Sustainability

Sustainable design principles guide the fundamental social, organisational and tectonic concepts of our projects. We have a proven track record of creating environmentally sensitive architecture that is contextual, innovative and enduring.

We utilise our experience and expertise in sustainable design to optimise site potential and planning, minimise energy consumption and reduce waste, protect and conserve water, utilise low-carbon materials, design for future flexibility and provide for safe and simple operational and maintenance practices.

Our sustainable design philosophy encourages decisions at every stage of the design process that enhance the wellbeing of occupants and reduce negative impacts on the environment. Our integrated, holistic approach ensures sustainable outcomes and positively impacts all phases of a building’s life cycle, including design, construction, operation and decommissioning.

Victoria University of Wellington Campus Hub & Library

The Campus Hub and Library project realises Victoria University’s vision to create a heart for the social and learning activities of the campus in a connected, transparent and welcoming environment.  The new Hub building occupies the previously underutilised Quad and connects the refurbished Rankin Brown Library, Easterfield and Maclaurin Buildings. Sustainable principles are fundamental to the organisation of key elements of the Hub ensuring the holistic integration of daylighting, natural ventilation and adaptability of space.  Important environmental and social benefits are brought to this project by the adaptive reuse and revitalisation of the existing buildings.

Performance

  • Energy consumption 106kWh/m²/year
  • Carbon emissions 10kg CO2eq/m²/ year

Day Lighting
Natural light enters the building via glazed perimeter roofs and south facing linear skylights above the reading room.

Ventilation
Fresh air is taken in at roof level, conditioned and distributed to floor plenums on all levels via sleeved columns. Stale air is returned via grilles to ducts and wall plenums.

Glazed perimeter roofs allow light into the ground floor and articulate the new structure from the existing buildings.

Ventilation
A mixed mode system combines passive and mechanical ventilation modes to suit changing climactic conditions. The ventilation system is integrated to suit the flexibility of the open spaces; air is distributed within and around the structure, including displacement ventilation via floor cavities.

Sleeved columns distribute conditioned air to floor plenums. In fine weather large, automated sliding doors (at the time of construction the largest of their kind in the southern hemisphere) are opened to the new courtyard to the north connecting indoor and outdoor spaces.

The scooped geometry of the south facing skylights evenly distributes diffuse daylight across the reading room. Areas of low-set glazing provide elevated views of the surrounding campus whilst limiting solar gain.

Te Kupenga
155 Fanshawe Street

The concept for this seven-level workplace development is a relaxed stack of floor plates around a connecting atrium which allows daylight to penetrate deep into the building.

The building’s deep plan results in a favourable low surface to volume ratio. The large floorplates (typically 2200m2 ) receive ample daylight through the glazed façade, supplemented by the top lit atrium.

The relaxed stack of floorplates creates floor projections and overhanging storeys that reduce solar gain to the east, west and north façades. The north façade benefits from its shading by the adjacent Datacom building.

The atrium with its occupiable bridges and connecting stairs encourages social interaction within the building, reduces reliance on lifts and offers views to the mature London plane trees of Victoria Park. Locating the atrium on the south façade permits glare free daylight to enter deep into the building. A fritted glazed skylight located at the top of the atrium brings in additional light.

A unitized curtainwall system with high performance glazing provides a durable, low maintenance façade and conserves energy use by reducing both heating and cooling demand. The staggered building edges include an outdoor terrace and balconies that blur the boundaries of a traditional workplace and allow occupants to be outside without leaving the building.

The roof embraces sustainable design principles in several important ways; rainwater is harvested from it for grey water use; roof-mounted PV panels generate power for on-site use and the warm roof build-up completes the building’s high performing thermal envelope, reducing demand on mechanical systems.

Rating:

  • 6 Green Star – Office Design (NZGBC). Built rating currently processing.

Performance:

  • Energy consumption 96kWh/m²/year
  • Carbon emissions 9.3kg/CO2eq/m²/year

The south facing aspect of the atrium brings glare-free light into the building without the need for sun shading on the façade. The highly transparent (low iron glass) and back-lit (skylight) façade encourages interaction between the public and private spheres with unobstructed views out to Victoria Park for building users and glimpses into the atrium by passers-by.

Energy Use
High-performance double-glazed units on all facades manage climatic conditions and reduce glare. The south facing full-height atrium assists with spill air extraction allowing for natural circulation through the building.

