In the heart of Auckland’s forward-thinking Wynyard Quarter precinct, charitable trust Sustainable Coastlines is about to open its Flagship Education Centre, which is aiming to become a certified Living Building with net zero water, waste and embodied energy.
As part of the project, Sustainable Coastlines co-founder and CEO Sam Judd says one of the aims was to develop a “beacon, a lighthouse”, somewhere people could go for inspiration about better ways of building a sustainable future, and somewhere to see the possibilities of green design.
Created as a purpose-built facility for Sustainable Coastlines to deliver its training programmes, Judd says it had to be a living building to fit in with the organisation’s values, which revolve around keeping our waterways clean and healthy.
“We are a bit behind the game in New Zealand. If you look overseas, in France, for example, by law every new commercial building has to either have a green roof or solar panels. We’re not at that stage in New Zealand yet but I think that will become the norm here too. From my perspective, we need to be making sensible investments now to pave the way to a sustainable future. We need people to lead that change.”
And that’s exactly what Judd, along with his team at Sustainable Coastlines, is doing with the Flagship Education Centre. Judd is keen to demonstrate to others what’s possible with regenerative design and he’s passionate about this project, which to comply with the Living Building Challenge (LBC) – the world’s most stringent regenerative building framework – was not a simple task.
But, he says, the rewards will be worth the hard work. “It’s about making sensible choices now to reap longer term gains for the environment and human health.”
To comply with the LBC, the project had to achieve net zero water, waste and energy. That meant materials had to be sourced within a certain radius of the site and re-used or salvaged where possible, many common construction products couldn’t be used due to their toxic components, and the building had to be designed to essentially ‘breathe’, minimising the use of any heating or cooling.
For Sustainable Coastlines, this meant many things but of the most interesting are the innovative roof systems chosen. The 450m2 building saw 85 per cent of materials by weight salvaged, with strategic choices made about where to use new materials. One of those choices was the innovative Nuraply 3PM Pure White Air Cleaning Membrane, which was donated for the project by flat roofing specialists Nuralite and used in conjunction with Nuralite’s Nuratherm Warm Roof System.