When Pacific Environments Architects were commissioned to design a new multi-storey learning and administration facility at Te Rae O Kawharu – Grey Lynn School, they were shouldering a social responsibility. A school building is an investment in society’s future. It is where young people learn the values, skills and knowledge they need to make their society a better place. If a school building is well constructed — if it’s thoughtfully designed and built with quality materials — it will serve not just one generation of young people but many.
Pacific Environments Architects had this in mind when they chose to use GreenStuf as thermal and acoustic insulation for the new building. “We’re building facilities that are going to be used for a long time and that are going to be used by a lot of people,” says Clive Chapman, Director of Pacific Environments Architects. “These kaiako and tamariki really need the facilities we’re designing for them.”
Pacific Environments Architects are well versed in selecting the right materials for durable schools, and the education sector is an area of focus for them. Clive explains: “Education work has specific guidelines that are set by the ministry [of education], which means we have to make sure we will have products that will perform in the right manner.”
A range of GreenStuf products were selected by Pacific Environments Architects for the new building: Thermal Wall Pads, Thermal Wall Blanket, and Sound Solution. Yet their decision to use these products wasn’t just about meeting the minimum standards of ministry guidelines. “The H1 building clause is a minimum requirement for a building as far as insulation goes,” Clive says. “But in reality, we’re actually specifying things far above H1.”
GreenStuf insulation is made without harmful chemicals, it is endorsed by Asthma New Zealand, and it’s easy and safe to work with. These features were a big part of what drew Pacific Environments Architects to GreenStuf products. “We use GreenStuf because we like its credentials…I’ve personally stuffed some in my own house, and from that point of view it’s a nice product to work with as opposed to some other products.”
GreenStuf’s sustainability credentials were another key consideration for Pacific Environments Architects. GreenStuf prides itself on its zero-waste manufacturing line, which ensures that every element used in its production processes is recyclable at the end of its life. “Sustainability is always an important thing for us,” Clive says.
Safe, sustainable, high-performing insulation — the type of insulation that architects are happy to use in their own homes — is particularly important in education environments. School buildings must be well insulated to ensure sound distractions are minimal and to keep children warm and comfortable — enabling them to focus on learning.
Watch the video interview with Clive Chapman here: