The Asteron Centre is Wellington’s largest office building at 49,000 metres square, 12 levels high, and housing more than 2,700 workers. Aurecon’s Building Services team was appointed the challenge of designing an extremely efficient building with low running costs in order to be highly marketable and attractive to both the owner and potential tenants.
The building’s design incorporates Environmentally Sustainable Design principles in the water, heating, lighting, ventilation and energy management systems.
For the air conditioning system, the building utilises a mixture of active chilled beams and a low temperature variable air volume system utilising high induction linear diffusers (infusers) which optimises occupant comfort by eliminating drafts, as well as minimising plant and duct sizes.
The building also incorporates Wellington’s largest heat pump chillers which provide heating and cooling water simultaneously. The heating water is used to provide both heating to the building and to also preheat the domestic hot water. The remaining domestic hot water capacity is provided by heat pump hot water cylinders.
Some of the other design initiatives include storm water being harvested and reused for flushing toilets, minimising storm water runoff and portable water usage, air quality being maximised by using 50 per cent more fresh air than Building Code minimums and the introduction of CO2 sensors on the floors for air quality control and monitoring.
The environmentally sustainable building was completed in 2010 and much to the delight of the client, achieved a 5 star Green Star Office Design v1 rating. The building’s energy use was then monitored daily to understand where further improvements could be made in order to make further savings.
After two years of careful monitoring, the Asteron Centre was awarded a 5.5 out of 6 Star base building energy rating from NABERSNZ (only one of two awarded in New Zealand) for reducing its base building energy use annually by half, to just 46 kW/hours per square metre.
Asteron Centre won a Merit Commercial Office Property award at the Property Council, Rider Levett Bucknall Property Industry Awards, 2011.