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Inside New Zealand's Biggest Library Relocation

Recently Crown Workplace Relocations completed one of New Zealand’s most significant library relocations when we consolidated and relocated over 180,000 printed items from five separate libraries to the Christchurch City Council’s sensational new Tūranga facility in central Christchurch.

What is Tūranga

Tūranga is a new five story facility considered the most modern public library in the South Pacific and one of the largest in New Zealand. At a cost of nearly $100,000,000 the final plan was shaped by over 2400 public ideas during an extended consultation period.

The new library features a media studio, video film making suite, robotics, laser printing and vinyl cutting technologies and an incredible touch screen wall. The controversial touchscreen discovery wall is an elaborate seven-metre smart TV on the ground floor. It provides an interactive 3D montage of the city’s geography, history and its environment.

I wish to thank you and your team for the sterling work you completed relocating library collections from five different locations into Tūranga and ArchivesNZ.

ELAINE SIDES

Selection and Access Team Leader, Libraries and Information Unit, Christchurch City Libraries

Awarding Crown The Project

Crown Workplace were awarded the project by the Christchurch City Council. Leading the Crown project team was our Regional Manager Nathan Baker who has extensive experience in managing large scale public sector relocations. Nathan’s leadership and Crown’s experience with significant library moves allowed us to draw on a nationwide team of experienced library moving specialists.

The Project Brief

In simple terms the project was to relocate a number of Christchurch public libraries to one new site called Tūranga. This involved the consolidation of four collections and five different sites with over 180,000 printed items to be relocated and set-up. There was also a significant project for setting up the new IT equipment and a full pack and put away of new assets into kitchens, cupboards, offices and other parts of the new five storey complex.

Planning

While Crown’s physical involvement was predominantly over an intensive four week period the project planning began eight months prior to the physical move commencing. We worked in collaboration with the Christchurch City Council project managers and other key stakeholders including their IT managers, library managers, building companies and their project managers. All parties worked together to plan and map out the requirements of the move.

A key component of the plan was to maintain a fluid environment AS constant changes to a project of this type are the norm. With Crown generally being the last contractor on each site our project team needed to be across every change and ensure all stakeholders understood the timelines and complexities around a relocation of this scale.

Getting Underway

Although our IT team had been involved earlier the library relocation began in earnest in late August 2018, eight months after the commencement of planning.

In preparing for the challenge of moving 10,000 to 12,000 books a day over three weeks we did extensive testing to ensure our team could complete this high volume (with accuracy) under tight time frames. Finding the right staffing levels was carefully planned during these internal tests.

Once the project was underway Crown flew in specialist staff from Auckland and Wellington to support our Christchurch team to deliver on this highly technical and nationally significant project. They all had extensive experience with library relocations and this was the key to ensuring everything was completed on time and to the Council’s satisfaction.

Right from when the first book was put into a cage, it was very clear that you knew what you were doing, and were comfortable with following instructions. This very quickly built up my trust in the process we followed, and your ability to meet and exceed what was expected.

Delivering On Time & Under Budget

Crown Workplace completed the project using our specialised library trolleys to transport the books from shelf to shelf. The sheer volume of the task, the complexity and time constraints created unique challenges. For example, there were multiple collections merged form multiple different libraries, which needed precision planning and execution.

A feature of Crown’s performance was that over time we started to outperform the daily kpis as our staff developed an understanding of the various sites and became familiar with the task. By the mid-point we had built up to 15,000 books a day which accelerated the relocation timetable and enabled us to finish well within the timelines. By completing the book relocation a week earlier we were able to reduce our original cost projection to the council by 30%, including the variations to the contract.

The constant communication between the two locations showed me that there was very little down time, that everyone was taking the role that they were playing in the shift very seriously, and as a whole the job was being done as cost effective as possible while working around other contractors in the building. Excellent logistics.

We completed this work way ahead of schedule. You also made my role of overseeing the relocation of the all the collections so much easier.

Fast Facts

Here are some fast facts around this exciting and successful project;

  • 180,000 books moved
  • Consolidation of four collections
  • Relocations from five sites
  • 1,500 Library Trolleys sequentially packed and unpacked
  • 3,000 library shelves dismantled, packed, wrapped and stacked
  • IT Set up for all new and old equipment
  • Full unpack, set-up and put away of new assets into kitchens and cupboards
  • Relocation completed 30% under budget due to productivity and quality gains

I was impressed with the leadership Hone provided his team on a consistent basis as the collection was packed up and moved in a very respectful way. It was very clear how much his team respected his presence as they responded to his instructions and did what was required. Overall they operated as a formidable team to make sure the cages kept moving as the collection was unpacked.

Hi Nathan

 

I wish to thank you and your team for the sterling work you completed relocating library collections from five different locations into Tūranga and ArchivesNZ.

 

I was very impressed with the way the way the work was planned right from our initial meeting (thank you Nathan), the timeframes and contingencies which were put in place, and the care, attention and respect the team showed right throughout the time the collections were being moved. The constant communication between the two locations showed me that there was very little down time, that everyone was taking the role that they were playing in the shift very seriously, and as a whole the job was being done as cost effective as possible while working around other contractors in the building. Excellent logistics.

In particular I was impressed with the leadership Hone provided his team on a consistent basis as the collection was packed up and moved in a very respectful way. It was very clear how much his team respected his presence as they responded to his instructions and did what was required.

 

At the other end, Andrew, Carson, Reece and Reg were a delight to work with. They showed great attention to detail by making sure items went on the right shelves, remained in order, and did not go past the relevant post-it note to ensure our calculations were not compromised. They all showed a willingness to question if there was a concern in case a little problem then became a bigger problem, and remained motivated throughout the whole project including when a few instances of reshuffling was necessary. At times they were working in isolation in different areas on the same floor; and at other times they were all together – overall they operated as a formidable team to make sure the cages kept moving as the collection was unpacked.

 

Right from when the first book was put into a cage, it was very clear that you knew what you were doing, and were comfortable with following instructions. This very quickly built up my trust in the process we followed, and your ability to meet and exceed what was expected. As a result we completed this work way ahead of schedule. You also made my role of overseeing the relocation of the all the collections so much easier.

 

Please pass on my sincere thanks to those I have mentioned above, as well as to the rest of those involved.

Elaine Sides

Selection and Access Team Leader, Libraries and Information Unit, Christchurch City Libraries

If you are thinking of relocating your workplace we invite you to talk to our friendly Crown Workplace team today, we can even help you source second hand furniture, set up your IT equipment and do you next office fit out. For more information call us on: 0508 227 696 or email: nz@crownrelo.com 

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