Skip to content

Search the knowledge portal

  • PublisherCIBSE
  • Product Code
  • Number of pages0
  • Publication DateFeb 2015
  • ISBN

CIBSE Case Study: Christchurch Airport Artesian Heating and Cooling, New Zealand

CIBSE Case Study: Christchurch Airport Artesian Heating and Cooling, New Zealand

<< back to CIBSE BPA Winners 2015 Overview

International Project of the Year

Christchurch Airport Artesian Heating and Cooling, Christchurch, New Zealand - Beca

Working for client Christchurch International Airport, Beca developed and implemented a long list of innovative, energy efficient and stand-out features in a new, 30,000m2, three-storey terminal. The "jewel in the crown", however, is a heating and cooling system where heat energy is taken from, and discharged to, the artesian water flowing in the aquifer beneath. The use of artesian water is not only a cost-effective, long-term solution, but is also energy efficient and environmentally benign. When greater cooling or heating is required, the water can also be used as part of a mechanical refrigeration system using chillers acting as geothermal heat pumps. Heat produced as a by-product can be harnessed and reused to supply a heating requirement, and vice versa.


It also reduces the need for cooling towers and boilers. This not only has obvious environmental and maintenance benefits, but also reduces the need for plant space requirements and structural loadings. The project required working in stages of new build and demolition, while maintaining airport operations. Despite 11,000 earthquakes, the final stage was completed in March 2013 and within 1% of the project budget. The mechanical solutions integrated within the new terminal building have been chosen to meet the needs of the building because of their high-value benefits integral to the airport's operation and to be truly environmentally conscious.

Project Team:

Building Services Engineer: Beca
Building Owner: Christchurch International Airport
Building Occupier: Christchurch International Airport
Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: Beca
Main Contractor: Hawkins Construction
Mechanical Contractor: David Browne Contractors
BMS & Controls Contractor: Setpoint Solutions
Electrical for Mechanical Contractor: Dickson-Gray Electrical

International Project of the Year Shortlist

St Louis Art Museum - East Extension, Missouri, USA - Arup
Christchurch Airport Artesian Heating and Cooling, Christchurch, New Zealand - Beca
Sheraton Mirage Resort and Spa, Gold Coast, Australia - Climaveneta Spa
140W, Melbourne, Australia - Cundall

<< back to CIBSE BPA Winners 2015 Overview