New Zealand Defence Force Battle Training Facility (BTF) in Ardmore

It's vital for the NZDF to have modern facilities to train SAS personnel who are required to operate in high risk and complex environments.


  • Auckland, New Zealand


  • Ebert Construction

Project Value

  • $25m

Project Status

  • Complete: 2015-2016

Security threats have become more complex, so it’s vital the New Zealand Defence Force has modern facilities to train SAS personnel who are required to operate in high risk and complex environments. We worked to deliver the new Battle Training Facility which has elements for all-weather training, live firing, use of helicopters, and scenario training based on specific environments and structures such as aircraft fuselages, ship bridges, and public transport.

The complex and unusual challenges that arose during this project enabled us to demonstrate technical expertise across the design and procurement phases, and our ability to develop innovative and bespoke solutions. A number of unusual engineering challenges arose regarding the sheer weight of the structure and the size of the roof. Mechanical engineers were challenged with a high capacity ventilation system, while fire engineering and fire protection systems engineering also required innovative thinking to achieve building code compliance.

With parts of the foundation of the building anchored in sloping bedrock and soft soils, our structural solution used advanced seismic modelling to improve the performance of the foundation during a design level earthquake.


Our architectural and engineering design placed importance on the safety of people in live fire zones through the careful detailing of service penetrations, panel jointing and building materials to maintain the ballistic integrity of these areas. Our team incorporated specific training provisions into the structural and architectural design, while maintaining strict compliance to fire design and general building codes. The configuration and layout of the building maximises internal and external training space, which allows every portion of the building to be used for training scenarios and exercises. The fit-for-purpose ventilation systems were designed to remove and capture contaminants from the air following the use of fire arms and explosives.

Our design also included audio visual, lighting systems and controls to allow for specific training simulations and scenarios. During design and construction, we worked closely with contractors to incorporate specific techniques into the structural design. Given the nature and purpose of the building, selected materials needed to be robust and resistant to damage. Both structural and partition walls were constructed from reinforced concrete and roof surfaces were coated with a hard-wearing asphalt layer to allow for roof top training exercises. This was a totally integrated project covering all elements of design, construction and fit out under one project governance team.

The complex procurement requirements needed special attention and a focus on defence security requirements. The environmental impact of the facility was also a key focus, resulting in a safer more environmentally friendly facility to train and work in.


The $46 million modern purpose-built facility in Ardmore took two years to build and replaces outdated and obsolete training facilities for SAS personnel. It is vital the NZDF has modern facilities to train SAS personnel who are required to operate in high risk and complex environments and the Battle Training Facility is future proofed in its design and built to a world class standard. 


As the primary design consultant for this project, we provided professional services for the base build of the new facility including architectural design, structural, mechanical, electrical, environmental and civil engineering, project management, and site construction supervision in conjunction with our partners Cubic Range Design Solutions.


The Battle Training Facility range contains a unique sacrificial ballistic protection coating and a bespoke building services system that enables the use of live rounds and non-lethal incapacitating agents, coupled to world class live and synthetic simulation systems. The fire protection systems and contamination control protocols are also designed for this one-off facility.