University of Canterbury Maths and Science Building
1The University of Canterbury (UoC) Maths and Science Building, now known as the Erskine building, forms part of the Sciences West Precinct. Many of the country’s leading mathematical and scientific minds have schooled there, so it’s an important structure in the New Zealand education system. Holmes Consulting Group’s engineers – including a large number of recent (and not so recent!) UoC graduates—were called in to deliver a robust structure that would create the right kind of learning environment.
2The UoC Maths and Science Building is an impressive facility: it has a full height atrium between the two distinct halves, with three seven storey towers housing staff and post-graduate research. On the southern side, the four storey portion includes lecture theatres for undergraduate studies. Designed well before the Green Star standard came into effect, the design incorporates excellent energy saving features, including the naturally ventilated atrium, and the exposed feature sine-wave shaped flooring. We applied some nifty creative design thinking to the project, particularly with the hollow precast floor units, which act as part of the air supply system.
3The project won an NZIA National award, an NZIA regional award and the Tasman Awards Large Practice award for the architect, Architectus. The building will continue to be an important one for many students – including, no doubt, some future Holmes Consulting Group employees!