Accolades for the best education projects

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Steve Gracey


Steve Gracey


Awards , Projects
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Creativity and collaboration were on show at the Property Council New Zealand Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards in Auckland last month with four of RLB’s recent education projects recognised.

A new Hanley’s Farm School, with an impressive backdrop of The Remarkables mountain range, has been two years in the making.

The project boasts a modern two-storey teaching space, with a combination of three teaching spaces, a hall and administration block, office and play areas.

The school has capacity for 600 students from new entrants through to year eight with the ability to expand to 950.

The teaching spaces are multi-functional with rooms able to be closed or open plan.

The hall has a basketball court with options for netball, badminton, and volleyball.

Rider Levett Bucknall Director Chris Perrins said,

RLB is proud to have been an integral member of an experienced team tasked with delivering this excellent learning facility on time and within budget despite the challenges of constructing through the COVID‐19 lockdowns of 2021.

Preceded by a Pre–Construction Services Agreement (PCSA), the Massey University Albany Innovation Complex in Auckland encompassed design, consents, BIM milestones, and all construction works.

Comprising two build stages, the first involved construction of a bus lane, footpath and installation of foundation beams comprising 77 bored piles.

The second stage was the main build, involving construction of a four-level building with hybrid glulam and steel structure across 10,000 square metres of laboratories and teaching spaces.

With service and building complexity comparable to that of a hospital, the building contains precision positive and negative air pressure HVAC systems to furnish the PC2‐level laboratory requirements; medical gas infrastructure and supply; complex electrical supply and building management systems; state-of-the-art fibre optic data system; and the latest smart teaching technology.

The acoustic requirements between rooms and floor levels meet the high specifications required for teaching, together with unique internal fire separations requirements.

Rider Levett Bucknall Principal Vaughan Plant said, “With a technically challenging brief and the diverse locations of key stakeholders, RLB supported Massey through the business case, design, and delivery life cycle of the project. To see the ideas of a visionary leadership team brought to fruition by a talented group of designers and constructed with a resiliency for future generations has been remarkable.”

The new purpose–built 1,100 square metre Motueka Public Library – Te Noninga Kumu replaced the previous library which was grossly undersized to meet the population it serves.

Sustainable construction was implemented right from the start.

The new facility was structurally built with almost 100 percent timber and minimal steel and concrete.

An automated lighting control system, mixed mode (passive and active air–conditioning) with automatic window actuators, rainwater–collecting tank, a soak–pit to dispose of any onsite stormwater overflowing from the collection tank, and a 100KWp solar power system was installed complete with battery storage.

Rider Levett Bucknall Director Bevan Hartley said, “The Motueka Public Library is a facility that will deliver tangible value to its community for decades to come. Its green credentials are inspiring.”

Wakatipu High School is a secondary education school for years 9–13.

The original building was extended with two new teaching wings and a standalone gym, increasing the roll from 1,200 to 1,800 students.

Computer and science laboratories, a lecture theatre, and a new gym were delivered under a successful Public Private Partnership (PPP) Programme.

The new double gym is equipped with two regular courts and one show court for use with retractable audience seating for 700.

Significant internal alterations were also completed to provide better functionality for the school.

Work was completed while the school was at full capacity along with temporary accommodation and fully operational.

A mix of staged works and temporary offsite manufactured buildings were used to ensure full capacity at the school.

Rider Levett Bucknall Director Chris Haines said, “PPP routes can be challenging, with a number of gateways, risk profiling and legal frameworks to navigate and yet this project delivered and navigated a successful path and outcome.”

Hosted by Property Council New Zealand with the support of Principal Sponsor Rider Levett Bucknall, the Property Industry Awards is the most prestigious property awards programme in New Zealand, celebrating excellence in design and innovation in the built environment for over 20 years.

Rider Levett Bucknall in Auckland Managing Director Steve Gracey said, “It has been RLB’s great privilege to play a role honouring the extraordinary achievements of our industry’s true gamechangers. Congratulations to the 2023 winners for being part of a world-class showcase of purpose-driven spaces.”

Whakamihi to all the winners
Learn how we are preparing bright minds for any future