53 Victoria Street, New Zealand

The building located at 53 Victoria Street was severely damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes and subsequently had to be demolished. A new three storey office building was planned and Aurecon’s Structural and Building Services’ Teams were tasked with the challenge of providing a quality, base isolated office building at a comparable cost to other office developments in the area.

To minimise the cost of base isolating the building, the cost of bearings had to be minimised; the reduction forces on the building due to the bearings had to be maximised; and the cost of providing the basement in which to mount the bearings had to be minimised.

To overcome the first two issues, Aurecon approached Maxlide Ltd who was looking to introduce double concave sliding bearings into the New Zealand market. This type of sliding bearing had been used extensively overseas but not in New Zealand where the market has been dominated by lead rubber bearings.

To solve the third issue, a non-traditional approach was taken where the bearings were mounted in a shallow basement rather than a full depth basement. This meant that the basement was more economical to build whilst still providing sufficient room to access the bearings if required in the future and sufficient room to access the building services which are fixed to the underside of the ground floor slab. 

The resulting building is base isolated by double concave sliding bearings, has a heat recovery ventilation and HVAC system as well as having low emissivity glazing to reduce solar heat gain during summer and heat attenuation during colder periods.

The building has delivered the client fully tenanted spaces as well as presented a successful build outcome that has attracted highly sought after cost effective insurance cover due to its seismic engineering response. The buildings’ construction was comparatively less costly to build than similar buildings constructed in the vicinity.

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