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Rising to the challenge – Sage Manufacturing

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Sage Manufacturing works on med school campus

Rising to the challenge – Sage Manufacturing


With its vibrant fluoro green balustrading, the central staircase in the atrium is a standout feature of the remodelled Grafton campus at the University of Auckland's Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.

It was also a standout project for Sage Manufacturing, the company contracted to build the stairs, most of the cabinetry, and the backpainted glass reception windows in the new Boyle Building.

General manager John Posthuma says the first challenge was to accurately measure the staircase. "The measurements had to be accurate within a few millimetres otherwise the panels would not line up when we came to fit them," he says. "The panels are faceted on the front, with the profiles meeting at a point on the corners, which meant we couldn't trim them on site. We used a proliner electronic plotting device to plot the steel structure in 3-D CAD, but it was particularly awkward due to the fact that the stairs were covered in scaffolding, and the building was regularly shaken with other works in progress."

Posthuma says the subframes were also difficult to draw in CAD due to the multifaceted planes and changing angles. "We also faced challenges installing the panels, as part of the staircase is 12m above ground, and the design meant there were no square edges on which to gauge levels. The finished project, however, is testament to the experience and skills of our team."




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First published date: 06 October 2013

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