Creative Concrete Formwork for a Nugent Street Building

This architectural concept required a visually-striking façade for an existing building – to blend into the rapidly-changing face of Nugent Street in Auckland’s Newmarket. Jackson was commissioned to create the formwork for the façade.

Dominion Constructors approached Jackson Industries in the early design stage of this project. The façade would need specialist concrete moulding design experience – as well as CNC manufacturing facilities.

To be successful the intricate Voronoi pattern had to be poured in situ, in a single stage – using a concrete mix Dominion developed specifically for the project. The concrete had to be pumped from the ground up, to eliminates any air pockets.

Jackson’s unorthodox solution involved the combination of 3D CAD modelling and five-axis CNC machining services. This resulted in building large blocks to generate a cavity into which the concrete was pumped from to a height of three stories.

Some 26 ‘modules’ were constructed from multi-axis machined polystyrene with form-ply tool-faces. Each was finished with a high-quality mould surface. Significantly, each module was sufficiently lightweight for manoeuvring into place by hand.

In addition, a large-scale jigsaw puzzle template was machined to create a 1:1 layout guide for the modules.

The finished building has attracted high praise from Nugent Street tenants keen to see the area’s aesthetic and cultural feel enhanced. The project also won an award at a 2017 New Zealand Concrete Industry event.

Formliners for Vector Whitewater Park

Auckland’s Vector Whitewater Park is New Zealand’s first artificial whitewater facility.

Jackson worked with HEB Construction to supply the concrete form-liners for the patterned pre-cast elements of the Park’s buildings and retaining walls.

We collaborated closely with the client from the outset to ensure the correct combination of flexible form-liners and hard formworks would deliver the exact configuration and finish. Accuracy, longevity and reusability of the supplied components were critical to the end goal.

We used our master tool material CaroC, a product that eliminates the traditional join lines common with standard master tool materials. CaroC is a grainless material which creates a high-spec machined surface and a flawless finish when sanded.

There were additional complications: The requested pattern matched existing panels already on the site. The textured areas needed to be identical. We had to establish what the texture was and then undertake reverse casting to translate the required finish into the textured areas of the form-liner.

To do this we took the original textured material and cast thin layers of poly rubber onto the surface. These were then precisely cut to shape on our programmable plotting table and inserted into the relevant areas of the master tool. The pattern was formed using a rubber form-liner.

With the elaborate pattern – incorporating angled and radial trenches – precisely-machined shuttering was required to accommodate various panel sizes and window block outs.

We supplied exact hard form shutters incorporating the original perimeter rebate detail which sat perfectly on the liner face in every instance. This eliminated any need for extra liners or cutting of the liners, effectively reducing overall cost to the client.

Earthquake Strengthening of St Mary’s of the Angels Church

Designed in 1918 by Frederick Jersey de Clere, Wellington’s St Mary’s of the Angels is believed to be the world’s first reinforced concrete gothic-styled church.

The church was closed after earthquakes in 2013, re-opening three years later following a $9.5 million re-strengthening project. This involved the introduction of replacement gothic columns to support the structure.

These new columns had to precisely match the existing set – an achievement requiring an innovative approach.

It began with 3D imaging of the existing portals and columns. They were scanned to millimetre tolerances with a high-tech, point-cloud scanner to create a 3D model.

Rubber moulds were developed from the 3D models, boxed up on four sides and filled with high-strength, self compacting concrete.

The new additions look identical – in style and texture – to the existing columns, but also feature rods of reinforced steel and ties into new ground beams, making them vastly stronger. Most visitors marvelling at the restored interior think the new portals and columns are original.

St Mary’s passed its first big test with flying colours – a 7.8 magnitude earthquake in November 2016, soon after the structural works had been completed. Engineers couldn’t find a single crack.

Wellington has around 600 earthquake-prone buildings and many owners are looking at St Mary’s as an example of what can be achieved.

Otahuhu Interchange

Auckland Transport’s new, fully-integrated Ōtāhuhu bus-train station offers commuters more frequent services and much improved connections between bus and rail.

The $28m facility links the rail platform with two new bus platforms and a terminal building, via an elevated concourse.

Particularly distinctive for its graphic façade and architecture, the building’s designed to reflect local and historical narratives – specifically the site’s importance to local mana whenua as a historic portage site for waka.

In fact, three narratives were incorporated into the design: navigation, the portage of waka – and maunga. While this resulted in the integration of iwi art and design throughout the station site, it’s especially well-presented in the building’s outer concrete panels.

Jackson Industries machined the moulds for incorporating the art and designs into the panels. The façade comprises a series of patterned panels – two outer sections with an alternating middle panel. Each panel measures 6.3m by 3.76m. In total, seven panels were cast.

Because the client wanted a high-quality surface finish with crisp detail, the formwork was CNC-machined from laminated sheets of high-grade form ply, with false rebates running vertically. The interchangeable centre sections carry a “mountainous” relief.

The station picked up an Award of Excellence in the Te Karanga o te Tui category, at the 2017 New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects Awards.

Judges said the design team weaved together multiple cultural and historic narratives, all while navigating a raft of complicated technical planning issues required for the site.

Temporary Site Lighting (TSL) – still operating after 5 months 1.5m underwater

Today (14 April 2015), we pulled a “TSL” lighting production unit from our test tank for a visual inspection – The look might be appalling…

The good news however – TSL is still in perfect working condition, watertight and electrically safe.


Jackson Electrical rigorously tests all products prior to market, and continues to develop and test these products over their lifetime based on comments from industry and customer feedback.

In this case, a test rig cycles power on the unit periodically. An interesting issue with waterproof lighting is the fluctuating temperature – and subsequently the fluctuating pressure which in turn makes any waterproof light fitting a pump, trying to fill itself with water. The rig also periodically electrically tests and logs the state of resistance, bulb condition and so on. You can see in the unit shown above the base is molded in clear plastic to enable a visual check of the fitting base without disassembling.

We are pleased to find no issue in this longer term test. The units had been tested underwater for 100+ hours prior to being marketed – however there is no replacement for many punishing hours in the worst case scenario to prove to customers that the product is robust.



Lastly, the supposedly temporary (!) test rig. This was built for ‘test-to-failure’ of the TSL product. However it just wont happen. It is looking more and more like we are stuck with this eyesore forever…


Another 76 cubic meters of machining capacity!

In recent months Jackson Electrical Industries have moved their hire operation to a larger premises at 6 Selwyn Street, Onehunga. This move was required due to another soon to be arriving – 5-axis 10m x 4m x 2m machining center from Italy. This required doubling the floorspace of our already extensive machining, tool making and concrete moulding division. To give scale to current projects, Jackson is now stocking onsite multiple-ton batches of concrete moulding rubber. We can help you with your project and have the experience for small and large scale works.

We expect this extra capacity to be in operation by late July this year. This will have a dramatic effect on shortening of customer lead times, and has been specified to the highest possible accuracy available from a machine of this type, further reducing post finishing work required for your project.

Get in contact with to discuss how we can help with your project, from small run widgets, to 100m long composite structures and anything in between.