Tak­ing up the chal­lenge

NZ Life & Leisure - - Blue-sky Thinking -

The Liv­ing Build­ing Chal­lenge (LBC) is man­aged by the US-based In­ter­na­tional Liv­ing Fu­ture Institute (ILFI). Within the LBC there are three path­ways for cer­ti­fi­ca­tion: Liv­ing Build­ing Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, Pe­tal Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and Zero En­ergy Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Camp Glenorchy is reg­is­tered un­der the Net Zero En­ergy path­way, which re­quires it to gen­er­ate at least the same amount of en­ergy as it uses (in a one-year pe­riod) on site via re­new­able sources. It’s not off-grid – the de­vel­op­ment draws power from the grid when on-site en­ergy gen­er­a­tion isn’t suf­fi­cient to meet de­mand (typ­i­cally in the evenings and on short win­ter days) and feeds en­ergy into the grid when it’s gen­er­at­ing more than is re­quired.

To achieve Net Zero En­ergy cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, a build­ing needs to sub­mit en­ergy data col­lected over the course of a year. Camp Glenorchy has 313 kilo­watt-hour me­ters in­stalled on site that record how much en­ergy is be­ing gen­er­ated, ex­ported and used. At the end of the de­vel­op­ment’s first op­er­a­tional year, this data and ad­di­tional doc­u­men­ta­tion will be sub­mit­ted to the ILFI. This is fol­lowed by an in­de­pen­dent au­dit, a site visit and a re­port to ILFI, which then de­cides if the de­vel­op­ment can be Net Zero En­ergy-cer­ti­fied.

Meet­ing the re­quire­ments of the LBC means build­ings are mea­sured by per­for­mance, so de­sign and con­struc­tion teams have to fig­ure out how to make it hap­pen rather than just tick a check­list of sus­tain­abil­ity fea­tures. Build­ings like this can cost more to de­sign and build, but th­ese ex­penses can be off­set by lower costs over the build­ing’s life­time.

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