Hutt Valley Health Hub a New Zealand first timber construction health hub adjacent to the Hutt DHB Hospital in Lower Hutt. The Hutt Valley Health Hub was designed to an importance Level 4 with the Structural and Civil engineering teams from Cameron Gibson & Wells Ltd (CGW) to not just withstand a 1 in 2,500 year seismic event, but then be fully operational within 24 hours of such event occurring. The Importance Level 4, Glulam and LVL timber structure was designed in three blocks to individually move in a seismic event and then self-centre itself afterwards. This was achieved by utilising Tectonus technology in the main timber gravity structure to create flexibility between structural members where required.
The three individual two storey building blocks were designed to a modular frame size at around 7 meter grid spacings, which meets the requirements of a medical facility room size as well as economical structural member sizing. Member sizes were carefully selected according to billet sizes to reduce wastage to an absolute minimum. As an example, a 1200 x 400mm LVL billet from the manufacturing plan at Nelson Pine was cut down to 800 x 400mm and 400 x 400mm beams.
The three blocks are stiffened by K-braces in the outer bays and separated by 200mm seismic joints which run vertically throughout the structure and allows all three blocks to move independently. Two-storey precast panels then use gravity to slowly bring the three blocks back into their original position after an event. The mid-floor is constructure from Potius™ cassette floor panels which were manufactured off-site, transported to the site, and then craned into position. The mid-floor was then overlaid with a cradle and batten flooring system, consisting of recycled car-tire cradles and radiate battens laid in a 400mm grid.
LVL beams from Nelson Pine were used for the midfloor and roof beams, Glulam columns from Techlam were selected for their visual grade to be exposed throughout the building where possible. Along with the striking Tectonus joints painted black and orange and left exposed in the public areas, make for a visual story of resilience throughout the building.