Integrated environmentally sustainable design (ESD) approach to engineering compliments the architecture to provide a green facility for the the local community.
Environmental sustainability was a key requirement identified by the community during the consultation phase of the South Christchurch Library and Service Centre project.
Beca provided ESD engineering advice and mechanical services design for this landmark green project, working closely with Warren and Mahoney architects using 'whole building' design techniques. 3D computer modelling was used to evaluate options for the building's construction and associated passive and active environmental control strategies; to study the effectiveness of solar shading options; and to assess the predicted comfort performance and establish annual energy use targets.
Key passive features include:
- high levels of natural light
- automated natural ventilation
- passive solar control through building form and fabric, combined with use of high performance double glazing
- increased thermal mass
- high levels of insulation
Zoned underfloor heating is supplied by a heat pump using water from the city acquifer as the heat source offering significant energy savings. The acquifer water also provides the cooling requirements without the need for refrigeration, with cold water reticulated through the underfloor pipe work via a heat exchanger. This cold water loop also supplies active chilled beams to achieve conditions in high-occupancy spaces which natural ventilation could not meet.
Other ESD features include rainwater recycling (using the feature moat), water efficient fixtures, and environmentally preferable material selection.
This early environmentally-friendly building example enabled Christchurch City Council to demonstrate its commitment to environmental sustainability in a most tangible manner, with the building being the inaugral winner of the NZ Engineering Excellence Award for Sustainability and Clean Technology in 2005.