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Developer: YMCA
Architect: Architectus
Contractor:  Cook Brothers Construction
Location: Christchurch
Service Type: Facade Engineering

The allocation of funding through the government's 'shovel ready' initiative has catalyzed a substantial redevelopment initiative at the YMCA's Ōtautahi Christchurch city centre site. Executed as per the master plan formulated by Architectus, this multi-staged development process has been strategically designed to enable the YMCA's uninterrupted operation throughout the four implementation phases. These stages encompass the refurbishment of the existing accommodation building, the construction of a new building integrating diverse functions, the demolition of the YMCA's Stadium building, and the establishment of a new carpark.

In Stage 1, orchestrated by the YMCA, the former accommodation building underwent a transformative metamorphosis into Hotel Give, New Zealand's pioneering socially sustainable hotel. Officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in early August 2021, the hotel channels all profits back into the YMCA's programs and services, fostering improved outcomes for young individuals and vulnerable community members. Stage 2 involves the erection of a dedicated structure for the YMCA's community-centric activities, encompassing a black-box theatre, preschool, health and wellbeing spaces, educational facilities, dance studios, and accommodations for support tenants like general medical practice and physiotherapy. The design strategically establishes a new entry point for the YMCA on Rolleston Avenue, activating a central courtyard between Hotel Give and the new building to form the nucleus of the YMCA redevelopment. Functionality is paramount, welcoming individuals of all ages, with social spaces seamlessly integrated throughout the building to encourage interaction. A projecting glass façade frames picturesque views from the fitness center and dance studios towards the Botanic Gardens, while the Papa Hou theatre occupies the east side with the preschool at ground level opening to dedicated outdoor space. The exterior design draws inspiration from the Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, and neighboring heritage buildings. In collaboration with Matapopore Charitable Trust, a nuanced cultural design strategy has been developed to infuse cultural values and narratives into the development, nurturing and shaping youth into individuals with a strong sense of identity. Guided by key principles from the Core Green Building Certification, the sustainability strategy prioritizes health and wellbeing and energy performance. Access to natural light, active and passive ventilation systems, low-impact building materials, and energy-efficient HVAC systems are integral elements, aligning with the diverse range of uses within the building. Ultimately, the resulting structure will stand as a cross-cultural, cross-generational, vibrant hub at the heart of Ōtautahi Christchurch, exemplifying a harmonious blend of functionality, sustainability, and cultural integration.

DESIGN ENGINEERS, in partnership with HAGLEY COMMERCIAL, have actively engaged in providing a comprehensive glazed facade engineering PS1 package to fortify their joinery design initiatives. Our involvement encompassed a meticulous assessment of the aluminum framing, specifically focusing on the verification of strength and deflection. This rigorous examination ensures that the framing meets the stringent criteria for structural integrity and performance.

Our engineering expertise extended further to the execution of a detailed glaze span check, evaluating the resilience of the facade against wind loading and potential human impact. This comprehensive assessment plays a pivotal role in ensuring the longevity and safety of the glazed facade under diverse environmental conditions. Simultaneously, we delved into the intricate details of joinery interface waterproofing and sealant applications, providing valuable insights to enhance the overall performance and lifespan of the facade system.

In our commitment to a holistic engineering approach, we conducted a meticulous review and offered engineering input for window and door perimeter fixings. This involved a nuanced examination of the fixings to ensure their efficacy and compliance with established engineering standards. Additionally, our collaboration with HAGLEY COMMERCIAL extended to the critical task of selecting an appropriate joinery system in alignment with industry codes and standards, meeting specified strength and deflection criteria.

The chosen joinery system was selected not only for its capacity to resist out-of-plane wind loading but also to accommodate in-plane seismic racking, effectively mitigating the risk of glass failure during seismic events. Special attention was given to the compatibility of glass with the joinery frame, necessitating careful design considerations to manage and minimize the potential risk of glass failure.

In essence, our collaboration with HAGLEY COMMERCIAL underscores a dedication to precision engineering, ensuring that every aspect of the glazed facade system is meticulously designed, verified, and aligned with the highest industry standards. This approach aims to deliver not only aesthetically pleasing designs but also robust and resilient structures that exemplify excellence in engineering.


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