Components: Commercial/ Office- 5 storeys with Five Green Star Office Design Rating from the NZ Green Building Council
The Meridian Centre was the first office building in New Zealand awarded a five-star design rating by the New Zealand Green Building Council. When it was completed in 2007, the iconic building on Wellington’s waterfront set a new benchmark for environmentally sustainable office building design.
With 4000 square metres of office space on three levels, plus ground floor retail, the building stands out as a flagship project that the Xigo team are proud to be associated with.
Location: Wellington Waterfront
Client: DNZ Property Group
Description: 4-storey office building
Floor Area: 5,000 m2 NLA
Lead Tenant: Meridian Energy
Other Information: Five Green Star Office Design Rating from the NZ Green Building Council
Our Role: Project Managers
Meridian Energy had some very specific and demanding requirements for this building, to fit with the company’s strategy to position itself at the cutting edge of environmental sustainability. The ambitious targets included using 60 percent less energy than a conventional office building and 70 percent less water.
Xigo personnel were engaged by DNZ Property Group in 2005 to manage the project throughout the design, construction and commissioning phases. We engaged design teams from Studio Pacific Architecture and Beca, with Fletcher Construction being awarded the contract to construct the base building and interior fit-out.
With Meridian’s focus on achieving a five-star green rating, we had to carefully interpret the regulations set by the NZ Green Building Council to ensure the building complied. To meet the five-star standard some complex technology was required, which had never before been used in New Zealand.
In fact, Meridian wanted to go beyond the requirements of the five-star standard by incorporating additional leading-edge technology that allowed for automated control of functions such as lights, heating and blinds. All this involved complex negotiations with the parties involved, to ensure all Meridian’s requirements were included in the Construction Contract.
Another challenge was the fact the building was being constructed close to other businesses operating on the waterfront as well as nearby residential apartments. As project mangers, our team had to ensure construction proceeded without causing undue inconvenience to neighbours. This involved regular communication with all affected parties
A high degree of collaboration was required to realise this building. It needed buy-in from everyone involved, to achieve the high quality, environmentally and socially responsible building it is today – and this is where Xigo team member’s project management skills came to the fore.
Due to a tight deadline the project was carried out under a “fast track” schedule. This meant Fletcher Construction began work on the foundations while the design was still being completed and the tender process was staggered over several months.
Construction involved some pioneering new technology for New Zealand. The building is encased in a double layer glass skin, which allows it to control its own interior climate – with opening and closing vents on the outer glass skin and a concrete fabric designed to absorb heat. Natural light is optimised by horizontal louver blinds on the exterior glass walls, controlled by photo sensors.
Other features include solar water heating, intelligent lighting controls and a fully integrated building management system. A 10,000 litre tank on the roof collects rainwater, which is used in the toilet cisterns, washrooms and showers. Where possible, the building materials are from recycled or sustainable sources.
With Meridian having such high expectations for this building and its prominent location on the waterfront, the project was a significant risk if the building had under-delivered. We successfully achieved the objectives to such an extent that the building is now a powerful “spokesperson” for Meridian’s green credentials.