Thursday, 29 August 2019
Celebrating Healthy Building Materials at Te Kura Whare
Living Future New Zealand and Ngāi Tūhoe Healthy Materials Showcase, 1-2 August 2019
FSC New Zealand participated in the 2019 Healthy Materials Showcase hosted by Living Future New Zealand and Ngāi Tūhoe, a prominent Iwi based around Whakatane on the East Coast of the North Island. Taking place in New Zealand’s first official living building, Te Kura Whare, the two-day event was the perfect opportunity to showcase healthy building materials.
The event brought some 250 people together to celebrate Te Kura Whare and building materials that meet the Living Future Institute's high standards for environmental performance.
The showcase provided a forum for New Zealand’s sustainability-focused organisations to inspire visitors with their innovative and environmentally conscious building products, from vermiculture (waste treatment systems using tiger worms!) to hempcrete and clay masonry, and of course, FSC!
A tiny ecological footprint, a big step for New Zealand
Designed by Jasmax’s late, honoured kaumatua and architect Ivan Mercep, Te Kura Whare’s healthy materials protect the environment and inhabitants from harmful chemicals and the bitter August cold. Significant thermal mass provides excellent insulation for Showcase attendees from the harsh New Zealand winter, feeling simultaneously at one with nature while being cocooned in warmth.
Te Kura Whare is constructed using 100% locally sourced materials. All the timber that went into making Te Kura Whare came from FSC certified forests, most of which are visible from the building itself.
To meet the Living Building Challenge’s net-zero energy imperative, state of the art solar panels generate an estimated 125 megawatts per year. A comprehensive rain catchment system, totally natural waste treatment facility make the building a top-notch education centre that’s entirely self-sustaining and built to last.
We hope that the connections made over the two days will help the Living Future Institute and the Living Building Challenge thrive in New Zealand. Our country loves to see itself as the clean, green jewel of the Pacific.
While there is truth to this, there are also plenty of areas ripe for improvement. Mainstream construction is one such area, and with any luck and hard work, we can keep up the momentum and incorporate more structures like Te Kura Whare into our beautiful land.
Find out more about Te Kura Whare at the Living Future Institute New Zealand website.