The major design feature of the building is a roof structure of LVL beams that span 60 metres, with the beams spliced together and fixed to columns using an innovative steel dowel and self-drilling screw system.
Known as the Xpan Quick Connect Joint, the system was developed specifically for the project by the Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) in conjunction with Auckland University.
STIC chief executive Robert Finch describes the system as a simple and quick way to join large structural members together while reducing the need for complex traditional steel plate joints that require thousands of nails.
According to Tumu ITM management partner Paul Waite there were two key reasons for choosing the building design.
“Our company is a major local force in the timber industry and we wanted to reflect that,” Mr Waite says. “More importantly, the LVL design enabled us to meet the requirements of our customers by providing a much more user-friendly space.
“With LVL, we were able to get the spans we required to create a large, obstruction-free space to assist traffic flow through the store and eliminate congestion.
“The first day we opened, we had a steady stream of clients coming through and, at one stage, we had a large line-up of vehicles parked inside the store — and yet there was still plenty of room for other vehicles to drive through without being held up.”
Located in Thames Street, Napier, the 4200 sq m Tumu ITM store building is the newest ITM store in the country.
Construction was completed on time for the scheduled opening on November 1 by local Hawkes Bay builders and Registered Master Builders Federation member Alexander Construction Ltd.