Water Management
Water is conserved through various means including rainwater harvesting for grey water use and water efficient fixtures and fittings.

The atrium encourages social interaction and offers views to the mature London plane trees of Victoria Park and back to the city. Low environmental impact materials and timber from certified sustainably managed forests are used throughout. A displacement ventilation system (via floor grills) supplies fresh air to the workplaces on the bridges. The atrium includes stairs for intertenancy circulation and reduces reliance on lifts.

The project is located adjacent to several bus routes and a cycle path; commuting by foot or bicycle is encouraged with the provision of end of trip facilities including cycle storage, showers, changing facilities and a drying room.

Grafton Hall
The University of Auckland

Grafton Hall provides pastoral accommodation for over 300 University of Auckland first year students. Three mid-rise buildings are arranged around a series of open spaces and courtyards that relate to both the functional arrangement of the site and its orientation.

Single aspect dormitories on a double loaded corridor provide optimal and cost effective planning efficiencies but create greater challenges for passive ventilation which typically relies on cross ventilation. Through detailed thermal modelling analysis, a natural ventilation solution was developed for this project that utilises a combination of opening windows, internal ceiling fans, external shading, and low-E glazing to eliminate the need for air conditioning. High levels of thermal insulation, including a warm roof, use of daylight and LED lighting throughout also contribute to the low energy demands of these buildings.

The site is well located, being close to the motorway system, Grafton Rail Station, bus routes and is within walking distance of Auckland University’s Grafton, Newmarket and City campuses . A secure bicycle storage facility with electric bike charging points is provided for students and staff.

Performance (during first year):

  • Energy consumption 100kWh/m²/year
  • Carbon emissions 14kg CO2eq/m²/year

Three separate buildings step along the site contours breaking up the mass of the project. Their form and materiality are informed by the context and character of the surrounding neighbourhood.

Energy Use
Dormitory rooms are naturally ventilated and contribute to the low energy use of the building.  A combination of high and low-level opening windows and internal ceiling fans draw cool air into the rooms and distribute it throughout.

The façade design utilises external shading, low-E double-glazing and exposed thermal mass to reduce solar gain and glare further contributing to lower energy demands.

The centrally located courtyard, designed to take advantage of Auckland’s moderate climate, provides a social hub for the residents of Grafton Hall. This shared space encourages a sense of community and connection with nature, both important contributors to happiness and wellbeing.

Wynyard Central E2

Wynyard Central is a mixed-use development within the Wynyard Central Precinct, an area of Auckland’s waterfront undergoing regeneration from an industrial port area to an inner-city live-work neighbourhood. Wynyard Central is an exemplar project for this precinct, providing a variety of housing typologies, retail space and public open space established on a strong commitment to sustainable design principles.

The site layout and building forms were developed specifically to increase solar penetration and ventilation into the dense urban block arrangements.  Consideration of the local microclimate, access to natural ventilation and daylight, thermal mass and shading have driven the final building form and fabric. Dwellings are strongly connected to their external environment with a high degree of passive control and generous covered balconies and terraces for outdoor living.  The provision of multiple cores enables through apartments that utilise passive cross ventilation.

Homestar 8
Under the Wynyard Quarter Sustainability Standards, this project was required to achieve a minimum Homestar 7rating. Homestar is an independent certification tool that evaluates the environmental performance of a home rated on a scale from 6 to 10. Through both sponsoring and piloting version 3 of the Homestar tool, this project was instrumental in the development of Homestar to be applicable to multi-unit apartment type residences

Consideration was given to the important contribution roofscapes can make in an urban setting. Roofs are well articulated and green roofs have been incorporated into the two lower building typologies to provide outlook amenity, improve thermal performance and harvest rainwater for reuse.

Passive design principles are embodied within the fabric of the building.  Opening windows and shading devices allow occupants to adjust light levels and natural ventilation to provide thermal comfort at different times of the day and year.

Biophilic Design
Drawing the green quality of adjacent public space into the development was an important influence on the building arrangement and the incorporation of green roofs and planted terraces.  Residents feel connected with nature and can enjoy views and fresh air. A network of laneways and linkages within the development improve walkability and cycling and connect users to the surrounding public space and parks. Planting was selected in consultation with mana whenua.

Rating:

  • Homestar 7/8 (NZGBC)

Performance:

  • Energy consumption 41kWh/m²/year
  • Carbon emissions 4kg CO2eq/ m²/year