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15/08/2019 12:00 a.m.
Thursday 15 August, 2019
The Ashburton District Council has today approved the general concept plans for the new Ashburton Library and Civic Centre facility, which include environmentally sustainable elements and - in what is believed to be a first for the country, to incorporate a heritage building (Pioneer Hall) into the new build.The architect and lead designers for the project, Athfield Architects presented an update on their concept designs to the Council at the Council meeting today (15 August).The concept plans include using timber as a key structural element throughout the building. Timber performs well in seismic activity and is a more sustainable material.An artesian well and chilled beam cooling/heating system will also be progressed in the project. This solution utilises water to heat and cool the building that will provide ongoing energy cost-saving benefits.The use of timber and artesian well and chilled beam cooling/heating system are both to come from the $3 million allocated by the Council for additional environmentally sustainable design elements.Along with these particular elements, the Council also resolved to further consider sustainability features identified during future stages of the design programme.Pioneer Hall, the heritage building located on the project site, is set to be incorporated into the new Library and Civic Centre facility. The front facade of the brick building is planned to feature on the exterior of the facility, with the remainder of the hall to be encased inside the new building with the intent that it will be used as a space within the facility.Athfield Architects reported that this particular design approach does not appear to have ever been attempted before in New Zealand, and is an exciting opportunity to celebrate Ashburton's history while also providing a cost-saving for the overall project.With the general concept plans approved, the Ashburton Library and Civic Centre project will progress to more detailed designs.