$60m 'mega-mill' sight for saw eyes

The concrete floor was only poured once the roof was installed.
The concrete floor was only poured once the roof was installed.

New Zealand's biggest new timber-processing mill is being finished outside Rotorua and operations will start there soon.

The half-hectare $60 million Red Stag Timber "mega-mill" is almost as big as a rugby field and the materials and construction techniques used to erect it were unusual.

A spokesperson for Hawkins Group said the company had achieved practical completion on the 5000sq m building, and mill operations were planned to start on September 1.

Brian Pope, Hawkins' project manager, said the timber roof was pre-built on-site in sections, then craned into place. Each piece weighed 30 tonnes and took five weeks to build, he said.

The concrete floor was only poured once the roof was installed, Pope said.

Barry Mitchell, site foreman, said that meant using an outside-in construction approach.

Steve Roberts, sawmill manager, said Red Stag had invested $60 million in the project.

Pope said timber instead of steel was used for the bracing in the roof, ceiling and walls because the client could process and bring their own timber to the job.

The building industry was increasingly using wood instead of steel on some of the bigger, more complex jobs, Pope said.

New Zealand biggest new timber mill outside Rotorua.
New Zealand biggest new timber mill outside Rotorua.

- NZ Herald

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