Business Central April 2022

70 | ARCHITECTURE RTA Studio: Scion Innovation Hub World first for structural timber T T Karen Phelps A successful collaboration between key industry players has resulted in a world-first use of timber in a three level commercial building. “Te Whare Nui o Tuteata represents more than 10 years of advancement and sophistication in the way timber structural buildings are not just put together but conceptualised,” explains says RTA Studio associate director Adam Dwen. “The project is about benefiting futures and encouraging our participation with the environment,” says Adam. “Thinking harder about what timber is good at and how timber buildings might be better prefabricated and pieced together has resulted in a globally significant scientific demonstration of how we might build tomorrow.” The design of Te Whare Nui o Tuteata Scion T T to page 72 “The project is about benefiting futures and thinking harder about what timber is good at and how timber buildings might be better prefabricated.” Innovation Hub, the home of New Zealand’s national Timber Research Institute in Rotorua, was a collaboration between RTA Studio, Irving Smith Architects, RDT Pacific, eCubed Building Workshop, Professional Consulting Services, Cross Fire and Dunning Thornton Consultants. Located the edge of the redwood forest in Whakarewarewa Forest Park the project brings the workforce, previously siloed in smaller buildings dotted around the campus, into a central innovation hub while creating a new campus arrival point to strengthen the public interface for Scion. The three storey building includes a café and display and communal areas. The project was built by Watts & Hughes Construction. A key outcome for the project was the achievement of embodied carbon zero (the carbon associated with the production of materials used to build a building) at time of completion. The new building was assessed to achieve the 2030 target set by the RIBA of 500kg CO2/ msq for whole of life carbon. Adam says the key to this was using engineered products made from sustainably grown pine, sourced through XLam and Timberlab, and putting more thought into the operational characteristics of a building, the building significantly contributes to New Zealand’s carbon-zero future, he says. “Timber has a negative carbon impact. So all the positive carbon from other materials used in the building are offset by the predominant use of timber. “The building contains 454 m3 of wood in the primary structure alone, stores approximately 418 tonnes of CO2 for the life of the building. This storage is equivalent to the emissions from 160 return flights from Auckland to London. Scion advise New Zealand radiata pine forests can regrow this amount of wood in only 35 minutes.” The drive to achieve a low embodied carbon building pushed the design team to look for innovative ways to use timber resulting in an engineered-timber diagrid structure which Adam says challenges stereotypes to timber structural buildings. Impact Tiling offers professional Tiling Services, Warmup Underfloor Heating & Frameless Glass Installation Ph: 07 847 9597 · E: COVERING WAIKATO, BOP & COROMANDEL We would like to congratulate Scion on their award winning building and are proud to be associated. Data Cabling ∙ Fibre ∙ CCTV ∙ PBX +64 7 3493111