This month at Monkeytoe July 2022

Check out what's been happening at Monkeytoe in July in our latest monthly news feature.

A note from Budd

Hi everyone,

We’re racing through the year – and what a year it’s been for us at Monkeytoe. We’ve welcomed some exceptional people to the team, worked with incredible clients across the country, and introduced new Condenser Mounts as well as XBEAM Residential. 

We’ve also been thinking more about our impact on the environment. Aluminium is our metal of choice because it’s incredibly resilient, and infinitely recyclable, meaning that the next generations can get use from the same materials again and again. We’ve extended that conscious thinking to big and small projects, such as vertical gardens in the office – to remind us of the importance of nature – and we’re researching carbon offsetting to understand and reduce our environmental impact. We all have our part to play.

Sustainability was also at the heart of Marian College’s new premises – something we contributed to with XBEAM platforms and aluminium solutions. We also take time this month to talk about the flagship Costco store opening in Westgate, Auckland, and our contribution to Beanie Up in support of the Stroke Foundation.

There’s also plenty to check out on our website, including news and articles, as well as our careers page for those interested in joining Monkeytoe’s formidable team of innovators. Read on and find out.



Marion College, Christchurch

12 years after the Christchurch earthquake destroyed their school, Marian College’s students and staff will soon have a new permanent home.

The new Marian College is due for completion in early 2023, on a 3-hectare site in Papanui that was once the location of one of Foodstuffs South Island’s distribution centres (one of the largest buildings in the South Island, too). 

The $25 million development, led by Armitage Williams, will convert the existing warehousing into a range of school facilities. Because the Foodstuffs warehouse infrastructure is well established and in a good condition, a retrofit into the space means a significantly smaller total environmental impact than a new build.

Monkeytoe’s experts were brought in to supply a 24x5m XBEAM platform to support HVAC equipment. Because our aluminium solutions are so light, we were able to build the platform at ground level then crane-lift it into place in no time.

The students, like us, are excited to see the project completed early next year.

Costco NZ’s flagship store

Promising high quality warehouse savings on quality merchandise, Costco is finally coming to New Zealand. With a range of goods across fresh and long-life food items, electronics and furniture, fuel, a pharmacy, an optical department, a food court and even a tyre centre, Costco is looking to shake up buying on a big scale.

For their flagship (and first) store in NZ, Costco chose Westgate, Auckland with great accessibility and a stunning view. Getting the new site right also meant investing in innovative solutions from top to bottom – and that’s where we came in with a range of high tensile marine-grade aluminium solutions.

Woodhams Meikle Zhan Architects approached us in the beginning of 2020 for this project. The designers understood the benefits of having us in early and helping them design a stair solution that was not just unique to their site, but a first for Costco worldwide. In addition, we also provided some short access stairs and hatches, and balustrades on the tyre centre.

We were able to work with the architects early and show them the superiority of aluminium and our XBEAM products. We designed five aluminium stair units – two indoors, three outside – each reaching around five levels. We also included a brand new application of Monkeytoe’s XBEAM: as a central column that would support the stairs and further reduce the footprint. The base of one stair runs alongside a delivery lane, giving us just 2.5m to work with – and in which we were easily able to fit.

A structural steel solution would have been possible, but it would have required a redesign of the 2sqkm+ Costco site. Steel is, of course, around 2.5x heavier than aluminium (and a stair and balustrade solution in steel can weigh as much as 3.5x an aluminium option), which means it requires a bigger footprint on site – and also changes to the foundation depth. This is especially true on this prime Westgate site, which is built on swampland and required substantial piling work. Here, every square metre counts in a big way. 

Rather than needing 10 tonnes of steel, we were able to use just 2,800kg of aluminium, and save the designers from having to over-engineer their foundations. Plus, we can say with confidence that our aluminium solutions and design contributions have created savings for this project that structural steel simply can’t match.

Fitting out these stairs presented its own unique challenges. In particular, one stair needed to be installed next to a waterway, limiting our ability to drive in cranes. Instead, we used smaller spider cranes on the roof and installed the stairs from the rooftop carpark without the need for hot works or heavy machinery. 

Costco is looking to launch their flagship store in the spring, and we’re proud to have done our part to bring this exciting project to life with cost-effective, high-quality aluminium products.

Think you’ve got what it takes to work with Monkeytoe?

We’re on the lookout for good sorts who love challenging the status quo, helping bring clients’ visions to life, and on the whole shaping an innovative approach to design and access.

Together our team contributes to the growth, success and essence of Monkeytoe and our clients. If you come from a diverse background and want to be part of a winning team, then head to the Careers tab on our About Us page to see what roles are right for you.

Coming August 2022: XBEAM Residential

It’s been almost two years since we launched XBEAM to the world. Lighter, stronger, and capable of going more places than any beam before it, Monkeytoe’s unique XBEAM has been raising the bar.

Hold onto your hats, because in August we’re launching a new solution for the residential market: XBEAM Residential. With the weight of timber and the strength of steel, XBEAM Residential will open up new possibilities for the market, offer a new option in the place of traditional lintel beam members, and help address a shortage of alternative products.

Watch this space for more.

The latest news from Monkeytoe’s experts

Need a stair for your project or property but you’re not sure where to start? Not sure what regulations apply and how they interact?

We’re regularly updating our articles page with insights from the expert Monkeytoe team. Most recently, Glen Thomas shared his knowledge on General & Fire Specs – something that no doubt we could all benefit from diving deeper into. Check out his piece, start reading up on the latest news and advice, and even look at past ‘This Month at Monkeytoe’ articles over on our News page.

Beanie Up

Sadly, over 9,500 strokes happen in New Zealand each year. Groups such as the Stroke Foundation exist to help support those who have survived strokes, however 85% of their funding comes from individual donors, corporates, bequests and fundraising campaigns.

One campaign definitely worth supporting is Beanie Up, with sales generating vital funds to support their good work. We donned our beanies in the office on a chilly July Friday and were able to raise $910 for the Foundation – while staying nice and toasty in the process.

Get on board, support the Stroke Foundation and stroke survivors, and stay cosy in a beanie by following the link:

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