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10 Nov 2020 by Blum
Blum’s Christchurch facility is multifunctional as well as innovative.
Blum is one of the world’s largest suppliers of kitchen cabinetry hardware, with a line-up of innovative technologies to help designers create beautiful storage solutions. The company believes in supplying products that will remain functional for decades, if not generations.
So when it was time to replace their aging Christchurch warehouse, they took a long-term approach.
Built on a greenfield site in Wigram, the 3,150sqm facility combines an office for Blum’s South Island team, a showroom for designers and their clients to explore Blum’s product range, shared spaces for the design community and cabinetmaking professions, and a warehouse that’s 50% larger than current needs would dictate. As well as being a sign of commitment to the future, it enables Blum to justify the upfront expense of investing in technologies to reduce carbon emissions.
For instance, a 40,000-litre rainwater tank has been installed to reduce the need for mains water in toilets and garden maintenance. A photovoltaic solar array on the roof delivers electricity to power the warehouse’s fleet of battery-powered forklifts. Low-energy LED light fittings further reduce the environmental footprint, and there’s free EV charging in the visitors’ car park.
Inside, the double-height showroom is naturally lit with floor-to-ceiling windows that are fitted with low emissivity glass. Year-round heating from a ground-source heat pump reduces the demand for external energy supplies, while sensor-controlled windows eliminate the need for an air conditioning system (and provide smoke ventilation in case of a fire.)
All these technologies and design features combine to create a space that staff find comfortable and productive in all areas, from the warehouse to the reception area. And while Blum doesn’t sell its products direct to the public, extra care has been taken to create a stunning showroom, with natural materials to the fore and superb views to the Port Hills. It’s the perfect environment for architects, kitchen designers and cabinetmakers to bring their clients to experience Blum’s range of drawer and movement technologies.
Arranged in a homestyle layout, the showroom includes a 1:1 scale kitchen test-drive facility that lets homeowners check that their proposed layout will be functional when its transposed from the blueprint to three-dimensional reality. There are also dedicated areas providing storage ideas for bedrooms, living areas, and even laundries.