifiers (who are third-party independent sustainability professionals) also noted that projects of this size (small for an infrastructure project globally), McDougall’s “punched well above their weight” considering the size of the project.

The Excellent rating was emphasised by a few notable 'wins' on the project:

Key areas where the commitment to sustainability can be clearly seen in the project include:

Choice of chairlift replacement: Cardrona worked with suppliers to identify the optimal solution that would meet their current and future needs. The chairlift has been replaced with a combined chair and gondola lift that:

  • enables more people to safely access the mountain. Children, beginners, and people with reduced physical ability can use the gondola cabins to access the upper mountain
  • responding to climate change risk by being adaptable to weather and seasons as gondola cabins provide protection in inclement weather.

Proactive approach to reducing waste: The project included removing the old chairlift as well as constructing the replacement. Wherever possible, reuse opportunities for the old chairlift components were identified on-mountain, this included reusing the chairlift towers, stations, chairs, waste reinforcing steel, waste concrete from chairlift pads, and spoil not suitable for backfill elsewhere in the resort.

Ecological outcomes: The construction area and broader Alpine Resort is in a highly disturbed landscape. During the project some tussock grasses were removed and stored, and a further 3000 have been sourced, and will be planted over the coming season.

ISCA Board member and Tonkin + Taylor Principal Advisor Monique Cornish said, “The project is a great example of how sustainability can be implemented on such a unique piece of infrastructure. No project is too small, rural or niche; it’s the commitment and culture that counts. The project implemented an IS Rating voluntarily and the results have demonstrated that on relatively small capital spends, excellent outcomes are possible.”

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