While most projects involve keeping the weather out, in the unique case of Auckland's North Shore based Snowplanet, responsibilities went the other way.
The 10,000sqm Snowplanet acts like a state-of-the-art freezer, and the STELTECH® Beams that span the 40 x 200-metre ski slope allow the skiers and snowboarders to move freely without obstruction. Working with Sinclair Knight Merz, we designed and manufactured bespoke beam solutions to maximise the area and fit the unusual requirement of being angled up the hill.
The innovative design of the facility makes it unique in the world for its energy efficiency and low cost of construction. Some clever modelling showed the bare earth beneath the building (effectively insulated by a layer of snow) was sufficient to create a downhill run. The actual slope was designed by snow terrain experts, with the man-made snow set at a constant base of 50cm. The temperature consistently sits at -5 degrees without the need for any extra materials or insulation, leaving perfect conditions attainable all year round.
A first for New Zealand, and still one of the largest indoor ski slopes in the Southern Hemisphere, an expert team and a healthy dose of Kiwi ingenuity made Snowplanet a reality.