Container education space for forest conservation project

The challenge

A conservation project in a remote area of the Coromandel Ranges needed to create an adaptable and portable education space following increased demand from people wanting to conduct research or learn more about conservation.

The Mahakirau Forest Estate has been undertaking conservation work for almost 20 years to help protect the natural environment from an eco-sanctuary in the Coromandel covering almost 600 hectares.

The estate is home to extremely rare species such as the Coromandel striped gecko and brown kiwi. It also has a strong bird population, including kereru, tui, bellbird, and shining cuckoo, as well as diverse forest flora with more than 50 tree species.

The Royal Wolf team from Tauranga worked closely with members of Mahakirau to come up with a design that would be practical and durable while also having limited impact on the site.  

The solution

The container housing the education facility was painted matte black and modified with a double glass sliding door to ensure easy entry and maximise natural light.

To create consistency a second container, to be used for safe and secure storage of predator control equipment and tools, was also painted matte black. It was fitted with ventilation, a single-entry door, and a window at the rear.

The two containers, which were secured to foundations on site, will form part of a compound which is also made up of a number of prefabricated pods.  

The result

Through a shared passion for the project, Royal Wolf worked with Mahakirau to meet all requirements with plans, modifications, and delivery of the project completed in seven weeks.

Tim Hooson, Project Leader of Mahakirau Forest Estate, says because the project was located in a highly rated ecological area it required a solution that was strong but also sensitive to the surroundings.       

“Given this environment we required translocatable structures for ease of establishment, long term flexibility, and a light touch on the earth.

“The whole project has come together as a coherent facility with a veranda linking the two containers across the front of the pod. We’re deeply grateful for Royal Wolf’s generous support and level of expertise.”

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