Dr. Andrew Piraccini

Associate Principal, Glass and Façade Engineering

Andrew is a glass specialist and one of a select group of engineers in New Zealand certified to sign off product statements for high-risk glass facades. He heads the Babbage façade group bringing European expertise to an area of engineering he says has endless opportunities.

He sees glass as a building material that can be used to generate electricity, generate income and be used as a structural material in its own right. While it has special requirements in areas such as seismic movement, wind loads and deflection, Andrew says these issues are overcome through proper calculation, and the key is understanding the engineering behind the glass.

Andrew gained his engineering qualifications in Germany and Italy and was based in Australia for 26 years, working for a German vehicle manufacturer, designing the glass components of showrooms worldwide. He moved to New Zealand in 2015 and joined Babbage in 2018 to establish the consultancy’s facades group.

Andrew says major innovations in the use of glass on building facades has included photovoltaic glass – glass used to generate electricity – becoming transparent, meaning it can be used as standard windows while producing electricity for the building itself. It also means facades can become television-like advertising screens, while the inside can be used as TVs and computer tablets, making it a truly multi-purpose material.


Key projects include

  • Christchurch Hospital
  • Quad 7 – Air New Zealand headquarters, Auckland International Airport
  • North Apartments, Great North Road, Auckland
  • Opus House, Christchurch
  • Oasis Building, Hamilton

Associate Principal

Glass and Façade Engineering

FIEAust, CPEng (Aust), NER, APEC Engineer, IntPE(Aus), CPEng, CMEngNZ, MInstD

Specialsing in

Glass and Façade Engineering including: Glass specification Façades Curtain walls Façade fire resistance