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With its distinctive sail motif, Lumley Centre was conceived as a large-scale sculptural element for downtown Auckland

Fine lines

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While the Lumley Centre's facade recognises Auckland's passion for yachting, and in particular the America's Cup, one key building service is the result of a less fondly remembered incident.

Low water levels in hydroelectric storage lakes caused blackouts throughout much of the central city at the time the tower was first mooted, says Jon Williams, Auckland building services manager for Beca Carter Hollings and Ferner (Beca).

"In event of another costly disruption, Lumley Centre features the provision of enough emergency power capacity to maintain the building's operation during a prolonged mains failure – something not provided for in other recent CBD developments," says Williams.

Beca was engaged by Manson Developments to project manage and design building services, such as air conditioning, electrical, plumbing, security, communication and fire protection. The firm also engineered fit-outs for major tenants.

"The brief for the base design was to produce a building with tenant services in line with, or above, other recent prestige developments in Auckland. For the tenants, each brief was slightly different, but all three wanted to provide a high quality work environment for their staff," says Williams.

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Effective air conditioning is crucial to maintaining a comfortable workplace. Lumley Centre's plant rooms, which occupy the roof space, are the nerve centre for a variable air volume (VAV) air conditioning system that allows 21 separate temperature zones per floor.

To solve security problems and provide tenants with swift access to office floors, destination-based Miconic lifts, which improve passenger-handling capacity, were integrated with an access control.

"When a tenant presents their security card in the lobby, the system knows their home floor and registers a lift to this level. Also recognised are users with special needs, who are given more time to enter the lift.

Williams says a site specific challenge was ventilating the lower level car parks, located behind the existing neo-classical facade. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) software was used to design a system to provide sufficient ventilation using the minimum amount of equipment.

For more details, contact Jon Williams at Beca, 132 Vincent St, PO Box 6345, Auckland, phone (09) 300 9296. Email: jon.williams@beca.com. Website:www.beca.com .

First published date: 03 November 2005

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