Sep 2014 - Kirk Roberts Finalist in Engineering Excellence Awards

Sep 2014 - Kirk Roberts Finalist in Engineering Excellence Awards

Kirk Roberts is a finalist in the Building and Construction category of the 2014 Engineering Excellence Awards, their entry titled 'A Pres-Lam Assertion in Damage Resistant Design' is for Young Hunter House in Victoria Street, Christchurch - the first  internally post-tensioned structural timber multi storey commercial building to be built in New Zealand.The Awards winners will be announced at a Gala dinner to be held in Auckland on 28 November.

Innovative Young Hunter House is a 3-storey, 1900m2 office building designed to have easily repairable damage at code level seismic events but capable of of withstanding drifts associated with a 1 in 2500 year seismic event.

The building system was selected to reinforce the clients passion for a safe, low damage and easily repairable structure while using timber as an architectural feature.The building has attracted international attention. The prestigious Institution of Structural Engineers (ISTRUCTE) the worlds leading professional body for qualifications and standards in structural engineering has, for example, featured Young Hunter House and Kirk Roberts in their technical book Stability of Buildings'. ISTRUCTE has over 27,000 members in 105 countries.

Young Hunter House was designed and built while the post-tensioned timber design guidelines were still being developed by the Structural Timber Innovation Centre (STIC) a consortia operating, in 2012, out of the University of Canterbury School of Engineering. The team at Kirk Roberts used both force based and displacement based technologies and specific emphasis was attached to making the new technology cost effective and commercially viable. Post-tensioning technology initally overcame the challenge of connecting large concrete structural elements. Its adaptation and application to a relatively new building material, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) provided advantages that included a reduction in both construction time (for example concrete curing time) and construction cost (a consequence of faster erection and lighter weight).

According to building owner and developer Tony Merritt;

"This is one of the safest new technology buidings in Christchurch. If built again I wouldn't change a thing. As a product it has a feeling of warmth and permanence. I am thrilled with it. The tenants love it."

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