Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Tūhoe starts work on NZ's first ‘Living Building’


Tūhoe starts work on New Zealand’s first ‘Living Building’

Work began this month on New Zealand’s first living building.

Te Wharehou o Tūhoe, the new Tūhoe headquarters in Taneatua, near Whakatane, has been designed to have no environmental impact, be integrated into its surrounding landscape and to give back to the world around it. It will be the most advanced sustainable building in New Zealand.

Tūhoe Chairman Tamati Kruger said the decision to build the iwi’s new headquarters to such tough environmental standards reflects the environmental values of the Tūhoe people. “Though the cost may be higher initially, over the years the building will more than pay for itself. We hope it’s something that all the people of the Whakatane district will be proud of and will use as their own.”

Following stringent guidelines set down by the International Living Futures Institute, the process of designing, building and operating the finished building must be considered sustainable across seven performance areas: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. It will be triple Net Zero for energy, water and waste.

Each step of the build has to follow rigorous standards from where the materials are sourced to how they are transported and used including their embodied carbon. Tūhoe plans to use its own timber supplies for around 95% of the building - including newly harvested trees for construction and gifted fallen and dead trees from the Urewera’s forest for landscaping, flooring and seating.

“People come and go, but if your natural resources are depleted, people have nothing. That’s the order of things,” says Kirsti Luke, Tuhoe’s Chief Executive. But for Tūhoe, this building is about a lot more than the environment. “For most choosing a location for your office headquarters is a straight forward decision. For Tūhoe it’s a very political decision: it will be the first central office it has had in centuries.”

Together with Kiwi building company Arrow International and architects Jasmax, Tūhoe will be trialling innovative building methods and overcoming many hurdles to meet the Living Building Challenge (LBC) guidelines, many of which are made tougher by New Zealand’s remote location. These include sourcing products and materials that contain Zero toxic chemicals and weighing up the impact of using local materials that are not 100% ‘green’ compared with transporting something “greener” from miles away. Other challenges include designing novel systems to deal with wastewater; heating and cooling the building efficiently, generating solar energy and finding a way to track native logs through certified mills. The project will also include a world-first for its seismic resistant timber structure.

Attempting to build New Zealand’s first Living Building is not for the faint-hearted, says Jeff Vivian, Project Manager with Arrow International. “Tūhoe has given us an exceptional opportunity to do things never done before. The Living Building concept is about so much more than sourcing a few old logs and throwing some solar panels onto the roof; it’s about building in a completely different way, using new methods, sometimes new materials, to produce something that, hopefully, will be an inspiration for all. It will showcase to see what really can be achieved if we’re courageous and work together.”

For Kirsti Luke, Tūhoe’s Chief Executive, the plan for the iwi’s $15 million new headquarters is not so much a step into the future as a step into the past. “It’s how things used to be. When it was hot, we’d open a window. When it was cold, we’d throw on a jersey. Embracing simple concepts like this are not only good for the environment that surrounds us it’s good for us too. It reminds us about what’s important; about people and our place within the bigger scheme of things.”

‘This building is a lighthouse in a world awash with climate change and social inequality, it shows the way to a different future, where we value people and a healthy environment which supports life and the economy, not one at the expense of the other” says Jerome Partington, Jasmax

After a troubled past, Kruger says he’s excited Tūhoe has embraced the Living Building concept and will be creating something all New Zealanders can be truly proud of.

- Ends -

images are courtesy of Jasmax

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news