St Albans

Christchurch City Council
St Albans, Christchurch, New Zealand


  • Client: Christchurch City Council
  • Size: Single Storey, 400 m2
  • Opened: April 2021
  • Architect: Christchurch City Council
  • Engineer: PTL Structural Consultants
  • Timber supplier and fabricators: KLH Massivholz GMBH | TimberLab Solutions
  • Construction: Watts & Hughes Construction

Built to replace the previous community centre which was destroyed in the 2011 earthquakes, this new all-timber building provides the community of St. Albans with a place to meet for educational, cultural, and recreational activities. The building features a large hall, three meeting/education rooms, and an open plan kitchen which opens onto a large deck.

Supported on driven timber piles and LVL bearers, the floors, walls, and roof are CLT panels, and glulam beams support the large roof spans in the hall and meeting rooms. All structural timber elements were prefabricated off-site, making construction fast and efficient. Fully hidden structural connections allow the timber to take centre stage.

The total volume of wood in the building is 293 cubic metres. The nett carbon stored in this volume of structural wood is equivalent to 179 tonnes of CO2 emissions. This amount of carbon storage would offset the emissions from driving a typical family car almost one million kilometres. This building has assisted the Christchurch City Council in meeting its climate change goals, resulting in a beautiful new building which is durable, resilient, and ready for use by the local community.