Smart meets art

Interwoven with layers of functional and decorative art, Waitakere Central showcases the latest sustainable building techniques
An exterior view of the lighting and ventilation. field, grass, landscape, sky, soil
An exterior view of the lighting and ventilation.

Waitakere Central civic centre possesses a high level of sustainable design and integration between the architecture, structure, services and artwork.

The project was always intended to provide a long-lived, flexible, sustainable and user-friendly development with an appropriate balance between capital and operating costs, says Peter Taylor, project leader from multi-disciplinary consulting firm Connell Wagner.

The company's designs create energy efficiency through good mechanical and electrical engineering practice. On this project one such example is the system of displacement ventilation to the administration offices, which feature a high-mass floor with exposed structure to limit summertime temperatures and to allow night-time cooling.


An exterior view of the lighting and ventilation. field, grass, landscape, sky, soil
An exterior view of the lighting and ventilation.

"Air is introduced at a low level via floor diffusers, rather than high-level grilles," says Taylor. "This has the advantage of introducing air directly to the working space at a higher temperature than would be supplied by an overhead system, resulting in improved indoor air quality and more free cooling. Overnight, the building management system pre-cools the structure, reducing the daytime load."

Another new technique is the inclusion of reverse-cycle heat pumps. These units simultaneously produce chilled water for cooling and hot water for preheating or heating. An internal heat recovery mechanism enables waste heat to be re-used an improvement from a traditional chilled water unit which dispels building heat into the atmosphere.

Connell Wagner also specified the C-Bus control system that optimises the lighting and decreases power consumption. Some energy saving strategies include automatic monitoring of occupied areas, and occupancy scheduling.

An exterior view of the lighting and ventilation. field, grass, landscape, sky, soil
An exterior view of the lighting and ventilation.

Other sustainable features include a 37,000-litre rainwater storage tank, which collects water for toilet flushing and reduces overflow into storm water drains during heavy rain. A 500m² planted roof above the council chamber retains storm water within the soil, and filters it before it runs off.

For more details, contact Connell Wagner, phone (09) 520 6019. Website: www.conwag.com.

Sep 20, 2006
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