The affectionately known ‘Tūhoe building’, Te Uru Taumatua, is New Zealand’s first building built to the International Living Future Institute’s stringent Living Building Challenge criteria. The criteria requires the process of designing, building and operating the finished building to be sustainable across seven areas: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity and beauty. Rigorous standards include consideration for what the materials are made of and where they are sourced — considerations that must be followed in each step of the build.
Jasmax architect, Michelle Johansson, whose role on the project team was to research and specify the architectural materials, said the Living Building Challenge is formidable. “This building must demonstrate that it is triple net zero, referring to water, waste and energy use, and that its built elements adhere to strict toxicity and sourcing parameters,” said Ms Johansson.
Some challenges faced in this project include employing sophisticated systems to deal with wastewater, heating and cooling the building efficiently, generating solar energy and tracking native logs through certified mills. The project also includes a world-first for its seismic resistant timber structure.
As heating and cooling can often account for 30-40% of energy use in a building, Ms Johansson says that addressing the net zero energy challenge was going to require some high performance insulation solutions to ensure internal thermal comfort while minimising the requirements for heating and cooling. “Kingspan’s insulation products were ideal," she says." We used Kingspan Kooltherm K12 Framing Board on the walls and Kingspan Therma TR27 LPC/FM on the roof. Both products delivered exceptional thermal performance which simply couldn’t be achieved by conventional insulation products in the same thickness profiles.”
Kingspan Kooltherm K12 Framing Board is a fibre-free rigid phenolic insulation manufactured with two facings of highly reflective aluminium foil, and was installed over the exterior wall framing.
Kingspan Therma TR27 LPC/FM is a rigid polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulation sandwiched by two facings of coated glass tissue. This was used in a warm roof application and involved installing the product on top of the plywood roof, and covering it with a potable membrane roofing system.
Both Kingspan’s Kooltherm and Therma ranges are manufactured without the use of CFCs/HCFCs and have zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP).