Composite materials used to ventilate new green ASB head office
31 October, 2013
ASB utilizes all the benefits of composite solutions in the construction of an innovative reflector, which will be used to ventilate and light its new Auckland head office.
One of the largest providers of financial and insurance services in New Zealand, the ASB Group is moving its head office to a brand new building in the Wynyard Quarter of Auckland starting in June 2013. ASB North Wharf, currently under construction, will be a “green” building, reflecting the importance ASB has always put on sustainability and innovation. Based in Auckland since its foundation in 1847, ASB will move to an exciting and vibrant new part of the city, while keeping its strong connection to the community.
The construction of the new building will aim at reducing environmental impact, while optimizing the comfort and safety of its occupants. ASB North Wharf will utilize sun power as well as the sea breeze of the Waitemata Harbour to light and ventilate the building. Specially designed sunshades will be used to regulate the amount of sunlight pouring into the building, thus regulating the inside temperature. However, the green thinking does not end there. Energy consumption in the building will be monitored and evaluated. Employees are encouraged to reduce the use of paper in their daily work, and to use public transportation going to and from the building. All details work together to minimize the building’s impact on the environment.
An important part of the sustainable construction is the reflector that was recently installed on top of the building. Manufactured by Yachting Developments, it will enhance the building’s ventilation and lighting system. Using cutting-edge technology originating in the boat-building industry, the reflector was constructed using high-strength Eglass, carbon fiber and DIAB HP foam with a high-gloss finish usually only found in super yachts. The lightweight construction was brought by barge from the company's Hobsonville boatyard across the harbor to the site on Auckland's Waterfront in December 2012, and was easily and quickly installed.
Measuring 12 meters (40 ft) in width, 12 meters (40 ft) in length and 6 meters (20ft) in height, the reflector weighs no more than 5,000 kg. This lightweight, yet sturdy construction has allowed the designers to create a spectacular shape of a three-dimensional sail with a superior surface finish that requires next-to-no maintenance. Soon to become a distinctive part of Auckland’s waterfront skyline, the reflector contributes to the construction of the green building. The new ASB office is a good example of how lightweight sandwich composite solutions can be adapted to novel applications and used to lead the way into a sustainable future.