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21 Queen Street, Auckland

05 Sep 2011

The transformation of an Auckland building from 1970s throwback to contemporary downtown landmark earned Peddle Thorp Architects the 2011 Supreme Concrete³ Sustainability Award. The team revitalised the multi-storey office building at 21 Queen Street, preserving its concrete frame and core while creating vibrant and thoroughly modern spaces inside and out.

The ‘reuse – reduce’ strategies adopted by the project principals, enabled the building’s life cycle to be significantly increased, the embodied energy of its concrete elements to be saved, and the emissions associated with alternative demolition and new build scenarios prevented – all key components to achieving environmental sustainability in construction.

It is estimated that the 21 Queen Street project has made an embodied energy saving of around 29% percent by preserving the concrete structural frame.  In operational terms, the energy saved when compared to an equivalent new build project would be enough to power the building for 14 years.

Stripping the site’s 14 level  concrete frame of its cladding and fit-out, to form the heart of a refurbished and modern building, now teaming with over 300 office workers, also underpinned the project’s commercial viability, as well as breathing new life into the urban environment around Queen Elizabeth Square. 

Through the reuse of a durable concrete frame building the project addressed all the economic, social and environmental imperatives of sustainable development, elevating it above a host of outstanding entries in 2011.

This is an example of adaptive reuse that will quickly become the New Zealand benchmark for what can be achieved in terms of optimum resource management, (embodied) energy efficiency and design potential, through the imaginative redevelopment of our concrete structures.

“A really good way to reduce environmental impact is to build less.  Our existing commercial structures present us with a tremendous opportunity to reinvigorate urban environments and target reduced energy consumption during construction, as well as improve energy efficiency during occupation.  Winning the Concrete³ Sustainability Award is a fine endorsement of the collaborative approach and dedication of a talented design team and the vision of a forward thinking client.”

Wade Jennings, Associate Director, Peddle Thorp Architects


Wade Jennings of Peddle Thorp Architects accepts the 2011 Supreme Concrete3
Sustainability Award from CCANZ CEO Rob Gaimster