Pūtaiao Koiora

Powell Fenwick was responsible for all of the services engineering for Pūtaiao Koiora, The University of Canterbury School of Biological Sciences Building. This was a multistage project, encompassing a new research building and the complete redevelopment of the old zoology building. The upgrade reflects modern biological sciences and created a more interactive space for students and teachers.

Pūtaiao Koiora houses six storeys of modern research laboratories, a seawater aquarium, controlled growth room facilities and an ancient DNA laboratory. The Services Design included high efficiency lighting systems with Dali control, including daylight dimming, extensive occupancy sensing integrated with the BMS for HVAC control and high efficiency cooling systems with chilled beams utilising artesian water for cooling. It also included a Physical Containment Level Two (PC2) Laboratory which has to meet rigorous industry requirements.

A high efficiency magnetic bearing centrifugal chiller (the second project for these in Christchurch, the other was at Christchurch Hospital which was also a Powell Fenwick project) was provided to feed into the Sciences Precinct cooling system servicing the building and other buildings in the area. This was demonstrated to achieve part load COP’s of over 14, utilising the low temperature artesian water for heat rejection. The artesian water system itself was an extension of the existing Commerce Building system. This was to allow the same water to be used for further cooling and heating for specialist spaces via a hot water heat pump system in summer when the site boiler is not in operation.