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  • Writer's pictureAdam Parkes, Director

Designing green

NZ has committed to being carbon neutral by 2050.

This is in line with an international effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 2° Celsius.


What we now call Sustainable or Green design, will soon become “design” – the default standard. Hence, the sooner we embrace the many innovations and initiatives available to us to improve the quality of our buildings, the better.


Green design refers to the building materials, the processes used for building, and the long term impact the building has for its users and the environment. Green design is required to be environmentally responsible and resource-efficient over a building's life. This includes design, construction, maintenance, renovation and demolition – eg a Cradle to Grave approach.


As well as being a global responsibility, there are many practical benefits to us as building owners and users:

• Healthier and happier living • Cheaper operation through energy and water efficiency • Less environmental impact • Increased property value


There are several ways to improve and assess the environmental performance of a building:

• Passive solar design – sensible design approaches • Passive House system – for ultra-low energy buildings • Homestar – a residential NZGBC rating tool • Green Star – a commercial NZGBC rating tool


All have commonalities, but have different ways of achieving different results/ratings.

Parkes Architecture will be touching on these, and delving further into practical green design approaches in subsequent posts.



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