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Case studies

The Meridian Building

This building is not only a significant piece of environmentally sustainable design but also an example of architectural excellence. The attention to the detail of the external timber fins offer an impressive, practical and innovative façade system.

Site 7 is a striking new ‘green’ office building constructed on Wellington’s waterfront, and tenanted by Meridian Energy as their flagship headquarters.  A dramatic design, it nestles into its harbour location, cantilevering over the water’s edge yet still respectful of its heritage neighbours.  The building has been designed throughout to achieve the highest possible reduction of energy use and water consumption and is the first constructed building to receive a 5-star Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.  It contains many aspects of innovative timer use in its design and construction.

External timber [Western Red Cedar] louvers that cover the exterior glazing of this portion of the building were selected to relate to the rich colours and textures of the surrounding sheds.  The selection of timber is a modern interpretation of the rich materiality of the surrounding brick buildings, helping to tie the building to its surrounding heritage context.

Timber weatherboards, again in Western Red Cedar, wrap around the rear of the annex egress stair and under a portion of the louvers, again grounding the Annex visually and providing a rich backdrop to the surrounding public space.

Material Selection

Great care was taken in material selection for the building to ensure all products met strict environmentally sustainable criteria.  All the timber on the building was sourced from certified sustainable sources [FSC, Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification, 'Eco Timber' trademarked scheme or harvested under MAF sustainable management plans or permits].  This included certification for all louvers and weatherboard timbers mentioned above.

All framing and partitioning was also specified and constructed in timber [NZ Pine] all was from a certified source.  In particular, the folding roof forms of the pavilion are constructed as a ‘light’ rook utilizing extensive timber framing and plywood as a bracing plane and as substrate to the roofing membrane.  Alternative timber treatments in the form of ACQ were used where timber was required to be treated for durability.

 

Awards

Timber Design Awards, Joint Winner, Sustainability, 2008

ACENZ, Gold Award of Excellence, 2008

Winner of two Property Council New Zealand Awards, 2008

SBN, Local and National Design and Innovation Award, 2008