Carterton Events Centre

Structural Designer

Opus International Consultants Ltd

Client Name

Carterton District Council


Carterton, New Zealand

Images: © Mike Heydon, Jet Productions


The Carterton Events Centre project comprises strengthening and refurbishment of an iconic, heritage listed Public Library and the creation of a new 300-seat Auditorium, in Carterton, New Zealand. The new construction employs structural timber throughout, with the innovative use of a post-tensioned “Pres-Lam” system that uses low-grade timber, glue-laminated into sheets. More commonly seen in low to medium-rise commercial buildings this has extended its use to cultural and civic buildings. The engineers faced additional challenges of acoustic performance, double-height walls and seismic conditions in New Zealand. The “Pres-Lam” system’s ability to dissipate seismic energy was an essential feature that saved money and material. The client drivers of sustainability, economy and seismic damage mitigation were all met through thoughtful and integrated design.

Judge's comment:

A simple and elegant solution that combines a highly sustainable use of renewable materials with an intelligent structural engineering response to the seismic challenges. Using “Pres-Lam” the engineers were able to develop a form  of construction that used local materials and local industries, hence answering the client’s desire for community engagement as well as a highly sustainable end product. 

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