The Meridian Building, which is situated in the Kumutoto precinct on Wellington’s waterfront, was New Zealand's first 5 GreenStar rated building. The flagship green commercial project was designed by Studio Pacific Architecture in association with Peddle Thorp Architects, and it incorporates a wide range of cutting-edge sustainability initiatives, making it one of the country’s most advanced green buildings. The design cleverly integrates elements from the heritage waterfront Sheds nearby into a contemporary piece.
The Meridian Building‘s design seeks to integrate it into its maritime environment, as well as in the historical context of its neighbors. Expressed as two separate forms, the side facing the Sheds features richly-colored and textured external louvers, while the other side is a cantilevered white volume that floats above the water. This cantilevered action creates a larger and shaded public plaza, which is an extension of the waterfront area. Each facade was expressly designed to respond to its particular orientation with respect to solar heat gain, heat loss, natural light, wind and view. Louvers on the north wall moderate solar gain, while a heavily insulated south wall with small windows minimizes loss.
Daylighting, passive ventilation, an efficient chilled beam mechanical heating and cooling system, solar hot water heating, lighting and occupancy sensors, and thermal mass all help the building achieve a 60% lower annual energy consumption than a typical New Zealand office building. Rainwater harvesting collects water for use in toilets and low-flow fixtures are used throughout to reduce potable water use by 70% compared to average buildings. Sustainable materials with low VOC finishes, recycled content and sustainable sources. The Meridian Building was also constructed out of partially-recycled cement. New Zealand’s first 5 GreenStar rated building has also be the recipient of a number of other architecture awards since its completion.
Images ©Simon Devitt