Downer and Hawkins have partnered with the university to deliver a new benchmark in sustainable vertical infrastructure in New Zealand.
Instead of knocking down the old building and starting again, we have stripped it back and kept as much of the original concrete shell as possible.
Reinforcement textiles and fabrics have been used to upgrade the existing structural frame to meet seismic standards, and we are now completing the rebuild with a new façade and interior refit. It will look and feel like a new building, but underneath it will be the same concrete frame.
To ensure the ongoing use of the current structure, the concrete cladding has been replaced with a lightweight system providing an additional floor. Further additions include:
Due to open in 2024, the 50-year-old structure has set new benchmarks for low-carbon design and sustainability. It will send less waste to landfill, create less pollution through its construction and operation and provide comfortable and functional spaces for thousands of students who work, learn and socialise at the university. The upfront carbon emissions for the rebuild is estimated to be equivalent to around 250kg CO2e/m2 – a 40-60 per cent reduction on a standard new build.
“This is a challenging project, but has huge sustainability benefits and positive social outcomes,” Project Manager, Sam Gordon, said. “The end result will be a modern new building, except we haven’t had additional emissions or sent unnecessary materials to landfill.”
The project was awarded 93/100 by the New Zealand Green Building Council, achieving a 6 Green Star design rating. This is the highest awarded score since the inception of the rating, putting the building design in the ‘World Leadership’ category. This initiative demonstrates Downer’s contribution to achieve the following Sustainable Development Goals: