SAR Car Wash

Although we have constructed car washes before, this particular one is the first of its kind in New Zealand. Based on an American concept that pulls vehicles through the cleaning process, the SAR Car Wash is a 7m high, 40m long concrete tunnel structure with a pit right through the middle where the pulley system sits. A plant room and office sit off to the side.

This project began through the sourcing of a prime site from the Calder Stewart land portfolio. The selected location captures high traffic movements from the SH1/Johns Road and Sawyers Arms Road intersection. It was a full design and build project with a leaseback to the client.

The SAR Car Wash is automated and features the latest cleaning technology. It also uses a significant amount of water. Up to 100,000L of water is used in the car wash during the day. To reduce the volume of water used it includes a water purification and recycling system to filter and clean the water overnight for reuse.

Another unique aspect of this project was the very high level of client collaboration on site day to day from very early on in the process. Among other things, this ensured an extra level oversight in laying the right pipes and cables.

In terms of the ‘mechanics’ or ‘fit out’ of the car wash system, once we had a weathertight shell, the client had equipment, designers and engineers from the USA and Australia brought in to provide the services side of things. Despite a tight site and complex base build, programme-wise we delivered a clean handover for this part of the project. With good communication across all parties, the coordination of this went smoothly and while fit out took place in the tunnel, our crew finished the outside areas, eg. carparks and driveways.

To complete the small office, we trialled an aluminium vertical weatherboard system. Even though it’s traditionally more of a residential type product it has worked well and added a nice aesthetic to a functional building.