Nelson Airport building project wins major sustainability award

The Nelson Airport Terminal project received a sustainability award at the 55th ACE Awards held in Auckland on 25 November 2020. 

Dunning Thornton Consultants were contracted to provide the structural engineering design and coordination of the project. 

The new building is an excellent example of how local, sustainable and renewable resources can be used to significant advantage, while also supporting and upskilling local businesses and workers, resulting in a striking and highly praised gateway to the region.

The client's guiding principles were that the design must be future focussed with the opportunity for expansion and to accommodate changing internal needs in the future. 

Nelson Airport Ltd also required sustainability to be a top priority, not just a vague "nice to have" goal. 

The decision was made to use locally grown radiata pine throughout the building. The wood met the aesthetic goals of the client while the tree sequesters carbon during its growth period, which helped offset the carbon emissions from other materials used in the project. 

Sustainability is not only about carbon emissions but also involves the future prosperity and advancement of the community. 

Consultation was undertaken with Nelson-based fabricators to establish their capabilities, which resulted in local manufacturers, carpenters and joiners providing significant input into the project. 

ACE New Zealand CEO Paul Evans said "Dunning Thornton met the sustainability goals of the client while also designing a beautiful and world-class building. The new terminal highlights the region's resources through the use of locally grown timber while the project also heavily invested in and upskilled local businesses and the community." 

Dunning Thornton Consultants designed the Nelson Airport Terminal for the client Nelson Airport Limited. 

About the awards

The ACE Awards recognise consulting and engineering projects that achieve the highest level of innovation and excellence that result in outstanding outcomes. The judging panel evaluates the submissions, conducts client interviews and tours project sites. This work is then reviewed by a group of peers, which makes the Awards the pinnacle of achievement in the consulting and engineering sector. In 2020, 25 projects were submitted from a broad range of disciplines. 

For a full list of award winners and photos for use by media visit 2020 ACE Award winners

For further information and comment 

Paul Evans 

Chief Executive 

ACE New Zealand 

[email protected] 

021 340 317

About ACE New Zealand 

The Association of Consulting and Engineering (ACE New Zealand) is a membership association that represents consulting and engineering firms throughout Aotearoa. 

Founded in 1959, ACE represents over 220 consulting and engineering firms, ranging from large global firms to employee-owned SMEs. ACE members play a critical role in the planning, design and delivery for our nation's built and natural environments. 

ACE's vision is to actively and positively shape the future of Aotearoa by supporting our members to create sustainable value for themselves, their clients and their communities.