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Showcasing Massey University's new building



Timber is at the heart of one of the capital’s most earthquake resistant buildings, just opened at Massey University.


The new building at Massey’s College of Creative Arts (CoCA) has been constructed using the EXPAN LVL engineered timber system, featuring a unique post-tensioned seismic frame.


Developed by The Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC), post-tensioned cables embedded into the timber beams flex during an earthquake to withstand severe ground shaking and acceleration.

As well as offering outstanding seismic strength, the use of long-span exposed timber brings a warm aesthetic, and helped make the 3600m² gallery, studio and teaching space a place that inspires learning and creativity.


Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey says the building represents a bold investment by the University in the future of New Zealand.


“New Zealand needs to embrace design, creativity and innovation because that’s what this century is all about. Massey’s investment in this building is about ensuring we continue to produce world-leading designers who are not only creative but entrepreneurial, business savvy and globally connected.”


Architect Katherine Dean, from Athfield Architects says the design harks back to an old-fashioned warehouse with an open format.


“The timber technology gives us the big, open span frame for a completely uninterrupted space with no partitions that enables Massey to adapt the space over time to change with teaching needs.


“With Massey being at the forefront of design education, it was important to have a building that accommodated different types of teaching, and ways to teach across disciplines, with a structure that facilitates, rather than dictates, use.”


Green considerations were also important.


“The timber frame offers low embodied energy from a sustainable source, and the building is naturally ventilated with central ventilation and light shafts, limiting cooling and artificial lighting loads.”


College of Creative Arts Pro Vice-Chancellor Associate Professor Claire Robinson says staff and students are looking forward to moving into a state-of-the-art building that is unrivalled in New Zealand.


“The spaces and the facilities will inspire our students to create work we can’t even imagine yet, taking New Zealand creativity to a new level.”


Please join us at the WCTE conference in Auckland, at the EXPAN Cafe to have a coffee and find out why people are getting so excited about this proven but innovative timber solution.

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