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Structural engineers and draftees who are the best in the business

28 Shortland Street, Auckland CBD: Designing for overseas procurement and maximising profit

HCI, a Chinese developer new to the New Zealand market,
engaged us as structural engineers on this mixed use circa 35-
storey building plus four basement levels, featuring a health club,
retail and office space, with apartments on the higher floors and
basement car-parking. The project is currently at the developed
design phase.

The client wants a cost-effective structural solution (and efficient
structure) in order to maximise their profits.


  • HCI wants a steel-framed structure so that this can be
    procured from China. We are planning to design to Chinese
    standards. This will save time, because we won’t need to
    compare the proposed option to our specification nor do
    additional design coordination. It means our client won’t have to buy extra steel down the track due to discrepancies between the NZ and Chinese steel section dimensions.
  • The tower isn’t square to the podium. The rotation is driven by the desire to maximise natural sunlight and to keep a distance from adjacent buildings. This required us to be innovative in terms of the location of columns both at the car parking and street levels. We developed inclined columns on these floors, which allows for an efficient arrangement in the tower and avoids complex and expensive transfer structures. This will enable the architect to achieve his vision for a completely open space in the podium with no columns in the public internal street zone, and allows for more car parks and easier access to those car parks.
  • The project is ongoing and we remain committed to finding the best solutions to each issue we encounter. We are holding regular (weekly) brainstorming sessions with the contractor to ensure our designs are buildable, and are also coordinating closely with the architect so that we help bring his vision to life. Through the value-engineering process we have identified a possible alternative solution for the basement excavation/construction. Initially we had proposed a secant pile wall around the perimeter but are now considering a new technology available in New Zealand – diaphragm walls. These are common practice overseas and provide a more robust and efficient solution from both a design and construction perspective.
Project Team
Architect: Archimedia
Project pic 1


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