6 December 2011 – New Zealand’s first industrial five Star Green Star building is a Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The New Zealand Green Building Council made the award to the 11,000 square metre maintenance support squadron building at RNZAF Base Ohakea, near Palmerston North.

The site, the largest and most complex facility ever built by the New Zealand Defence Force, will be used for aircraft maintenance.

Designer of the facility AECOM technical director, Nick Gordge, said environmentally sustainable design was a key priority for the technically complex project.

“The building features the highest levels of acoustic and thermal insulation, and natural materials have been used where possible to protect personnel and surrounding areas from high noise levels and achieve maximum energy efficiency,” Mr Gordge said.

“AECOM also developed an innovative way to treat trade waste using an evaporation system to reduce the quantity of waste and the risk of contamination, and our specialists invented a dual purpose wash and dry tower for cargo parachutes to extend their lifespan,” he said.

NZDF project director, Group Captain Graham Poucher, said AECOM architects and engineers worked collaboratively with the NZDF and RNZAF to design a sustainable, modern and functional facility for the maintenance of aircraft, including new fleets of NH90 and A109 helicopters.

“We are very pleased with what they have achieved and RNZAF’s maintenance support squadron personnel are looking forward to working in the new facility when they move out of the current buildings, some of which are more than 70 years old,” Group Captain Poucher said.

“We have reached our objective of providing a comfortable, safe, sustainable and efficient facility that caters for the effective maintenance of key aircraft to support the RNZAF’s long term training and operational commitments,” he said.

The facility includes a composite fabrication area, workshops for hydraulics valve testing, metalwork, metallurgic analysis, engine overhaul, cargo parachute maintenance, a machine shop, and personnel, office and administration areas.

AECOM’s design was reviewed by the NZDF’s environmentally sustainable design advisor for the project, eCubed Building Workshop, which independently validated its Green Star credentials. Construction of the facility is being undertaken by Mainzeal with completion expected in mid-2012.