Diocesan School for Girls School pool: award-winning with significant structural innovations

We were structural engineers on the $8m school pool building – featuring a main pool, junior pool and two-storey sports complex.

This project involved some significant New Zealand ‘firsts’. The centre has the first variable-depth pool – a European innovation in which the pool floor can be raised or lowered to suit the activity.  It’s also the first use of post-tensioned timber roof beams to address a demanding 26 metre span.

In humid and corrosive environments even stainless steel trusses lack the required longevity. Concrete beams would mean weight issues and an ‘industrial feel’ – rather than the warmth and ambience sought.  Our extensive experience in post-tensioned concrete beams translated well to the design and construction of innovative timber beams.  The resultant beams surpassed even timber glulam construction in strength and weight characteristics

  • This is an example of us pushing the boundaries.  We conducted project specific research to validate the idea of post-tensioned timber roof beams, using research projects from the University of Canterbury and further developing these.
  • The engineering integrates seamlessly with the architecture and the building is performing well.

Winner – Commercial Engineering Excellence Award, NZ Wood Timber Design Awards, 2009

Auckland Architecture Award for Public Architecture, 2010.