Ashburton District Council

Completion Date

January 2024

An expansive community facility packed with sustainable features.

Ashburton’s new library and civic centre, Te Whare Whakatere, includes a library, customer services counters, meeting rooms and events spaces, public and staff amenities, a café, a recording studio and learning lab, executive suites, Council chambers and staff workspaces, plus an IL4 Emergency Operations Centre.

Sitting on screw pile and ground beam foundations, the superstructure is engineered timber reinforced with post-tensioned steel cables and brackets, all designed to rock in an earthquake and settle back into place. The building envelope consists of glazed curtain wall, glass fibre reinforced concrete slats, metal wall and roof cladding, and a warm roof.

The key to integrating the multiple elements of this complex building was a BIM model combining eight separate models into one. We used this federated model to coordinate the timber and steel in the superstructure, hosting meetings with the suppliers, consultants and subcontractors to ensure that everyone was on the same page. Integrating services into the model allowed for final clash detection before the componentry was manufactured, ensuring that the services worked harmoniously with the structure with a minimum of structural penetrations.

The centre incorporates state-of-the-art features to ensure energy efficiency, including heat pumps using water drawn from artesian wells, a Building Management System that constantly monitors energy use, solar shading, and an LED lighting system that adjusts automatically depending on occupancy and light levels.

We carefully preserved and strengthened a red brick heritage building as part of the project. Nestled in a glass atrium and complete with its wonky chimney, Pioneer Hall adds a touch of historic character to the ultra-modern community facility.


Categories: Canterbury & Nelson, Engineered Timber, Environmental, Government, Heritage, Leisure & Cultural, Seismic