Leasing office space is highly competitive, with building owners constantly looking for the edge that sets their project apart. Today, that advantage is most likely to come down to green factors. Does the building have a Green Star rating? What energy savings can be expected? Does the design maximise the space and is it a comfortable, user-friendly workspace?
Ken Wimsett, managing director of Latitude Group, the developer of a new 5-Star Green Star office building in Christchurch, says Green Star ratings will be expected as standard in the not-so-distant future.
"Latitude Group has been one of the pioneers of the Green Star rating system," he says. "It has long been evident that having such a rating will be a critical factor in attracting tenants, and it was our first priority in developing the design brief for Club Tower. As this was to be the first new-generation, A-grade office tower to be built in Christchurch for 20 years, it had to set the benchmark."
Designers Robert Weir and Jason Walker of WeirWalker Architecture say the building's central, landmark location was also a key design influence.
"With adjacent historic buildings and a height limit on the neighbouring Canterbury Club site, this building is never going to be built out," says Walker. "This was an opportunity to provide a distinctive, modernist architectural form that would sit comfortably in the landscape for years to come."
To maximise the site, the building sits to the boundaries, with a setback from the second floor. This provides space for a landscaped podium on the roof of the ground-floor cafe.
"The podium features attractive seating and trees, so people working in the building haven't lost a sense of connection with the ground," says Walker.