Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT)


Due to a 40% increase in enrolments MIT required a new, purpose built facility to educate the community bringing in social and economic benefits. Designed by architects Warren and Mahoney, the building’s focus is the campus heart - a six-storey central atrium and the gateway to the Institute. Open access to the Manukau Transport Interchange means that everyone is welcome inside, to look around and treat the building as part of the local community. Specially commissioned artworks throughout the campus reflect the stories and people of Manukau. The campus also features a dedicated library, retail and food outlets and a 250-seat performing arts and lecture theatre.

Requirement and Specification

The structural steel in the building was to be expressed whilst achieving FRR requirements as designated by the structural/fire engineers. Phoenix, a thin film intumescent for structural steel, was chosen to achieve both the required the FRR and design aesthetic.

This was NZ’s first significant building to be designed post Christchurch Earthquake and the first to incorporate the new, much larger seismic separations.  Requirements for seismic separation within the overall structure meant that there were larger seismic gaps that need to be covered – both inside and out. And to minimise visual impacts.  The Balco seismic systems were chosen by Warren and Mahoney for the almost seamless transitions that the design of the systems allowed.


Installation of the joints by Project Unite and application of the intumescent by Contract Coatings proves once again why New Zealand’s leading architects choose Balco Seismic Joints and Phoenix Intumescent for their projects. Both product ranges met the needs of the project without compromising the design. Custom profiles, and design from Balco allowed the architects to incorporate timber infill ceiling whilst meeting the demanding seismic movement requirements – expertly installed by Project Unite. The attention to detail during application of the Phoenix intumescent from Contract Coatings ensured the exposed columns had a smooth finish, free from unsightly orange peel effect.