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Integrating education and transport - a New Zealand first

Manukau Institute of Technology

Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland

06 November 2014 - The Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) Campus Facility is a unique building which sits above the Manukau Train Station and adjoins the new bus interchange.

Clients MIT, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport jointly conceived the idea for a new facility which would bring both education and public transport to the heart of the Manukau City Centre, encouraging growth in the area.

Peter Quigg, MIT Director of Academic Operations, says, “We wanted to remove barriers to education and make the entry as seamless as possible.” He explains that, “Accessibility has a direct bearing on student numbers, especially in our catchment area, so to have rail and bus services bring people right to the door couldn’t be better.”

Aurecon’s Building Services Team was appointed to develop the initial concept for the three separate buildings into one integrated building with a large central atrium providing flexible civic space seamlessly linked to the rail platform beneath. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling was carried out to design the ventilation systems serving the rail platform such that no physical barriers were required between the public transport areas and the education areas above.

The building services were designed with flexibility in mind from the outset to meet client requirements and to allow the curriculum and teaching methods to easily evolve over time.

Special measures had to be taken for the facade lighting as the site in Manukau is located within 10 km of Auckland International Airport and under the flight path of incoming and departing flights.

Aurecon Senior Lighting Designer, Tony Tavita says, “It was a challenge lighting the landmark without breaching CAA requirements as well as minimising the spill of light into the environment and dark skies. The design intent was to not only provide a stunning architectural feature but to also provide the community with a night time landmark.”

To achieve this, the detailing for the lighting positions to the diagrid was concealed from the general site at both the upper and lower peaks to maintain a stunning visual statement during the day and to transform the building at night. The narrow beam light optics grazes the structural texture and fades out towards the cross braces creating definition and depth. Mounting spigots were fabricated to offset the lights with adjustable threads so each fitting could be precision aimed to minimise sky glow and disability glare.

The building is designed to achieve a 5 star Greenstar Built rating, and extensive simulations were carried out on the building to assess energy consumption, thermal comfort, and daylight levels in the building. A careful balance was struck to set appropriate temperature ranges which would become more tightly controlled as people move into the upper levels of the building from the public areas below.

The building has been opened since mid-July and has been well received by staff, students and also the general public. The client team are very pleased with the finished building and have found it has delivered very well on the vision that was outlined a number of years ago.

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