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Case Studies

Geyser Building, Parnell



Main contractor:
Project manager:
Structural engineer:
Electrical engineer:
Façade engineering:
Fire engineering:
Mechanical engineer:
Quantity surveyor:
Structural steel:

Geyser Building, Parnell

Sampson Corporation
Patterson Associates
eCubed Building Workshop
Chester Consultants
Thurston Consulting
Rider Levett Bucknall
Culham Engineering


The Gesyer development consists of five distinct buildings arranged around a series of atriums linked by external walkways, elevators and stairwells. The site has three street frontages and occupies the entire end of a city block. Retail outlets on the ground floor are located around an open plaza. Each of the five buildings has three upper levels totalling 5,040m2, which is primarily office space. A single five-storey basement, serviced by an automated car stacker machine, has capacity for 165 vehicles. The development has earned a 6 Star Office Design rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council.


The development was constructed using a ‘top-down’ methodology with the site team working simultaneously above and below the ground level slab. Structural steel was used for the four above-ground levels. Building Information Modelling (BIM) was used to create a smart combination of 3D model and database detail. By providing full BIM modelling showing the integration of the building structure with the double skin facade, the building contractor sorted out issues early within the virtual world, making for a smooth and efficient construction phase.

   Patterson Associates  

Key Sustainability Features

Energy efficiency

  • Designed to use 27% of the energy of a typical office/retail building of its size
  • Natural heating and cooling operates in place of mechanical air-conditioning. Each of the buildings is enveloped in a twin-skin façade – two glass walls separated by an air gap – which creates thermal currents that rise through the cavity between each of the skins. The automated outer skin opens on hot days and closes in high winds, rain and cooler days. The occupants have individual controls for the inner façade, allowing them to access the twin-skin air as required. In winter, warm air trapped between the two façade walls reduces the heat loss overnight and allows the cooler external air to be 'pre-warmed' during the day. The skins open electronically to fully ventilate the cavity when required
  • Individual weather stations on each of the five buildings monitor wind speed and rain; internal sensors report on temperature and carbon dioxide levels. These systems are linked to the building’s management system, which controls the twin-skin façade
  • A ceramic frit pattern on the outer skin of the low-iron glass façade provides increased shading
  • The development uses low-energy sensor-controlled lighting, achieving only half the artificial lighting of a typical retail/office complex

Prefabrication and fast-track construction

  • Off-site manufacture provides many sustainability benefits over on-site construction. These include precision-engineered products, predictable delivery and low waste
  • The structural steel frame was designed to be adaptable, durable and quick to erect. All elements of the steel frame were manufactured with simple bolted connections to ensure rapid, easy assembly on site. This reduced the disruption on and around the busy, congested building site
  • State-of-the-art manufacturing systems allowed individual parts to be accurately tracked and the amount of materials used was precisely calculated, including paint
  • From the outset, the fabricator consulted closely with the client, designer and engineer to work through fabrication issues – this added value to the project and minimised cost overruns

Water efficiency

  • The development’s toilets and irrigation system are supplied by rainwater, which is collected from the building’s roof areas and drained into a basement storage tank
  • Development uses half the amount of water typical of other office buildings this size


  • The upper level office tenancy spaces are open plan with floor to ceiling glass, providing plenty of natural light
  • Achieving 1.39W/m2, the buildings use half the amount of artificial lighting typical of other offices this size
  • All the building, power, data, smoke detectors, exit signs and PA speakers are housed within the single common element along with the lighting which creates flexibility for future tenancy fitouts without the need for ceiling access


  • 70% of building waste was recycled