Sustainable, smart, and state-of-the-art

A high-tech and low-carbon logistics building

  • Projects


Airlines transport more than 52 million metric tons of goods a year – a massive $6.8 trillion worth – according to the International Air Transportation Association*. This represents more than 35% of global trade by value but less than 1% of world trade by volume. But even before Covid-19 landed, airlines were grappling with a host of logistical challenges: safety, security and volatility of passengers and baggage, growing air cargo volumes, digitisation, decarbonisation and more.

Air New Zealand was already looking ahead in 2018, when it embarked on an ambitious project to consolidate its logistics under one state-of-the-art, sustainable roof. Home to a host of activities – from in-flight distribution to engineering maintenance to overflow aircraft storage – the $9 million facility is ready for a high-tech and low-carbon future.

*International Air Transportation Association

At a glance

  • Client
    Air New Zealand Limited
  • Services
  • sector
    Logistics & Manufacturing
  • Location
    Auckland, New Zealand

RLB delivers the goods

RLB had established a long-standing working relationship with Air New Zealand spanning more than two decades, through multiple collaborations and award-winning developments, including the recently completed free-standing Regional Lounge at Auckland Airport.

RLB’s team was well versed in the intricacies of working within an operating airport campus. Aside from the visible symbols of aviation, there are complex hidden services lying below ground necessary to ensure its safe and effective operation. These are in addition to the stringent regulatory requirements that help define and shape working practices in a live airport campus.

Such knowledge provides RLB with the skillset to develop initial budgets with accuracy and confidence from the barest of design information.

Air New Zealand’s Inflight Logistics Warehouse paved the way for sustainable industrial facilities. This low-carbon demonstration of corporate social responsibility is future-proofed for decades to come.
Richard Anderson, Director, RLB

The role of the quantity surveyor is to provide value for money. But the best quantity surveyors don’t just balance the budget. They also challenge the norm and provide fresh perspectives. 

“We often set a budget and assist in building a business case with nothing more than a few drawings and a schedule of accommodation,” says RLB Director Richard Anderson. “Supporting the client and consultant team to achieve a vision on a budget and seeking cost effective solutions is rewarding.”

Green dream

Designed by Eclipse Architecture, the naturally ventilated warehouse features operable louvres along the walls and 14 roof-mounted ventilators that improve air circulation.

The structural steel used for internal columns and beams was sourced within a 50-kilometre radius of its final destination.

  • 17
    warehouse across 6,500 square meter floor and yard
  • 5
    Star Green Star rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council
  • 3
    construction waste diverted from landfill

Sustainability takes off

Air New Zealand has an ambitious agenda to improve its fuel efficiency and operating practices to drive down emissions. But with New Zealand’s built environment responsible for around one fifth of its carbon footprint, according to the NZGBC, Air New Zealand’s leaders saw the logistics facility as an opportunity to raise the bar for industrial buildings.

The building’s striking façade offers an attractive addition to the airport precinct. But the clear cladding is more than just visually appealing. By enhancing the levels of natural light, the warehouse requires less artificial light. This, in turn, drives down energy consumption and emissions.

High-fives for high-tech logistics hub

Air New Zealand was recognised at the Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards in 2020 with an honor for ‘Excellence’ in the green building category and a ‘Merit’ in the industrial category. As Richard says: “By meshing resilience and sustainability with the demand for world-class technology and data storage, Air New Zealand created an award-winning building that set a new standard for industrial buildings.”