16 Busby St Completed

16 Busby Street

RM Designs and Engco

2. Residential design award for multi-unit residential buildings (up to 3 levels)

Busby Street was part of a Research and Development Project for Kainga Ora

The client’s aspiration was to take a hybrid building approach to two three level apartments, enhance amenities for their occupiers, consider LEAN principles and critically achieve the first Homestar 7 project in their portfolio.

The design and build team had assembled other CLT buildings. One of the considerations here was to use the CLT as structure and use partially clad façade panels with prefabricated timber frame to quickly close the building envelope. The mid floors could not have been assembled, walked on, and had works continued around them in traditional materials. The CLT lid formed diaphragm, realized further speed, and had further benefits around health and safety regards access.

The prefabricated timber walls restrained by the ATS strong rod system utilized the timber in the most efficient way compared to previously used CLT shear walls. It allowed to reduce mass timber and safe timber where it wasn’t needed structurally whilst giving the benefits of increased insulation in the created space between the framing.

This methodology allowed the lifting on near complete faced panels onto the mass timber structure in place level by level. Tie rods, in a fire rated cavity from the bottom to top plate worked well in conjunction with the timber light frame and mass of the CLT panels.

The roof diaphragm gave the ability to enhance the entrances in the two buildings to achieve a point of arrival. The CLT was exposed in some common areas, to talk to provide an aesthetic that also spoke to the construction of these buildings.

Bathroom pods were also used as an additional innovation to this stand out building.

The focus on common zones and amenities,and overachieving to code in aspects like daylight levels saw the goal of Homestar 7 achieved.

The combination of structural efficient and purpose-oriented use of the timber as material has helped to reduce waist, increase speed and provide flexibility to the architectural requirements in the brief.

Moisture during the construction was a challenge and was being monitored. Simple and fundamental necessary methods were used by avoiding the water getting to the timber and speed in construction to a fully concealed building. As simple staying on top of wiping the moisture away and emphasize with the construction team to keep a focus on protecting the material was the only target applied. In future buildings we have started to install adhesive membranes onto the CLT floors to avoid the mass timber getting wet from a start.