CREDITSClient: Green School New Zealand / Architect: Boon Team Architects / Engineer: Nagel Consultants / Builder: Livingstone Building

Green School New Zealand, founded by Michael & Rachel Perrett, is the first of its kind in New Zealand to bring a focus of environmental awareness into the classroom. With an environmentally focused pedagogy, Green School aims to empower our future leaders to grow up with sustainable and social responsibility at the forefront of their minds. 

Creating a learning environment with an exposed timber structure helps connect students to nature and can reduce stress levels of the students. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connection with nature and other forms of life. The improvements in health and happiness that are associated with spending time outside in nature are well known and exposure to nature has been shown to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and aggression. Nature also increases the ability to focus attention and perform concentration and creative tasks. What better environment than a classroom to expose Mass Timber!

Mass Timber also acts as natural humidity buffer to make for a healthy in-built environment for the students; absorbing atmospheric moisture when it is wet and releasing it again when it is dry. You will not see interstitial condensation on timber joinery, and the same goes for mass Glulam members forming part of the building envelope.

The final design developed by Boon Team Architects resulted in several complex Glulam members forming the shape of a kina (a NZ sea urchin). A central recreation area is encompassed by several classrooms around the perimeter of the structure.

TimberLab Model - Kina Building

TimberLab were engaged by Livingstone Building to manufacture the complex curved timber members which consist of 24 curved portals, several complicated “eyebrow members”, and curved purlins and battens. 

TimberLab’s 3D model was developed from scratch with our experienced in-house modelling team to ensure full co-ordination with the timber members and metalwork brackets.

The unique geometry of the kina required attention to detail in the pressing and CNC fabrication process. Portal frames were pressed slightly over-dimension and CNC machined to millimetre accuracy using CAD/CAM CNC digital fabrication.

The eyebrow members within the structure are profiled in double curvature where the members curve and twist around the kina surface.  

Careful planning and detailing 3-dimensional jigs were required to manufacture these members. 

The Green School procurement process was focused on environmental sustainability and every part of the manufacture and delivery requirements focused on minimising waste. Environmentally preferred treatments were used for the externally exposed timber, and the bulk of the members were delivered to site with plastic-free protection to ensure no landfill waste. 

TimberLab’s environmental credentials ensured sustainability expectations were exceeded. See more about this here –