A premium grade office tower in a city’s central business district not only changes its sky line but demonstrates the value of international research applied with local sensitivity.
The 80 Queen Street development is a premium office tower development in Auckland which has breathed new life into the downtown area of the Central Business District while contributing to the civic repair of New Zealand’s capital.
The Deloitte Centre occupies a site steeped in Maori history but now has new life as the home for major tenants Bank of New Zealand and Deloitte. Redevelopment of a unique city block bounded by four streets and the retention of a heritage façade has ensured that the once fertile grazing lands on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour are now a vital and integral part of the city.
This exemplar of urban repair has been possible by a combining world’s best practice with sensitivity to local conditions. “The Design Intelligence and innovation of this project is of a global standard; yet the architecture is specific to Auckland and derived from a deep understanding of the site’s history,” said Earle Arney, Global Director of Workplace.
A joint venture by Woods Bagot with local architects Warren and Mahoney, the 31,000m2 Deloitte Centre is 5 Star Green Star certified and is one of the first pilot projects for the introduction of the Green Building Council rating system in New Zealand.
"At the time of undertaking this project, 89% of New Zealanders stated that climate change was an issue and 74% wanted something to be done to slow it.” Arney also observed that “New Zealanders have a long history of environmental action and within this context we felt it was our responsibility to create a building that was the most sustainable commercial office building in the country. We were fortunate to have a very progressive client who recognised that environmental sustainability was not only good for the earth; it would be an effective tool to attract and retain their key talent.”
Applied research has been a key driver of the workplace sector and one that has enabled an application of global knowledge and best practice to local conditions. “We were conscious that it was not good enough to just create the ‘greenest’ building in the country; we also wanted to ensure that the thinking of this project was captured and reapplied to the benefit of others. We therefore developed a daylight measurement tool that enables floorplates to be optimised according to particular locations and orientations of facades. We created this tool with ARUP and it is now used globally to guide floorplate design in cities from London to New York, Hong Kong to Sydney,” said Arney.
This global/local thinking has resulted in a development that is commanding rental rates amongst the highest in the city and a workplace environment that occupiers have rated as significantly more healthy, enjoyable and productive.
“The key tenants have conducted Post Occupancy Evaluations which demonstrate that staff engagement and productivity have risen dramatically on account of working in this building. Given that the cost of people is such a large proportion of the cost of business, the Deloitte Centre has proven that an inside-out design philosophy, borne out of a deep understanding of tenant requirements, is effective in unlocking challenging sites while also underpinning the business case of commercial developments,” commented Arney.
So, how do you achieve this? As noted by Jane Henley, Chief Executive, World Green Building Council, “It’s about taking a leap of faith.” The developers of the building, Brookfield Multiplex, did exactly that, resulting in the tower being considered by many as the prime commercial office development in the country.
Key sustainability facts
Global - Local
Deloitte Centre Case Study