On the Buses

A young North Shore company, Metalhartt Roofing, has played an important role in improvements being made to the Constellation Bus Station.

BY JENNY BAIN RoofLink Magazine Issue 96 • Autumn 2021

An extension to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency’s Northern Busway will see the busway continue to Albany. This means Constellation Bus Station will now have pick-up and drop-off zones in both the north and southbound directions with an overbridge for pedestrians to access the northbound platform. An upgraded Constellation Bus Station is under construction in conjunction with Brosnan Construction, managed by the Northern Corridor Improvements Alliance.

RANZ member Metalhartt Roofing is engaged for the roofing and cladding of the project – to be completed 2021.

Metalhartt Roofing has been contracting to Brosnan Construction for four years, starting with smaller commercial sites, and developing an enduring relationship, having proved itself to be a reliable contractor.

Metalhartt is owned and operated by brothers Blake and Tyler Orange who experienced a serendipity moment on their return from working in Fiji in 2016 – Blake as a roofer and Tyler as a builder. Over four months on Vomo Island, they helped to re-roof the resort after Cyclone Winston had blown through. They had earned well and recognised the time had come to start their own roofing company; it was the motivation they needed to start in partnership on their own, specialising in long-run roofing for both residential and commercial projects.

The main goal from the outset in 2016 was to partner with building companies involved with high-end projects in the residential and commercial markets. The vision for Metalhartt Roofing, based in Castor Bay, is to be an approachable roofing business, delivering high standards of workmanship, staying true to small business ideals and pricing competitively. “We work with integrity and aim to exceed our client’s expectations,” says Blake.

What is it like running a business with family; are there any benefits?

Blake says the most important advantage is having complete trust in each other. “Tyler is mostly based in the office, and meeting with new clients. We live together and often work from home. It is the trust in our relationship that benefits how we manage the business. “We sometimes argue – of course we do – but can still then have a beer together at the end of the day and put that discussion to one side. “We strive to keep things simple – work smarter, not harder”.

Blake and Tyler are justifiably proud of contracts recently completed for two high-end homes at Mairangi Bay for Harbourside Homes and Rusa Construction. The company has grown organically – mainly through word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals. Metalhartt has now secured a team of 15 reliable staff – 13 installers and two full-time office staff. The company guides, trains and supports employees, encouraging youth to gain the required qualifications for success. Two in the team have recently completed apprenticeships and another two are signed up in the Skills apprenticeship programme.

Where did the Metalhartt name come from?

Blake and Tyler are fans of the durable American workwear clothing brand, Carhartt; their company name is a derivative of the popular US fashion label.

Constellation Bus Station

For the last six months, Metalhartt Roofing has been engaged – on/off – working with Brosnan Construction on the upgrade of the Constellation Bus Station. A full in-house drug test was completed by all Metalhartt tradesmen to qualify to work on site with the Northern Corridor Improvements Alliance, managing the upgrade as part of the overall $700m Northern Corridor Improvements project. Nick James and Darryn Jones are the lead installers on this site along with Blake as director. Sections of the old roofing were removed first to allow builders access to the framework for the extension left and right of the existing station. The overbridge had suspension scaffolding for Blake’s team to lay the roofing sheets safely. The specified roofing for the project is Roofing Industries’ Eurostyle™ Epic™ in Colorcote grey flannel. The flatter roof areas are finished with Roofing Industries Trimrib®. The structural curve for the Eurostyle Epic profile was first landed on the ground where the builders installed framing and plywood, and at this stage Metalhartt chose to trace a template of the curve with a large sheet of building paper to gain the most accurate measure of what was required.

The main curve in the design is not a perfect curve – there are three different radii in it. The paper tracing was supplied to Roofing Industries Waikato, and this product was produced faultlessly first time. On Sunday evening at Auckland Anniversary weekend, part of the bus lane was closed for Brosnan Construction to crane material to the overbridge and to load the curved steel structure into position. A challenge for the team was the need to abseil down the curves to install the vertical sheets, and it was opportune that Metalhartt’s Joe O’Flynn had a background in rock climbing and rigging, so was able to set up a harness system to allow safe access to difficult-to-reach areas.

Owing to the size and awkward shape of the curve, delivery of materials to site was challenging; the sheets were craned onto the overbridge for Blake’s team to install but this aspect of the build required some improvisation to ensure safety requirements were met. 

Clear, precise communication has been essential during this significant project. Collaboration between Roofing Industries, Roofing Accessories, Brosnan Construction and the entire Metalhartt team will contribute to improved services on the important Northern Busway.