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Waikeria Prison Development

The Waikeria Prison Development (WPD) is a Private-Public Partnership (PPP) project that requires the design, build, finance and maintenance of a new high-security prison with 500 prisoner accommodation capacity with an additional 100-bed enhanced mental health facility, including all necessary accommodation and support infrastructure. Robert Bird Group was engaged by CPB Contractors to deliver the civil and structural engineering for the development.

Robert Bird scope included the structural engineering (design and construction monitoring) for 30 new buildings and ancillary structures designed for high security requirements and high resilience performance requirements. Delivered as BIM project with the multi-discipline design coordination utilising BIM360. The prison’s high security requirements presented a unique set of design challenges for the buildings. For example, opportunities for concealment of contraband had to be eliminated. This created a significant challenge to precast fixings between individual elements. RBG resolved this through a detailed understanding of secure and non-secure areas and the nature of finishes, resulting in the placement of joints in low risk locations. Due to the complex ground conditions and the high seismic resilience requirements, selecting a suitable and optimal foundation solution required detailed structural-geotechnical interaction assessments. The project required designing for the ULS of a 1 in 2,500-year earthquake and in liquefiable soils. RBG analysed multiple pile options in collaboration with the contractor to determine the best solution. RBG also utilised digital design tools to automate the pile design process.

Civil engineering scope included the design and construction monitoring for all civil infrastructure including 400,000m3 of earthworks, over 4km of access road and staff and public car parking geometric and pavement designs, 7km of sewer reticulation and sewer pumping stations, over 4km of potable water supply networks.

Project Metrics

Project Value:

NZD $750M

Year Completed:


Project Metrics:

No Data

Environmental Performance:

No Data


Roads & Highways

RBG Client:

CPB Contractors

End Client:

CPB Contractors


Mode Architects

Main Contractor:

No Data

RBG Services:

Civil Engineering, Structural Engineering