Former brewery now Auckland's newest uni campus

11:30 AM Wednesday May 13, 2015 NZ Herald

At the University of Auckland's new campus (from left): Stuart McCutcheon, Ian Parton, and Nic Smith; and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce. Photo / supplied

The University of Auckland today opened its Newmarket Campus - a $101 million upgrade of what was once the base of Lion Breweries.

The campus, formally opened by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce this afternoon, will provide a new hub for advanced multidisciplinary science and engineering research in the city.

The university paid $67.5 million for the 5.2ha Lion Brewery site in April 2013, before launching a huge upgrade project.

A total of $57 million was earmarked for four existing warehouses and $27 million on a new civil structures hall, Building 906, boasting one of the largest seismic testing walls in Australasia - a nine-metre structure capable of earthquake testing a building up to three storeys.

Buildings at the campus also incorporate a number of energy-saving initiatives including occupancy sensors along with maximum utilisation of natural light.

Bore water is used for cooling systems and returned to source rather than using the city's water and sewerage systems.

Development of the site was to continue over the next 30 years.Four research themes for postgraduate study have been identified for the site, including health technologies, manufacturing and materials, novel technologies in manufacturing and sustainable energy systems.

Auckland University Dean of Engineering, Nic Smith, said the traditional image of the engineer as the man in the hard hat driving the bulldozer and who consumed significant amounts of the liquid once manufactured on the brewery site, no longer held true.

"We are undergoing a time of rapid transformation due to technology and engineering and science are at the forefront of that change," he said.

"The research and innovation that will be done on this campus will potentially touch the lives of every New Zealander."

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon said the opening was a "milestone" for the university and provided an outstanding facility with a clear focus on excellent research.

"Newmarket Campus can be seen as a centre for world class research where our staff and postgraduate students will continue to develop and produce new technologies and science that will help take New Zealand into the future," he said.

"We are grateful for Auckland Council's support in facilitating the purchase of the former brewery site because the location means our relationships with industry and business, so vital to the future of business, the city and the university, are strengthened and enhanced."