The Tuaropaki Glass Houses – Mokai
This development by the Tuaropaki Group, a joint venture with Mokai Gourmet, was to increase the size of their glass houses at Mokai (near Taupo) from 6 hectares to 11 hectares. The company grows tomatoes and capsicums using waste heat from the geothermal power station, and a lot of clever horticultural expertise. The glass houses were designed and built using a European system.
The ground conditions at the site were very poor, the soil being a brown ash which is equivalent to a soft, sticky, wet clay. Construction of the new area of green houses was scheduled to take place over winter when there was no change for the soil to dry out.
The solution developed by our engineer was to pile each foundation. Several hundred timber piles were driven five metres into the ground, which not only kept the job moving but was also an economical solution.
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