To be demolished: Copthorne Hotel Christchurch City
To be demolished: Copthorne Hotel Christchurch City

 The contract to demolish the Copthorne Hotel in Durham Street Christchurch has been awarded, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee announced on Monday (Jul 25).

“The contract has been awarded to local company Leighs Engineering Ltd and the job is expected to be completed within three months,” Brownlee said.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has been working closely with the building owner and Millennium and Copthorne Hotels NZ, whose hotel chain Copthorne had the lease to occupy the building, in awarding the demolition tender.

“The site has been handed over to Leighs this week and the overall contract period for the demolition is less than three months, which represents a good turnaround time for such a big job,” Brownlee said.

The tender was released to five companies and considered both conventional and implosion demolition options. The tender panel, in conjunction with the building owners, agreed that Leighs Engineering should be awarded the contract to demolish the 11-storey building by conventional methods.

“The building will be demolished by mechanical means using high reach excavator machines. The first stage of demolition will involve a complete inspection of the structure by the contractor’s engineering team Holmes Consulting Group.

“They will assess the need for any additional propping in the building before work starts, which will then see the strip out of the inside of the building.

“Once that has happened, the roof and mechanical plant will be removed before the demolition of the facade and structure and then removal of the basement and restoration of the site, which will be backfilled and compacted to ground level,” Brownlee said.

“We want to get these badly damaged buildings down safely and as quickly as possible so more businesses can get back up and running in the central city.”