A major commercial building in Auckland has become the first in New Zealand to achieve six-star ratings for environmental sustainability.

The 3 Te Kehu Way (3TKW) building in Auckland’s Sylvia Park has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star Design and A-Built certified rating by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

Woods Bagot and Peddlethorp designed an intriguing ‘waffle’ façade from precast concrete, incorporating a pronounced grid geometry made from square and cruciform punched shapes. Image: Woods Bagot)

Officially opened in March last year, 3TKW offers 5,800 square meters of office space over six levels that are perched above a green brick podium.

The building is located within a 24-hectare precinct which features the Sylvia Park Shopping Centre around 10 kilometres south of the Auckland CBD.

The shopping centre is the largest in New Zealand.

(To mimic its rich subtropical verdancy, the project team used four shades of custom-made glazed green brick, which have been incorporated around the base of the building and in the façade of the southern low-rise pavilion.)

The building was constructed as part of a $NZ277 million expansion that will transform the site from a mall-style retail precinct with car parking assets into a thriving Auckland community in which people can work, shop, live and play.

From a design perspective, the building aims to create a playful expression which references local ecology and carves out a quiet sanctuary from the elements.

A key feature of the building involves reflective glass ‘rivers’ on the façade.

These run down the façade in a manner akin to that of a river flowing downstream.

The ground floor plane provides a complete immersion in vivid green shades and aims to capture what the experience of occupying previous ecosystems may have felt like.

This is based on the area having been formerly a pūriri broadleaf forest ecosystem – a plant with a gnarled trunk and brilliant waxy leavers which are endemic to northern and coastal parts of the north Island.

(image: Woods Bagot)

Key building features include:

  • An intriguing waffle façade which is made from precast concrete and which incorporates a pronounced grid geometry that is made from square and cruciform punched shapes.
  • Supplementation of the vision glazing window in each façade panel with two smaller ‘false’ or spandrel window of various sizes. These sit within a partial depth recess in each panel and create the appearance of significant variation within the waffle grid from relatively few panel types. Collectively, the glazing creates irregular stacks of glass in the façade with edges that seldom align. The unexpected result is one of reflective glass rivers running down the façade as mentioned above.
  • Functioning of the proportion of the spandrel windows as light boxes which contain a colour-change LED lighting. When combined with the office interior lighting, these light boxes play a subtle game of deliberate scale manipulation against the suburban sky.
  • An L-shaped form which is designed to offer shelter from the prevailing winds and protect the public realm from the sound pollution from Mt Wellington Highway.
  • Specific tailoring of the building mass to minimise overshadowing of the public realm along Te Tata Avenue.

Sustainable features include a rooftop solar array, electric vehicle charting and rainwater harvesting.

In addition, more than 92 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfill during the construction process.

(image: Woods Bagot)

The building is the first in New Zealand to achieve a 6-star rating under the Green Star Design and As-Built rating tool.

The tool assesses the sustainability outcomes from the design and construction of new buildings or major refurbishments across nine categories.

(image: Woods Bagot)

Matthew Pieterse, leader of the 3TKW project at architecture firm Woods Baggot, said the importance of the first 6-star rated project should not be underestimated.

“Certifications like these encourage the wider industry to celebrate resilience, intelligence and excellence in building design,” Pieterse said.

The building is owned by developer Kiwi Property.

Woods Bagot and Peddlethorp were the designers whilst the landscape architecture was provided by Boffa Miskell.

Construction was managed by head contractor Naylor Love.

Aside from the building’s design, several innovative approaches helped to improve safety and the construction process.

To help reduce risks associated with building at height and falling materials, permanent steel formwork into the edges of the concrete floor slabs and welded connections for the temporary edge protection to the formwork before we lifted the slabs into place.

In addition, Joinery, glazing, lighting and painting on the precast façade panels WAS completed in the factory.

This enabled the panels to be installed without using external scaffold or mobile access equipment.

Finally, the tower crane became a local celebrity as children from a neighbouring daycare centre racing out to watch it every time the horn sounded to signal a lift.


Enjoying Sourceable articles? Subscribe for Free and receive daily updates of all articles which are published on our site


Want to grow your sales, reach more new clients and expand your client base across Australia’s design and construction sector?

Advertise on Sourceable and have your business seen by the thousands of architects, engineers, builders/construction contractors, subcontractors/trade contractors, property developers and building industry suppliers who read our stories across the civil, commercial and residential construction sector