21 Queen Street Wins 2011 Sustainability Award

09 Aug 2011


21 Queen Street wins 2011 Supreme Concrete3 Sustainability Award

Peddle Thorp Architects has won the 2011 Supreme Concrete³ Sustainability Award for its work revitalising the multi-storey office building at 21 Queen Street, Auckland, preserving its concrete frame and core while creating vibrant and thoroughly modern spaces both inside and out.

The award, presented at the ninth International Symposium on High Performance Concrete Design in Rotorua, recognised the ‘reuse – reduce’ strategies adopted by the project principals, which enabled the building’s life cycle to be significantly increased, the embodied energy of its concrete elements to be saved, and the emissions associated with alternative demolition and new build scenarios prevented – all key to achieving environmental sustainability in construction.

Stripping the site’s 14 level 1970’s concrete structural frame of its cladding and fit-out, to form the heart of a refurbished and modern building also underpinned the project’s commercial viability, as well as breathing new life into the urban environment around Queen Elizabeth Square.

Announced in Rotorua on Wednesday 10 August, the Awards, part of the Concrete³ initiative launched in 2007 by the Cement and Concrete Association of New Zealand (CCANZ), acknowledge projects, products and initiatives which demonstrate excellence in environmental, economic and/or social sustainability for the built environment.

On their way to the top prize, the team behind 21 Queen Street also received the Excellence in Commercial Concrete Construction award.
CCANZ chief executive Rob Gaimster said that through the reuse of a concrete frame building the project met all the economic, social and environmental imperatives of sustainable development, elevating it above a host of outstanding entries in 2011.

“This example of adaptive reuse will quickly become the New Zealand benchmark for what can be achieved in terms of optimum resource management, (embodied) energy efficiency and design potential, through the imaginative redevelopment of our concrete structures.”

Other category winners
The awards also produced winners in four other categories, for projects which excelled in different areas of sustainable concrete construction.

Excellence in Concrete Innovation went to engineering firm Structex for the Southern Cross Hospital’s Endoscopy Building in Christchurch, which for the first time in New Zealand utilised post-tensioned concrete PRESSS (PREcast Seismic Structural Systems) technology with U-Shape Flexural Plates.  This innovative approach to structural engineering and construction saw the medical facility, which has a Building Importance Level 3 classification, emerge unscathed from the February 22 earthquake.

A Merit award in this category went to Cemix Ltd for their premixed concrete product Envirocrete.

Excellence in Residential Concrete Construction was awarded to Daniel Marshall Architects for Elmstone House in Auckland, a contemporary home which makes use of precast concrete over three floors to optimise a steep site and offer comfortable, energy efficient and low maintenance family living.

Merit awards in this category went to Steven Lloyd Architecture for Kingsley Street House, as well as Markplan Consulting for Karaka Bay House, Glendowie.

Excellence in Concrete for the Community was won by Golden Bay Cement which is progressively replacing imported fossil fuels with locally sourced renewable alternatives, such as wood biofuel, to help reduce landfill waste as well as carbon dioxide emissions during cement manufacture.

A Merit award in this category went to Jasmax for Avondale College, Stage 1, who also took home a Merit award in the Excellence in Commercial Concrete Construction category for NZI Centre (1 Fanshawe St).

Excellence in Civil Concrete Construction was awarded to Downer New Zealand for the DART 9 rail link station in Manukau. Constructed under the Leighton Works partnership, this below ground facility, built entirely of concrete, used advanced secant pile technology and specialised concrete mix designs to realise a vital piece of infrastructure for the wider Auckland community.

For more information about the Awards, go to