Christchurch Civic Center Image

Christchurch Civic Center

The Christchurch Civic Center is a commercial office building located in Christchurch’s CBD. The brief to Athfield Architects was to design a building that would meet, as a minimum, the NZ Green Building Council’s Greenstar NZ 5 star rating for Office Design but it exceeded expectations by achieving a 6 Star rating within the approved budget.

A double skinned façade was included in the design with a 5.8-meter floor to floor height, including intermediate catwalks for maintenance access. This basic form creates a number of benefits including efficient building floor plates and the northern double-skin facade is a thermal and solar buffering zone which vents air and heat from the building, enhancing its thermal properties.


Luxaflex was approached to supply a solution for the project and worked in partnership with Australian supplier Horiso® to design, manufacture and commission the 100mm Horiso® External Venetian Blinds, which are installed in the twin facade on the north face of the building.

The Horiso® External Venetian Blinds were installed in the cavity between the outer facade and internal glass wall, where they serve to control the amount of solar energy that passes into and through this void.

Sun tracking and roof mounted brightness sensors detect the sunlight/sky conditions and the Embedia Controller determines the sun location and whether the blinds need to be deployed together with the tilt angle of the venetian on both levels of each floor.

The impact of the neighbouring building was also taken into consideration and during the ‘free cooling’ periods the tilt angle of the upper blinds is adjusted to allow some direct solar gains and more natural daylight into the building. The Embedia control system is fully automated with no manual overrides, resulting in a finely tuned and engineered solar control solution.

Architects: Athfield Architects
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Client: Christchurch City Council, New Zealand
Project Completed: 2010

Luxaflex solar control solutions featured in this project:

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