Contractors will have to work 24 hours a day, six or seven days a week to build the America's Cup bases in time for the start of the 36th cup defence, say experts.
Engineering firm Beca says the 18-month time frame to build eight bases for the arrival in Auckland of the first syndicates at the back end of next year is a challenging job.
The challenges are outlined in technical reports from Beca, which form part of the resource consent application to build the bases.
The consent is for Auckland Council's favoured Wynyard Basin option for a cluster of bases on a 75m extension to Halsey Wharf, a 75m extension to Hobson Wharf, and on the existing Wynyard Wharf.
"Due to the short construction period of 18 months, use of precast concrete is expected to be maximised and a 24 hours/day, 6-7 days/week construction period will be required," says one infrastructure report by Beca.
A second report by the engineering firm says there are only likely to be three or four New Zealand-based main contractors capable of building the bases within the time frame and it may require a joint venture to pool resources and expertise.
Beca also noted the construction market is generally heated and there are a number of large projects in Auckland putting pressure on the construction industry and sub-contractors to deliver.
This, and recent marketing conditions, has led contractors to be more selective in the projects they will take on and the level of risk they will accept.
"A contractor will need to be engaged at least three to six months prior to construction starting to input into the design ... the procurement strategy will also need to cover obtaining price certainty for the funder," Beca said.
The Herald has revealed the first details for the bases outlined in the resource consent application, which will be publicly notified on January 30.
They show that the architect of Auckland's Sky Tower is behind plans for a permanent building and base for Team New Zealand to defend the cup in 2021.
The consent, a huge document with more than 50 supporting reports, will be fast-tracked directly to the Environment Court under a tight timetable for construction to start in September this year.
The application has been prepared while Economic Development Minister David Parker continues to investigate an alternative land-based option on Wynyard Point, the old Tank Farm site to the west of Wynyard Basin.
Parker told the Herald this week the point option will come down to HASNO (hazardous substances and new organisms) issues related to the southern end of Wynyard Point.
"It may not work out but it's certainly worth looking at because if those issues can be resolved, it could well be a cheaper option by many millions of dollars.
The Wynyard Basin decision carries a price tag of $124 million plus $18m to relocate tenants and landowners. The Wynyard Point option has been priced at $112m plus relocation costs of about $118m - a figure Parker disputes.
The consent application is for eight syndicate bases, five of which will be double bases for two boats and three single bases for one boat. The single bases will be located on the lower eastern side of Wynyard Point.
Each boat shed will have a footprint of 45m by 35m and be up to 14m in height, plus a launching yard of 45m by 35m.
A 10-year consent is being sought for seven of the bases, but it is proposed that the Team New Zealand base on the extension to Hobson Wharf be a permanent structure.
A three-storey building designed by Moller Architects, which designed the Sky Tower and the ANZ Events Centre on nearby Halsey Wharf, will cover 2450sq m for boat facilities and spaces for sponsors, merchandise and public interaction. It will accommodate up to 110 team staff and up to 300 people for corporate events.
The consent application says the design is high quality and "makes a positive contribution of the area's sense of place, and will provide a positive frontage and visual interest".
Gordon Moller, a director of Moller Architects, which designed the Sky Tower, said the design philosophy for all eight America's Cup bases is based on a maritime village environment that respects the existing waterfront.
Groups like Stop Stealing Our Harbour and Urban Auckland have expressed concerns about the loss of harbour views from the construction of syndicate bases at the end of Hobson and Halsey Wharves.
The consent application says the three single bases on Wynyard Point involve both temporary and permanent wharf structures and could involve the closure of Brigham St on the eastern side of the point.
As well as wharf extensions, breakwaters made of reinforced concrete piles are proposed to provide shelter for race boats, support crafts and superyachts.
Up to 30 superyachts berths may be accommodated within the wider Wynyard Basin. Additional superyachts may need to moor on the eastern side of Hobson Wharf with the agreement of the Maritime Museum.
There is a proposal in the consent application to move the Auckland fishing fleet and SeaLink ferry service from the Wynyard basin and Wynyard Point areas to the western side of Wynyard Point.
The Seaplane will be relocated from Wynyard Wharf to another location within the wider area.