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 6Ha to 11Ha. 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 . However, the site experienced very bad ground conditions. The soil is a brown ash which is equivalent to a soft, sticky, wet clay and construction was taking place over winter with no prospect of the soil drying out .
The solution was to pile each foundation. Several hundred timber piles were driven about 5 metres into the ground and it was an economical solution which kept the job moving.
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