NZ’s largest mass timber office building coming to town

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The crane has arrived, and piling is underway – visible signs of progress in Tauranga’s city centre on what’s set to become the country’s largest mass timber office building.

The future home of Tauranga City Council’s administration staff at 90 Devonport Road is being constructed by property development and investment company Willis Bond with construction partner LT McGuinness, in collaboration with architects Warren and Mahoney, Council, and mana whenua. Once complete, Council will lease the building from Willis Bond.

The building is leading the way in environmentally sustainable design and in addition to the use of mass timber, will feature rainwater harvesting, electric vehicle charging, and facilities that encourage active transport options.

Using engineered timber in place of more traditional concrete and steel elements will reduce embodied carbon – carbon emitted through the manufacturing, transportation, and installation of building materials and components – to its lowest possible point.

At a recent ground-breaking ceremony on site, Commissioner Bill Wasley credited the collective efforts of everyone involved in reaching this exciting milestone.

“We’ve teamed up with some of the best in the business to lead the way in the sustainable and innovative design of this building, so we can all look forward to see it taking shape over the next two years,” says Bill.

“After years of indecision, it’s great to see these visible signs of progress being made so our community can feel confident that we’re delivering on our commitment to transforming our city centre in a way that supports environmental sustainability and revitalises downtown Tauranga.”

“It’s also a nod of confidence for council’s administration staff who’ve been waiting to be back under the same roof since 2014 when they had to vacate their previous home on Willow Street.”

Willis Bond Managing Director – Funds and Finance, Wayne Silver, says Willis Bond is committed to continuing to evolve how they develop projects to ensure they’re walking with a light carbon footprint. “The incorporation of mass timber building components is going to become a fundamental part of our development toolkit for constructing environmentally sustainable and exceptional buildings, both now and in the future,” says Wayne.

“At over 10,000 square metres, 90 Devonport Road will be the largest mass timber office building ever built in New Zealand and will set a new standard for projects of scale that can be delivered with this environmentally sustainable methodology. That it will become an integral part of Tauranga’s city centre and serve the council and the community of Tauranga for years to come, is a very exciting prospect.”

The building is targeting the highest 6 Green Star – Design and As-Built NZv1.0 – Design Review Rating, demonstrating world leadership in sustainability. It also has a strong emphasis on mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge systems) and connection with the surrounding natural environment.

Related: City centre revitalisation set to accelerate

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