Te Puni Village, Victoria University, New Zealand

A world-first, cost effective system for damage avoidance

Te Puni Village, which officially opened its doors on 23 February 2009, is Victoria University’s first on-campus hall of residence.

Aurecon was engaged by Victoria University to provide consulting services for a multi-storied student accommodation project. Situated on an elevated, steep and exposed site at the southern end of the Kelburn Campus, the project offers 348 dormitory rooms, 29 studio rooms and six two bed apartments.

Victoria University of Wellington requested that Aurecon incorporate a damage avoidance design philosophy into the project which would allow the building to be used as an administration facility after an earthquake, while other university buildings undergo repair.

In addition to engineering challenges, the project was placed on a fast track programme for construction. This meant that the design had to address key areas of programme constraints such as lifting and fabrication. To achieve this, all consulting services needed to be well integrated to meet all deadlines.

Aurecon's solution was to develop a world-first, cost effective system for damage avoidance. Applicable to steel framed buildings, the system ensures the building remains operational after an earthquake by allowing the cost effective introduction of seismic damage protection systems to slender steel framed buildings such as hospitals, offices, apartments and industrial buildings in the seismically active areas of the world.

Aurecon delivered Victoria University a multi-disciplinary approach to delivering a very timely and detailed level of service for a complex, fast track project. Damage avoidance features provide an integrated approach to steel frame and building protection in order to facilitate the ongoing performance of the building following an earthquake, providing a significantly more cost-effective long-term solution for the client.

This project has already won some of the world's most coveted industry awards including the Institute of Structural Engineers (UK), Structural Awards 2009 – Winner for Education or Healthcare Structures. It was also awarded a Silver award in last year’s Association of Consulting Engineers New Zealand awards.

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