Out-of-the-Box Solution Leads to DGE Becoming the Lead Electrical Contractor for Costco NZ
Costco is an American multinational corporation that operates a chain of membership-only big-box retail stores and is the third-largest retailer in the world.
The company opened its first warehouse in Seattle in 1983. As of September 2022, Costco has 839 warehouses, 304,000 employees and 118 million members across 14 countries, now including New Zealand.
Costco had no preferred electrical contractor in New Zealand. The project went to market, and DGE was selected thanks to our prior relationship with the builders and our reputation as trusted industry leaders.
This project was the most expensive build Costco has ever undertaken, due in part to the cost of land in New Zealand, which led to the facility being built up and not out as they typically are. This meant the project was essentially completed upside down, with electrical work starting in the ground, not the roof.
Due to the ongoing effects of the global pandemic, the project also faced a multitude of supply chain issues. With New Zealand at the bottom of the world, trying to get supplies here in a hurry can be a headache, so alternatives had to be designed, often in-house, by our team.
Restrictions on travel also meant that our team was unable to meet with clients face-to-face or visit pre-existing sites. This led to most of the design-build stage being completed utilising Microsoft Teams and Google maps. Restrictions also caused the coordination between trades to be challenging at times.
There was also a requirement to have store equipment powered before the building was completed. This is not typical of a job of this nature and meant the plans required careful and creative consideration as most of the wiring was to be concreted over.
Despite Costco’s appearance as a big box, this project took some real out-of-the-box thinking and a touch of Kiwi ingenuity.
Establishing a strong working relationship between the trades, as well as with the Costco team, was crucial to the success of this project. The DGE team were adaptable and led the charge in aligning the trades and achieving a cohesive and efficient solution for all parties.
Due to the pandemic, a lot of the design-build stage had been completed on paper. Therefore, there was a significant amount of redesigning to be done once we were on-site. This included changes to the overall wiring plans, moving them from the roof to an in-floor solution.
DGE found a solution to power up either end of the building before the roof was on. We were then able to run cables over the high-level equipment to power up refrigeration and mechanical services before the building was completed, which typically happens at the end of a job in a big rush.
As a result of supply chain issues, our team was also called upon to try our hand at the manufacturing of finishings that could not be supplied within the deadline or budget.
One of the major takeaways from this build was that nothing was going to stop it from happening.
Thanks to our involvement with Costco, we were able to save costs, find efficiencies for the client throughout the project, and deliver the build on time and within budget.
Our in-floor wiring solution meant fewer exposed cables throughout and generally improved the aesthetics of the building. Having power to the entire site from early on also allowed for fridges and other equipment to be installed ahead of time.
DGE is now Costco’s lead Electrical Contractor in New Zealand