Tuesday, April 23, 2024

‘Science facility for the ages’ opens at Lincoln Uni

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Waimarie features state-of-the-art teaching, research and collaboration spaces in a park-like environment.
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Waimarie, Te Whare Wānaka o Aoraki Lincoln University’s new flagship science facility, has been officially opened by Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor.

The opening ceremony, attended by Lincoln University staff and students, leaders from neighbouring Crown Research Institutes, industry bodies, dignitaries, research partners, construction contractors and other stakeholders, was held in the expansive lobby just inside the main entrance of the new building.

Guests were given a tour of the 9450m3 building, including flat-floor teaching laboratories, research laboratories and administrative spaces.

In his speech before cutting the ceremonial ribbon, O’Connor said global tensions and disruptions from the likes of climate change are going to be a part of the future as far as can be seen. 

“More than ever, we need science to deliver creative, innovative and smart solutions to managing our food security, resources and waste,” he said.

“People need to be at the heart of finding these solutions and Lincoln University is creating the environment for people to come together to overcome these challenges through collaboration.

“I congratulate all involved in the establishment of Waimarie. May it be that collaborative and inspirational environment to build a better, more sustainable future. In doing so we can aspire for New Zealand to be the best country for the world.”

The building’s name, Waimarie, is one of a suite of names gifted to the University by Te Taumutu Rūnanga to identify the new building and many of the spaces within as belonging to the cultural narrative of Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki and Ngāi Tahu in the Lincoln area.

The name Waimarie celebrates kā puna Waimarie – the bountiful lakes – and identifies the new building as a facility that will foster great leadership, inspire productivity and become a nexus for the transmission of intergenerational knowledge.

Waimarie replaces Lincoln University’s former earthquake-damaged science buildings, and received $80 million in Crown funding for its construction. The building was designed by Warren and Mahoney and constructed by Leighs Construction.

The new facility is home to Lincoln University’s Department of Pest Management and Conservation, the Department of Soil and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences professional staff including faculty administration, Bioprotection Aotearoa and other research partnerships.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Edwards said Waimarie will be a science facility for the ages.

“Waimarie will be an epicentre for education and research in the land-based disciplines, as well as a hub for inter-organisational partnerships, industry-wide collaborations and centres of excellence,” he said.

“Waimarie will be a beacon for students, researchers, teaching and professional staff and other land-based sector leaders from all over Aotearoa and globally.

“The challenges facing today’s primary sector industries are manifold and profound, and we are proud to deliver this new facility where we can further advance our commitment to equip future generations with the skills and knowledge to shape a better future.”

Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor said he hopes Waimarie will be a collaborative and inspirational environment to build a better, more sustainable future.

Waimarie features state-of-the-art teaching, research and collaboration spaces complemented by multi-use adjustable workstations and social zones, all set within a biodiverse park-like environment.

An expansive ground-floor pātaka kai (café) forms a central hub where Lincoln University staff and students can mix and mingle with campus visitors and employees from the co-located AgResearch facility Tuhiraki, which also recently opened.

In line with the university’s sustainable infrastructure goals, Waimarie will have a minimal environmental impact, incorporating solar arrays, a ground-sourced heating/cooling system and a rainwater-fed toilet flushing system.

The building is insulated with 10 tonnes of locally-grown wool from 2000 sheep, and the supplier of the 100% NZ wool carpet is owned by over 700 Kiwi wool-growing farming families.

The 417 roof- and wall-mounted solar panels wreathing the new building bring the university’s total annual solar generation up to a very significant 802,000 kWh – equivalent to the annual electricity requirement of 110 average Kiwi households.

Recycled materials were used wherever possible in the building’s construction, including pulverised fuel ash in the concrete pours. Oak beams installed in the ground floor teaching spaces were milled from oak trees that had to be felled on the Lincoln campus in 2018.

The Canterbury clay brick façade was extracted and made within the Selwyn district.

A seismic dampening solution from Tectonus, featuring rocking shear walls, decreased the steel weight of the building and reduced the foundation depth while increasing the building’s earthquake resilience.

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