The Living Pā

This project is currently underway and will provide Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington with new space for learning and research. The building is constructed mostly from timber manufactured in New Zealand and the site has a strict recycling scheme to limit the waste produced. The building will have three levels and sit proudly on the roundabout corner at the top end of Kelburn parade. With a major bus route along the site and the Glasgow Street retaining wall this location has come with its fair share of challenges.

The Living Pā is a leap forward for the construction industry, striving to meet the internationally recognized Living Building Challenge set out by Living Future Institute. 

On the Living Future Institute website, it states Living Buildings are:

  • Regenerative buildings that connect occupants to light, air, food, nature, and community.
  • Self-sufficient and remain within the resource limits of their site.
  • Create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them.

Spencer Holmes Involvement

Spencer Holmes was employed to undertake the initial site topographical survey with a focus on the position of the Wharenui, behind what was at that stage, smaller university buildings and native trees surrounding the site. Once the demolition of these small buildings was complete, we established a control network and placed initial grid set out to help the L.T. McGuinness Building Contractors establish the site.

Survey set out has been required throughout the project. With the establishment of grids to position columns and structural beams, positioning the onsite wastewater treatment plant, boundary location and the set out of over 200 timber driven piles for Richardson Drilling Ltd.

Spencer Holmes Surveying and Engineering teams worked together to undertake a condition assessment of the existing wall, installing crack gauges and targets to the Glasgow Street wall. Spencer Holmes has been actively engaged in monitoring throughout the construction of the Living Pā site, showcasing the ease of collaboration between Engineering and Surveying teams. With the nature of the site, Spencer Holmes has provided a range of services to assist L.T. McGuinness and other stakeholders in any way they require to complete this one-of-a-kind project structure.

Living Pa - Aerial shot
Living Pa - Looking towards retaining wall
Living Pa - Looking towards retaining wall with piles in ground
Living Pa - Total Station on site

Other projects:

Takina Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre

Brooklyn Terraces

Seddon Memorial

Rangiatea Street Subdivision