Not only will Ponsonby Park be a beautiful civic space but the buildings themselves can play their part in meaningful and ongoing climate change mitigation.
Buildings keep us warm and dry whilst providing shelter and sanctuary. Yet our buildings are also responsible for significant climate-changing pollution. Emissions from the construction sector have grown by 66% in the past decade with the built environment now being responsible for approximately 20% of NZ’s carbon footprint. The construction and renovation of buildings in NZ pumps out climate-changing pollution equivalent to the emissions from one million cars on the road, every year.
We need to curtail emissions from the building and construction sector by transforming the way our buildings are designed and built, thereby dramatically reducing our carbon footprint and improving people’s health and wellbeing. This is why the Community-Led Design Group would like the new Ponsonby Park buildings to be a zero-carbon, Green Star build that has smarter construction techniques, greater resource efficiency, water and energy savings, lower running costs and will deliver a healthier environment for everyone who uses them.
The energy efficiency of a Green Star building can be improved by 20-30 percent, resulting in significantly reduced operating expenses despite only adding a minimal 1-2% additional cost to construction. The technology and know-how to do this already exist and include; better insulation, the inclusion of airtightness and thermal bridging, improved ventilation, mitigation of overheating, and energy efficiency standards.
There are more than 3000 green building projects in NZ, including the 15,500 sq /m Fonterra head office in the Wynyard Quarter, that gained a 5 Green Star rating for its indoor environment using all-electric heating to deliver low carbon emissions, energy-efficient thermal envelope, and building services design, and a water conservation system using rainwater harvesting. This is precisely what the built form of Ponsonby Park, the new civic space at 254 Ponsonby Road, can achieve and contribute to further reduce our climate change emissions.
Ponsonby Park – bring it on!