Kahukura just in time for Engineering Expo

News News & events

01 Aug 2017

The new Kahukura building at Ara Institute of Canterbury, conceived as a teaching tool for engineering students, is ready just in time to host the Week of Engineering Expo in Christchurch on Saturday 5 August from 10am-4pm.

Coordinated by IPENZ as part of the national Week of Engineering, the Expo will bring in engineering professionals who can enjoy the innovative new engineering and architectural studies facility ahead of an official opening in August.

There is plenty to interest engineers, students and the public at the Expo. Kahukura is among a handful of buildings in Christchurch to utilise local, sustainable timber technology with Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) as the structural frame and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) as the structure of the facade. Timber dominates throughout the building, with concrete and steel playing secondary roles. The building is seismically strong and actually stores carbon through the use of wood.

Kahukura features exposed wood for a sustainable finish that is warm and stylish.

The Expo will be a chance for the public to check out Kahukura. During the day there will be free screenings of the film Dream Big - Engineering Our World, narrated by Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges. The film spans the range of engineering from the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings, to underwater robots, solar cars and smart, sustainable cities.

The day is all about inspiring the next generation of engineers. Exhibiting organisations from around Christchurch will bring their best technology to the expo to engage secondary school students in the wide world of engineering.

Exhibitors include Beca, Structex, Stantec, BVT Consulting, Fonterra, BVT Consulting, Fonterra, University of Canterbury - College of Engineering, TDG, Harrison Grierson, Opus, Engineers without Borders, Caterpillar Trimble Control Technologies and Orion.

During the preceding Week of Engineering, a programme of events at partner organisations will further inspire and educate students. New Zealand needs more engineers, and in response the Government has set a goal of increasing engineering graduates by 500 per year. In particular the country needs to almost double the number of graduates with a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Level 6) or a Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Level 7) - both of which are offered at Ara.

Ara will run the Quake Craft challenge in the Vodafone Building on 1 and 2 August. Based on the institute’s excellent school holiday STEM workshops, the Quakecraft challenge is to design and prototype a sustainable tiny house for extreme conditions and natural disasters using maths, physics and engineering. Using 3D printing and computer aided design students work in teams to design a model house and test its structural integrity on a shake table.

For students, the $34m, 6500m2 Kahukura offers a blend of purpose designed and flexible learning areas - and even a cafe.  The exhibition space on the ground floor was envisaged for hosting events such as the Engineering Expo.

Read more about the Kahukura’s carbon storing potential and timber technology.

Read all about the Week of Engineering