Jerram Tocker Barron Architects Motueka Library 92 A8857 HDR

Te Noninga Kumu - Motueka Public Library


JTB Architects

8. Sustainable development award

Photographed by: 
Jason Mann

Opened in March 2022, Te Noninga Kumu – Motueka Public Library creates a new learning and cultural hub for the Motueka community.

The design fufils a complex brief or community and user requirements including:

Community spaces

Connection to the reserve

Sustainable design

A building which referenced the Motueka region

A fixed project budget of $3.8m

The resulting net-zero electricity 1,100m2 library is inspired functional forms of rural farm buildings found in the Tasman region, taking its visual cues from horticultural barns and storage sheds. The plan provides flexible, open-plan learning, reading, study and social spaces, a veranda connecting to the surrounding reserve, and a dedicated community meeting room alongside public and staff amenities.

The building utilises all locally sourced timber:

Glulam posts

Long-span timber trusses parallel and bottom raking

Suspended timber floor

Columns carved as pou by local iwi.

Radiata timber battens and screens

Heart Douglas fir cladding

Structural timber was used as a conscious choice to lower the embodied carbon of the building:

The locally grown and manufactured mass-timber structure provides 58 tonnes of sequestered carbon (Stage A1-A3 - manufacturing timber to delivery to site, and allows for minimal use of steel (only 1 gravity beam was used).

The suspended timber floor provides 29 tonnes of sequestered carbon (vs. 65 tonnes calculated for concrete, providing a saving of 94 tonnes).

As well as providing carbon-savings, structural mass-timber was assessed as the most cost-effective option to create the library’s large volume open plan space, 40 x 30m, with a clearer crossed bracing only at the exterior wall line. The library clearly demonstrates that timber lower-carbon building solution, that can also be cost-effective and form large span, flexible spaces.

Over the building’s life cycle, timber provides the following benefits:

Locally sourced timber – grown and processed, less distance

Lightweight structure easier to dismantle and reuse if required

Timber was used a way of sequestering carbon over the lifecycle of the building, over 50+ year asset life

Stage A1-A3 – 58 tonnes sequestered carbon: manufacturing timber to delivery to site.

Embodied carbon metrics:

Life Cycle Analysis (Stage A1-D1) 
294,513kgCO2eq (268kg CO2eq/m2)

Embodied Carbon (Stage A1-A5) 
328,600kgCO2eq (298kg CO2eq/m2)

Whole of Life Embodied Carbon (A1-A5, B1-B5, C1-C4) 
743,619kgCO2eq (676kg CO2eq/m2)