May 23, 2017
Tuhoe HQ certified as living building
Ngai Tuhoe's tribal headquarters in Taneatua has become the first New Zealand building and only the 14th building in the world certified in the Living Building Challenge.
Tuhoe Te Uru Taumatua chief executive Kirsti Luke acceped the highest global no impact accolade at the challenge's annual conference in Seattle, Washington last week.
Marko den Breems, the managing principal of architects Jasmax, says the award is also a tribute to the lead architect, Jasmax founder the late Ivan Mercep.
The challenge requires testing of buildings after at least a year of operation to confirm actual rather than theoretical performance.
The building, which was made with locally-generated sustainable materials, generates all of its own power and collects and treats its own water for public use.
It proved its value in the recent floods.
"This building was able to be a safe point for the local Tuhoe community. It would have been able keep operating, it stayed out of the flood plain, and it was able to function fully and be a safe so in that sense an example of how a project like this and its values gives back to its community," Mr den Breems says.
He says the Living Building Challenge forces the construction industry to rethink the materials it uses and the methods it follows.
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