Sharp Tudhope - exterior Sharp Tudhope - exterior CREDIT: Village NZ
Sharp Tudhope  - Level 3 Sharp Tudhope - Level 3 CREDIT: Village NZ

Tauranga's 'Green' Architecture Proves A Commercial Hit

Monday 29 October 2012, 1:45PM
By Village NZ

Sharp Tudhope Lawyers’ new state-of-the-art Green Star standard building on Devonport Rd, Tauranga, has won another prestigious award – this time recognising its outstanding architecture.

Tauranga’s oldest law firm moved into the environmentally friendly four-storey building designed by architecture firm Jasmax in May, and has received a New Zealand Institute of Architects 2012 Waikato/Bay of Plenty Architecture Award for commercial architecture.

The building, which is set to become the Bay of Plenty’s first official Green Star rated commercial building (four stars), also recently won the Sustainable Business Network’s (SBN) regional Trailblazer Award for Medium Business and is one of five national finalists in the SBN Vodafone People’s Choice Award.

Sharp Tudhope General Manager, Peter Wilson, says the win highlights the brilliant work Jasmax has done in fulfilling the law firm’s detailed brief.

“We wanted a modern, sophisticated building that would help us continue to attract top legal talent and provide a sound working space for our team, but one which also blended into its surrounding environment and reflected our company’s green ethos,” Wilson explains. “We have been doing business in Tauranga for 116 years and we needed a building that looked good aesthetically and reflected our values as well as our level of expertise and service.”

The principles of Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) were central to the project and the building is equipped with a suite of energy-saving features geared towards reducing the building’s energy demands. These include enhanced insulation in walls and ceilings, custom-designed heating and ventilation systems, room occupancy sensors and water-efficiency systems.

Wilson says Sharp Tudhope’s win is great for the city of Tauranga which is rapidly expanding as its population and business sector continues to grow. “New commercial buildings are an exciting sign of the times. And to be able to deliver a top quality, award-winning one is nothing short of satisfying,” he says.

The building was built specifically for the needs of its occupants, which also include Powerco, IAG and the Lobby Cafe, and the almost seven year project was a collaborative effort between Jasmax, Sharpac Properties LP (who own the building) and Sharp Tudhope who lease the top two floors.

Jasmax principal architect Nicholas Moyes is thrilled the building has received such an accolade from the New Zealand Institute of Architects. “It recognises the team effort involved in producing buildings of this standard from the architectural team, the huge effort and passion bought to the project by the client, and the fantastic support through the process from all of the consultant team and the contractor (Watts & Hughes) on site.”

Moyes believes the attention to detail and the sense of permanence and quality is what set the building apart from other entries. “The building represents the desire of Sharp Tudhope to provide the city a quality of building and set a new benchmark for architecture and interior environment quality,” he says.

“We have received feedback from a number of people that have said it looks like it belongs – that it looks like it has always been there. Our brief was to design a ‘Tauranga’ office building and to have a comment like that suggests we have achieved that.”

Moyes believes Tauranga’s CBD is very close to a tipping point, and more emphasis needs to be placed on reinforcing and reinvigorating the central city in order to attract and retain both retail and office activities.

“The city should be extremely proud to have companies like Sharp Tudhope who not only appreciate the importance of being a key part to the city, but want to invest in a sustainable future for the city. As their architects, we are very proud to be part of their vision.”