18 September 2015

Opus' building structures team snapped up another award for their work on Trimble Navigation Ltd's offices in the NZ Wood awards.

Opus were responsible for all professional consultancy services on this project including structural, civil, geotechnical, building services and fire engineering, and architectural design.  The building was designed for the tenant, Trimble Navigation Ltd with support from the building owner, Birmingham Drive Property Ltd.

The NZ Wood Awards is a national awards programme that recognises the use of New Zealand timber in building design.  The Trimble building was entered in the Engineering Innovation category, and was selected joint winner of this category, and was also awarded highly commended to the supreme winner. 

NZ Wood received a record number of entries this year, 122 of which 47 were selected as finalists. These entries displayed innovative designs of quality timber buildings and the use of timber.

Trimble Navigation’s Office is the first commercial building in New Zealand to use both post-tensioned LVL frames and walls with energy dissipating devices for the lateral load resisting system. The floor is of timber-concrete composite construction using LVL. It is also the largest pre-stressed laminated timber (Pres-Lam) building ever constructed in terms of floor area (6000m2).

One of the structural design innovations is the dual-pivot mechanism at the beam-column joint which fixes the neutral axis towards the extreme compression fibre of the beam. This increases the strength and stiffness of frame, improving designed performance without changing the geometry of the frame.

The building also incorporates a comprehensive real time monitoring system which allows the owner and tenant to monitor building performance and obtain feedback on the ongoing structural health of the building. Through an Opus-Trimble joint development, this system has been developed for the NZ market to allow other owners and tenants to do the same.

Increased public awareness of safety and the benefits of timber as a structural material following the Christchurch earthquakes provides a platform for the use of this new technology at such a scale. The tenants note the aesthetic appeal of the exposed timber and resulting pleasant work environment. Kitset-like construction enabled very quick erection of the structure and provided a cost-effective outcome for the owner.

The building design was highly commended in the NZ Wood Awards in 2013 in the Christchurch Rebuild Category and, since completion,  also highly commended in the 2014 IStructE Awards.