AUT A1 Building

As AUT’s lowest carbon and most energy efficient building, A1 builds on a legacy of highly sustainable development for this ‘University of a Changing World’, placing student success and wellbeing at the heart of the design.

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Project Details

Client AUT
Sector Education
Location Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland
Discipline Architecture, Masterplanning, Interior Design
Status Due for completion in 2024
Size 10,000 sqm

A new heart for the AUT North Campus

AUT’s A1 building, set for completion in 2024, is the first step in the university’s masterplan to reinvigorate the North Campus, providing a new social and academic heart. A timber framed atrium connects the new building with several existing facilities, including the library, lecture theatres, and the newly reconfigured AF building.

The flexible, student-oriented spaces inside the four-storey building will include student support services, informal spaces for individual and collaborative study, and places to socialise. A complex redevelopment, A1 elegantly stitches together old and new elements, to create a campus that functions as much more than just a place to attend lectures.

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AUT’s most energy efficient and low carbon building

AUT is the most energy efficient university in New Zealand. A1 builds on this ambition, achieving 2030 net zero carbon targets for operational and embodied carbon and setting the industry standard for energy efficient consumption in Australasia. Key design choices have helped deliver a building with roughly half the embodied carbon of an equivalent new development.

An innovative, post-tensioned LVL timber structure combined with the adaptive reuse of an existing building delivers this outstanding result. Additionally, this lightweight timber structure reduces the weight of the new building, consequently reducing the amount of concrete required in the foundations, which further reduces embodied carbon. At the end of its life, many of the building components are both recyclable and easily dismantled for reuse.

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Health and well-being underpinning the design

The distinctive saw tooth façade blocks direct sunlight from the north and west, while south facing glazing maximises dispersed natural light and outlook with minimal solar heat gain. Due to the high-performance building envelope, the minimal cooling that is needed is provided through an efficient, low-energy displacement system, which contributes significantly to the target of less than 60kW.hr/m²/yr of operational energy usage.

The cool fresh air that is introduced at low levels, rises slowly as it warms before being extracted at roof level, lifting heat and pollutants away from occupants to create a healthy and comfortable environment. Displacement ventilation is the optimal solution for Auckland’s temperate climate and demonstrates AUT’s commitment to sustainability and student wellbeing.

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Awards

2021 WAF - Future Education Projects - Shortlisted