Innovative Design - Agile Learning

Hingaia Peninsula School is New Zealand’s first school to be built to meet Green Star Built specifications. It is rated 5 Star Green Star Certified by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).

This Karaka school has also taken a lead nationwide with its fresh approach to design. Based on the concept of learning spaces rather than classrooms, the school has multifunctional studios, providing collaborative, creative and agile learning spaces.

Each studio is approximately 290m² with five ‘nooks’ surrounding a central teaching space. With three teachers to each studio, the spaces cater for a variety of different learning styles to suit the needs of each child. In this environment children have the opportunity to work creatively, both individually and in groups, and to personalise their learning space to suit their needs.

Set on 4.4 hectares, this new Y0-8 Auckland school opened for all levels in February 2012. With a start-up roll of 46 foundation pupils, the school has been designed in stages and will cater for 240 pupils, eventually growing to 520 when all the staged works are complete.

Architects Brewer Davidson partnering with NZ Strong Construction were awarded the Design/Build contract and were closely involved throughout with the Ministry of Education, the Hingaia School Board of Trustees, the principal Jane Danielson and the community. The work involved master planning, design
development, documentation and supervision – as well as complying with the Green Star Rating – all within strict budgetary and time constraints.

Initiated in July 2010, Stage 1 of the project had to be completed by the end of 2011 for new enrolments in 2012: a total of 18 months. Stage 1 included two ‘learning studios’ to house Y0-3 and Y4-8; an administration building; library; project rooms and interactive technology spaces; a large multipurpose
hall – and landscaped grounds.

The school opened on time and within budget.

A unique design feature is the allencompassing timber construction low-slope roof which provides shelter to students as they move between learning studios and all the other areas of the school. The COLORSTEEL® Endura™ rooflines rise and fall along the perimeter of the building, creating an interesting
architectural detail as well as providing a variety of light into the studios and adjoining areas where the high roof line enhances the sense of space.

With assistance from its team of experienced subcontractors Brewer Davidson incorporated Environmentally Sustainable Design, applying the Green Star suite of rating tools in the three-stage process to match the three key phases in a building life cycle of design, build and performance The tools assess the environmental impact that is a direct consequence of a building’s site selection, design, construction, and maintenance. The framework has eight separate environmental impact categories which inc ude factors influencing aspects like indoor air quality, applied coatings, timber, walls and partitions, flooring and floor coverings, joinery, insulation and concrete. Required to comply are materials like paint, vertiface acoustic wall covering, linoleum, vinyl, stains, tiles and fabrics.

Points are credited within each of the categories based on the building’s environmental merits and they take into consideration the unique development requirements and impacts of each sector. Points are then weighted and an overall score is calculated, determining the project’s Green Star rating.

By following the Green Star – Education 2009 Design and Built rating tool which evaluates the environmental initiatives of school buildings and their fitout, the project partners were able to both minimise the environmental impacts of this project and receive recognition for their design initiatives.

NZGBC’s 5 Star Green Star Rating signifies a score of between 60 and 74, making Hingaia Peninsula School a campus of ‘New Zealand Excellence’.


Established in 1993 as a partnership between Kevin Brewer and Peter Davidson. Since its inception Brewer Davidson has won over a dozen NZIA awards. Brewer Davidson’s design expertise spans the architectural spectrum including commercial, hotel, retail, public, corrections, residential, urban design, sustainability and of course educational projects. The company now consists of three Directors, Kevin Brewer, Peter Davidson and Alec Couchman.

Hingaia School Board of Trustees

Brewer Davidson Architecture
Telephone: 09 303 1821

Main Contractor:
New Zealand Strong Construction Ltd
Telephone: 09 630 7324

Roofing Manufacturer:
Steel & Tube Auckland
Telephone: 09 274 4056

Roofing Cladding:

Colour: Ironsand

Profile: ST900

Roofing Installer: Project Roofing Hamilton
Telephone: 07 849 1700