Auckland bank is leader in environmental sustainability

10 Jan 2011

Bank of New Zealand HQ respects site's history and is set to stand the test of time

Joint design team Woods Bagot and Warren and Mahoney won a limited design competition to design the new headquarters of the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). This premium grade office tower occupies a unique city block in the downtown area of Auckland's CBD. Comprising four levels of underground parking and seven levels of podium commercial office space, the main glass tower building rises behind the old façade of the historical seven-storey Jean Batten Building.

The Deloitte Centre is now Auckland's most advanced Environmentally Sustainable commercial building, the first high rise tower in New Zealand to achieve a 5 Star design rating with the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), utilising double ventilated façade technology and rainwater harvesting amongst many of the sustainable initiatives integrated into this new building. New test methods of measuring planning efficiency were adopted, and informed the floorplate design process. Large podium floorplates are suitable for the single key tenant and smaller tower floors are aligned to the Auckland speculative commercial office market.

Garry Pellett, Head of Properties, Strategy and Operations at the Bank of New Zealand states the objectives of the building were that ‘it had to be something that was unique, which it is, it had to be transparent, which it is, and it had to suit the environment, which it does.'

Forming the cornerstone of the building design philosophy was the Client objective to achieve a 5 Green Star rating under the newly created NZGBC. The initial design brief had called for a more modest 4 Green Star rating, however, rapid shifts in the commercial market, and owner expectations, meant that the building was transformed to the higher specified 5 Green Star design during the early development phase. The project underwent stringent review by both New Zealand and Australian Green Building Councils and received a successful design rating of 5 Green Stars in October 2007.

Pellett states that 'Green Star in itself is not necessarily the outcome, it's building sustainably and providing the appropriate environment for our staff that is the real achievement, Green Star is a way of measuring that you've actually achieved it.'

BNZ chose to use their workplace not only as an instrument of encouragement and motivation for their people but as a demonstration of their commitment to environmental sustainability. This was considered to be imperative for a new generation of knowledge workers who are becoming harder to attract, have higher expectations and are keenly aware when corporate messages contradict the environment in which they work.

The Post-Relocation evaluation survey shows that: 9 in 10 employees agree that they enjoy working at 80 Queen Street; 83% are supportive of an ongoing green environment, and 73% of respondents understand the green features of 80 Queen Street.

Tim Pope, Managing Director of Brookfield Multiplex Construction (NZ) Limited, said that the Deloitte Centre is a significant achievement for all participants, delivered on time and on budget and achieving lofty environmental expectations. "Our objective with 80 Queen Street was to create a sustainable building, both in the business and environmental sense. We think that the result is an asset to Auckland and will stand the test of time."

Woods Bagot was engaged to create a design for the building that included environmentally sustainable design elements such as improved natural lighting to offices, low water usage fittings and extensive metering of energy and water usage. Winter gardens and six levels of interconnecting voids animate the podium spaces to deliver a workplace that enables cultural change and improved productivity. Users of the building are encouraged to walk or cycle to work by the provision of showers and changing facilities in the basement.

In 2010 Pope said to the people of New Zealand: "The building looks truly sensational. It is clearly and irrefutably the premier commercial property in NZ. The sky catcher, picture frames, hero beam suspended awning, multi-dimensional facades, stone reconciliation wall, JBB façade restoration, the highly transparent and striking entry lobby and the Fred Graham stainless steel anchor stones all work together to create something very special. We are very proud and I am sure you will be too."

(Project proposed 2004, construction started 2006.)

Key Facts

New Zealand
Commercial Offices

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