07.03.2014

New Zealand’s First Living Building – Almost There!

In a rush of activity, the Te Wharehou o Tūhoe Building is almost complete. In an aim to become New Zealand’s first “Living Building” the structure will strive to meet 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.

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.

The new building is set to open on the 8th of March, amid some considerable interest from both New Zealand public and the international green building fraternity.

Abodo Wood played a considerable role in the building's construction, as primary supplier for the buildings exterior skin, structural timbers and Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified wood components. Abodo’s Ben Campbell also provided timber consulting and advice to the design team during the planning phase.

The exterior of the Tūhoe building is clad in Stratos+ with the performance stage and general areas decked out in Sand Decking. In a clever move, Architects Jasmax specified a Protector Oil Pearl finish for the decking – a colour designed to mimic the the natural patina of wood as it ages.

By all accounts the building promises to be both beautiful and sustainable.

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