Cardinal Logistics


  • Stairs

Imagine a building around 90m wide and 240m long, towering 10 stories over Drury in south Auckland, plus an additional breezeway that’s a further 51m and runs the length of the building, and an additional admin building, and you’ve just started to get an idea of the colossal Cardinal Logistics building that will provide a hub for storing and transporting goods across the world.

The $250 million project has been underway for a couple of years now, with Monkeytoe being engaged last year by Hayden Rollett to support with our access solutions.

This is a remarkable building, and not least because of its size. And it’s not just a warehouse for goods, either. It’s an automated, future-proofed logistics hub, utilising machinery to go where humans can’t (or shouldn’t).

The Cardinal Logistics Drury South operation is part of much wider growth in that region, and represents Auckland’s expansion – with a school and train station, and plans for a Kiwi Property mall to go in closer to the residential areas. We are proud at Monkeytoe to be a small part of that, and do what we can do best to ensure that this part stands the test of time.

If you’re familiar with that part of our stunning country, then you’ll know that the development of an open space like this comes with some fresh challenges, like wind and weather loading that you might not experience in a hilly or built-up region. We’ve had plenty of experience preparing for wind loading (it’s a high priority on coastal regions, and for the Australian contingent of Monkeytoe), so we were easily able to design with this in mind.

But such a huge building comes with other challenges too – especially since it has to be safe for people. With any building, there needs to be roof access – and while we could make a ladder 24m high, that wouldn’t be practical for anyone that’s not an elite athlete. (Try climbing six to nine metres without puffing out!) And even then, accidents happen – which we at Monkeytoe want to avoid for everyone’s sake.

So instead of a huge ladder, or a series of ladders with landings, we instead recommended a staircase – which Cardinal Logistics and Hayden Rollett agreed with. With 10 landings, and a width that can handle two or three people abreast, staff can easily and safely get to the roof even while carrying equipment, and much more safely too.

We leaned into our other strengths with this project also, providing a cantilevered walkway, and a short ladder to reach the canopy roof. There’s plenty of future allowance for HVAC and platforms too, so watch this space.