Winner 2014

Award for
Commercial or Retail Structures

Project Description

The new offices for Trimble Navigation, replacing those damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes, use the latest technology in seismic resistant timber design to deliver a building that is flexible, economic and sustainable. The design uses load bearing Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) post-tensioned frames and walls in orthogonal directions to resist seismic forces, thus ensuring minimum residual post-earthquake damage. The performance based approach required innovative design including easily replaceable energy dissipaters at frame joints, a combination of timber rivets and fully threaded screws to provide stiff, low-slip connections, and a post-tensioning system that ensures a return to the original geometry following deformation from seismic action.

Judge’s comments

The latest project from Opus pushes the boundaries of earthquake resistant timber design and continues the research into performance based solutions that are both sustainable and economic.  The judges were impressed by the quality of innovative and unobtrusive detailing, combined with an approach that allows easy replacement of deformed energy dissipation elements and a rapid post-earthquake return to functionality.

Project overview

Client Name

  • Birmingham Drive Properties


  • Christchurch, New Zealand

Year Submitted

  • 2014