Tonkin + Taylor office fitout

23 August 2022

When a staff survey showed a Green Star-rated office space was top of the wish list for Tonkin + Taylor’s Auckland team, it listened, acted and delivered a world-leading outcome.


What: new office fit-out; Tonkin + Taylor corporate head office

Where: 1 Fanshawe Street, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland

Details: Tonkin + Taylor occupies level 4 and 5 with additional spaces on level 1; tenancy is approximately 3,800 square metres

The building: constructed in 2009; 9250 square metres; five-levels with rooftop garden and terrace; designed by Jasmax; high-performance building imbued with sustainable values; 5 Green Star Design rating (2009), 5 Green Star Interiors rating (2009), NABERSNZ 5.5 star base building rating

Background: Tonkin + Taylor is a New Zealand- owned environmental and engineering consultancy with offices in Aotearoa, Australia, and project hubs in the wider Asia-Pacific region

Occupancy: 500 Auckland employees

Project Snapshot

Building owner: Roxy-Pacific Holdings Pte Ltd

Fitout architect: Unispace

Fitout main contractor: Unispace

Project status: from design concepts to completion – 7 months; July 2021 to January 2022

Project certification: 6 Green Star – Interiors Built Rating (May 2022)

Supplied by Unispace

The stylish fitout at the high-profile environmental and engineering consultancy’s new office space at 1 Fanshawe Street has been awarded a leading 6 Green Star Interiors rating.

It is a result reflecting Tonkin+Taylor’s commitment to walking the talk of sustainability and the expertise and know-how of its in-house experts, Unispace and Green Star professionals. 

TM Consultants senior mechanical and sustainability engineer and Project GSAP, Patrick Stone, says Tonkin + Taylor’s 6 Green Star rating sets the benchmark.

“I hope that Tonkin + Taylor leading the charge with investing in such a high-quality office inspires and challenges other institutions to go for a rating for their buildings.”

“The Green Star Interiors tool has a shared investment in making buildings green and making offices comfortable and uplifting. Its holistic assessment makes you consider the multiple facets of a fitout. It’s the best tool to prove a fitout is sustainable and a Green Star fitout is going to stand out above all other rentable spaces.”

“Many agencies and developers are now requiring an Interiors rating for their buildings as they, and the market, see the value in having a Green Star certified office,” says Patrick.  

With Tonkin + Taylor’s corporate cornerstones centred on embedding sustainability in everything they do, and creating and sustaining a better world where everyone matters, the Green Star tool dovetailed with the company’s vision.


Tonkin + Taylor Principal Environmental Scientist, Sandra O’Brien-Kelly, says using Green Star was a great way to document what was achieved in the office space.

“The interiors tool prompts you to think about how you can make an office space more sustainable, and the rating provides independent confirmation of what you have delivered.”

She says as well as providing a Green Star-rated office for its team, Tonkin + Taylor wanted to contribute to the green attributes of 1 Fanshawe Street – credentials that had attracted it as a tenant.

Lead contractor in the dynamic fitout, Unispace, says a blending of teamwork, sustainability knowledge, and the client’s commitment to reducing emissions were big players in the project’s 6 Star rating.

“It’s been an incredible experience for the project team, and we’re thrilled and honoured to have been part of the achievement and look forward to translating our experience and learnings into future projects,” says Unispace project designer, Antony Walton.

“Tonkin + Taylor’s new-look office strongly aligns with the company’s values and sustainability goals and its determination to enhance the employee workplace experience through improved amenities, connection to the outdoors and increased offering of sustainable transport.”

Supplied by Unispace


Unispace says the fitout’s exciting green features include:

  • a floorplan optimising natural light and views
  • prominent indoor planting with a wall of potted plants providing a connection to nature and lowering carbon levels
  • recycling of furniture and carpet to minimise waste (300 square metres of carpet was sent to a local church for reuse)
  • internal environment quality - including acoustics, air quality and ergonomic comfort
  • low VOC adhesives, low formaldehyde joinery panels, low-zero VOC paints
  • energy and water efficient appliances

The addition of a renewable energy component, a 110kWp solar PV array on the rooftop, installed in partnership with the landlord, was also part of the mix.

Unispace says the project’s success in diverting 73.7 percent (5.89 tonnes) of project waste from landfill - far exceeding the benchmark of 1kg of waste per square metre of net lettable area (NLA) – was a special highlight.

“Our construction team and sub-contractors followed a rigorous waste management structure to ensure waste was disposed of correctly. The process involved lots of time communicating and setting the precedent upfront so our sub-contractors knew the standard of care required from day one to meet the requirements,” says Unispace construction project manager, Tony Brown.

Supplied by Unispace


GSAP Patrick Stone says the project team achieved a trailblazing 6 Green Stars with “a clear commitment to a sustainable fitout and to the comfort of the workers using the space.”

He says a stand-out element of the fitout was the commitment to sustainable and low volatility products.

“This comes at an increased cost and requires significant tracking, data collection and product declaration evidence. Tonkin + Taylor showed a strong commitment to this and scored very highly.”

He says Tonkin + Taylor engaged with the Green Star Interiors process right from the start, formed a path to 6 stars of achievable points and went hard at it.

“It’s a real credit to Tonkin + Taylor and Unispace that the office has delivered a 6 Green Star Interiors rating. It is no mean feat and a very exciting and notable achievement that I’m proud to have played a part in.”

That notable and exciting achievement across levels 4 and 5 at 1 Fanshawe Street is being relished by staff.

Principal Environmental Scientist, Sandra O’Brien-Kelly, believes the new space has enhanced office culture and improved wellbeing and collaboration.

“There’s a great feeling and having access to plenty of natural light, areas for collaboration, and open spaces where we can work and catch-up has been fantastic for morale,” she says.

Meanwhile Auckland team member and Tonkin + Taylor Content + Analytics Specialist, Gerard Seth, says “being in an environment where I feel comfortable helps me perform at my best and it feels great being at our freshly fitted-out Fanshawe St office.”

“Having access to sit/stand desks, ergonomic chairs and ample natural light helps me settle in and build rhythm in my workflow and spaces like our cafe area and the open-air rooftop provide perfect spots to catch-up with workmates,” says Gerard.

What he loves most about the refurbished space “isn’t what you see and experience but knowing that Tonkin +Taylor is genuinely committed to sustainability.”

“From reusing furniture to improving lighting and acoustics, to the commitment to waste reduction and more – to me it’s proof that we’re committed to sustainability not just in the work we do but where we work as well.”

Green features include:
  • Fitout user information for facilities managers/users providing an understanding of fitout systems, fitout operation, maintenance requirements and environmental targets – enabling optimised performance
  • Low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and carpets - 72.9% of paints (by cost) used have a maximum TVOC content of 5g/L - exceeds the 50% threshold
  • Good indoor air quality and provision of outdoor air
  • Overall reduction in internal noise levels/reduction in noise levels from building services
  • External views to reduce eyestrain and provide a visual connection to the outdoors
  • Ergonomic strategy/ information for continuous support
  • Excellent access to public transport; new bicycle parking and EV charging stations
Technical features include:
  • Renewable energy – 110kWp solar PV installed on the roof – relates to 145,658kWh - when proportioned is over 10 percent of Tonkin +Taylor’s energy use
  • Predicted GHG emissions significantly lower than a standard fitout
  • Electrical and water metering and monitoring
  • Lighting control through switching and presence detectors
Innovation points include:
  • Financial transparency
  • Occupant engagement
  • Green cleaning and sustainable procurement