151 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch, New Zealand

Aurecon designs first Triple Pendulum™ base isolated building in New Zealand, providing enhanced seismic performance and increased occupant safety at 151 Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch.

The 2011 February Christchurch Earthquake devastated The Garden City, flattening the Christchurch central business district (CBD).

To protect against future earthquake damage, the client requested a seismic resilient building which ensured occupant life safety and business continuity, with their vision being to create one of the safest and most iconic office buildings in Christchurch.

One of the challenges of the project was the connection issues of the interface between the building and the surrounding ground due to the building being able to move up to 600 mm in a design earthquake event.

Another significant challenge was to create a comfortable environment within a building that has a 100 per cent glazed facade which is facing north and east.

Incorporating base isolation for increased safety

Aurecon recommended that the building be base isolated to maximise occupant safety. Base isolation improves business continuity and minimises damage in the event of a severe earthquake.

The interface was dealt with by using large telescopic connections for the drainage that fit between the structure and the external walls of the basement. The incoming electrical mains and outgoing connections from the onsite transformer form a large loop in the ceiling of the basement and are supported on a large tray that allows the cables to flex and move during an earthquake. The internal services have been specified for resilience with an installation that will keep movement to a minimum.

During the design process, a significant amount of modelling was carried out on the efficiency of the facade and its effect on the internal cooling loads of the building. The fins extending from the building were optimised to provide a good level of shading while still allowing views when seated and standing.

The mechanical systems are designed for energy efficiency, with heat exchange on the fresh air and on the air conditioning system and the lighting for the open plan areas is light-emitting diode (LED), reducing the tenant energy bill.

Setting a new seismic resilient standard in New Zealand

151 Cambridge Terrace is the first building in New Zealand to incorporate Triple Pendulum™ base isolation bearings into its design, making it one of the most earthquake resilient buildings in the country and therefore highly attractive to blue chip anchor tenants such as Deloitte.

The energy efficiency of the solar shading and the heat recovery systems have resulted in the operational cost of the building, despite having a fully glazed facade, being well within the requirements of a high spec commercial office.

151 Cambridge Terrace won a Merit Commercial Office Property award at the New Zealand Property Council / Rider Levett Bucknall Awards 2015.

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