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The Datacom Building combines contemporary office space with a green agenda

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Located in the heart of the Wynyard Quarter's Innovation Precinct, the new Datacom Building represents a coming together of staff from five buildings to one, while green efficiencies are threaded through the high-tech office design

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The thriving Innovation Precinct in Auckland's Wynyard Quarter fosters a spirit of innovation, modern business practices and a proud, go-ahead commercial community spirit – all making it an ideal location for the Datacom Building.

Tahi, Maori for one, was the internal project code for the new building, and it was a significant naming. After a number of years of double-digit growth, Datacom's 1200 Auckland staff were split across five sites. The Datacom Building brings them all together at one high profile address. However, this is only part of the story of the relocation.

The move to Wynyard Quarter is about producing a truly modern, collaborative workplace, focussed around Datacom's people and their capacity to grow customer relationships, says Vernon Kay, director, Datacom Systems Auckland.

"We are very excited about the potential of having all of our teams under one roof. We've designed a modern collaborative environment that fosters creativity, encourages new ways of innovating and working, and most importantly encourages our teams to approach customer challenges from a holistic point of view. Our commitment to customer obsession is at the heart of our relocation."

The 17,000m2 Datacom Building is owned by Goodman Property Trust and leased to Datacom for 15 years with rights of renewal beyond that.

Datacom's sense of modernity is reflected in the look of the building, designed by Architectus. The east and west facades are primarily curtain-wall construction, while profiled precast concrete cladding panels are coloured to provide variation and scale to the long elevations.

Located in the north western corner of the Precinct with frontages to Gaunt St and Daldy Street, the seven-storey building presents active edges to both streets, including retail space and the main entry on the street corner.

Above the retail floor, the office spaces are distributed around the central atrium that brings natural light into the heart of the building. A staircase within the atrium connects the commercial levels and encourages casual interactions – one of many ways staff stay connected in this modern office. Below the retail floor there are two levels of underground parking entered off the service lane to the south.

Of the total building space of 17,000m2, Datacom takes up 13,500m2 – over levels one to five – together with 145m2 for the basement amenities, plus carparks and 120 bike parks. There will be commercial tenants on Level 6, and a mix of retail and commercial tenants on the ground floor.

Where Datacom's previous offices were at capacity and ageing, the new building caters for continued growth, with capacity to accommodate more than 1500 people in the dynamic environment.

"Although we used a great team of external experts for the fit-out, staff have driven much of it," says Kay. "The key thing for us was to get new premises that lifted the quality of the previous premises, but didn't shift from Datacom's core values of delivery to our customers."

The new workspaces are open-plan with wireless capability throughout, allowing Datacom ‘rovers' to move freely around the building to form collaborative work groups. There are 100 break-out spaces for one-to-one discussions and informal meetings, 30 single person booths, state-of-the-art training centres, and a number of special spaces. These include a technology-free Sanctuary room for quiet contemplation on Level 3, a library, and even a gaming area on the public-access Level 1.

The staff café is also on this level and provides a welcoming social hub for the entire Datacom team. Fridges for individual floors are set behind the scenes in the adjacent kitchen to further encourage staff to leave their immediate neighbourhoods.

In addition, the first floor event space can be completely opened up via operable walls to accommodate town hall meetings or to host special events. A Tech Demo room allows Datacom to share its industry-leading work across Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things with the wider community.

And the Datacom Building is as green as it is spatially and technologically advanced – a prominent use of natural wood and a large green wall near the reception are visual signs of this. The building is designed to the latest earthquake-resistant 100% New Building Standard, was awarded a Five Green Star NZ design rating, and combines the latest in sustainable architectural features in energy and water conservation. Everything from the use of structural steel with a high percentage of recycled steel content to the specification of sensor taps to bathroom wash hand basins was considered.

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First published date: 21 June 2017

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Electrical consultant Electrical Consulting Services
Hydraulic consultant Hydraulic Services Consultants
Fire design consultant Beca
Fire protection consultant Aurecon
Acoustic consultant Norman Disney & Young
Planning consultant Barker & Associates
Greenstar consultant SEEC
Landscape architects Jasmax
Facade design ThermosashReception fit-out Image Interiors
Cladding Precast concrete from ConcreTec; Basalt natural stone tiles from The Tile People
Glazing Unitised Curtain Walling and Commercial Window Suite, both by Thermosash
Roof Profiled metal and membrane by RoofLogic; ACM Soffit Panels by Thermosash
Canopy Steelwork by Enterprize Steel, glazing by Thermosash
Mesh stair cladding Powdercoated expanded aluminium by Designer Stainless
Balustrades and handrails Metal, glass, and Tasmanian oak from Designer Stainless
Flooring Carpet tile (Level Six) Nocturnal 20 by Feltex, porcelain Niro Granite tiling by The Tile People; Basalt natural stone tiling (entrance) by The Tile People;Tasmanian Oak engineered timber flooring on atrium stair by The Wooden Floor Company
Ceiling Armstrong Ultima from Forman Building Systems
Paints Alabaster, Black White, Double Foundry, BlackJack – all by Resene
Entrance lobby walls Stone tiles in Tundra Grey Marble by The Tile People; Natural Anegre timber veneer by Decortech
Lifts Schindler
Main furniture supply Crestline, Aspect Furniture
Project Datacom Building, Auckland
Developer Goodman Properties Trust
Architect Architectus
Interior design Gaze Commercial
Construction Fletcher Construction
Project management RCP
Structural consultant Holmes Consulting Group
Mechanical consultant Thurston Consulting with Economech Services