Sustainable design principles

The sustainability principles guiding the design and maintenance of our Estate

  • Implement whole-life costing, operational and embodied carbon evaluation of projects
  • Move away from fossil fuels for heating and cooling our spaces
  • Meet the highest standards of efficiency for energy and utility use
  • Design with reference to Te Aranga Māori design, celebrating our place in the world
  • Facilitate efficient and sustainable space utilisation
  • Ensure spaces are accessible and enabling for all, supporting disability action plans and initiatives
  • Build resilience spaces and support biodiversity in the built and non-built environments across our Estate
  • Create long-life buildings that are flexible and climate adaptable in the long term
  • Minimise construction and operational waste
  • Minimise construction and operational water use

New Sustainable Design Guidelines for Waipapa Taumata Rau

A comprehensive review of Waipapa Taumata Rau's Design Guidelines is under way. The new guidelines will reflect existing practices that lead the way and exceed many of the wider regulatory frameworks and standards when it comes to sustainability and environmental performance.

The Sustainable Design Guidelines are part of the implementation of Te Rautaki Tūāpapa | The Estate Strategy 2021, Te Taumata Tukuwaro-kore | The Net Zero Carbon Strategy 2022 and Te Rautaki Aronga Toitū | Sustainability Strategy 2022.

Our design principles in practice

Adaptive reuse of building 201 - A sustainable home for our faculties

On 13 September 2023, a dawn karakia service marked the opening of Building 201 followed by the official opening for business on 19 September. A sustainable home for the University of Auckland’s Education and Social Work, Arts, and Creative Arts and Industries faculties, the building is a successful adaptive reuse project, which cut its carbon emissions in half by reusing and strengthening the existing structure rather than starting from scratch.

Some of the key environmental and social features of the B201 project include:

  • New Zealand’s highest 6 Green Star Design and As Built NZ v1.0 Certified Design Rating with all ten innovation points awarded
  • Seismic strengthening, which enables the reuse of the existing building structure reducing the embodied carbon by over 30 percent
  • Elimination of combustion appliances and fossil fuel use on-site reduces operational carbon emissions by nearly 70 per cent
  • A naturally ventilated central atrium provides a connection to the outside environment
  • A Solar Photovoltaic System provides around 10 per cent of the energy demand
  • A rainwater harvesting system and low-flow fittings are estimated to reduce potable water consumption by nearly 80 per cent
  • Window-to-wall ratio is optimised for daylighting on work surfaces
  • Construction waste diversion from landfills set at a target of > 80 per cent
  • On-site training and education for construction workers around health, wellbeing and sustainability
  • Connections to local public transport and prioritisation of low-carbon travel modes and end-of-trip facilities to encourage more cycling and walking
  • A new natively planted sedum green roof on the level four podium