Changing the boilers at the Christchurch Hospital Energy Centre required designing a new building for a tight space with complex requirements.

After Christchurch Hospital’s coal-fired boilers were damaged in the 2010-2011 earthquakes, the district health board wanted to make the switch to woody biomass boilers, to reduce carbon emissions and improve resilience against future seismic events. Continuity of these services is critical after an earthquake event to keep the hospital campus running.

We were lead consultant and provided building services and were also the architect working alongside the boiler designer to make it happen smoothly. The building design was influenced by the existing services tunnel supplying steam to the hospital; existing buildings; and space allocation for future development.

The new Energy Centre provides steam which is used to heat the buildings, provide hot water, and provide steam to the sterile services department. The result is continuity of steam supply for the Christchurch Hospital campus and a reduction in hospital greenhouse gas emissions of more than 50 percent.


Reduction in emissions


Coal. Uses forestry slash

900 degrees

Creates steam for heating

Aerial view from north
View from north
View from Asaph Street
Interior of boiler hall
Interior of boiler hall
Aerial view from north

Our team says…

“We approached the design a little differently, because of the context of the site and how tight it was.”

Paul Houthuyzen

Senior Associate - Architecture

Our client says…

“The new energy centre gives us a more robust, resilient building to house state-of-the-art biomass boilers which will save Te Whatu Ora 20,000 tonnes of carbon per year. The reticulated steam is critical service for the operation of the hospital and the design overcame complex challenges on a constricted site to deliver a remarkable building.”

Terry Walker

Maintenance and Engineering Manager

Our People

Marianne Bowler

Associate - Mechanical Engineering

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Paul Houthuyzen

Senior Associate - Beca Architects, Design Practice

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Richard Wager

Technical Director - Building Services

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