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Opus Architecture design takes out top spot as Christchurch energy champion

An ongoing, and outstanding dedication to sustainable energy has seen Opus Architecture, and its parent company Opus International Consultants, applauded at the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) Awards in Auckland recently.

Tait Communications’ new Christchurch campus, an Opus Architecture design, picked up the new Christchurch Energy Champion Award, won jointly with Community Energy Action.

Noted for its smart design and technology, the 7,000 sq m building’s use of natural lighting and recycled ground water for heating and cooling purposes will make it up to 50% more energy efficient than Tait’s previous campus.

Feedback from the judges highlighted the advanced and ambitious nature of the project which, they said, was particularly worthy of admiration within the context of the re-emerging city of Christchurch.

Opus International Consultants was a finalist in the same category for its contribution towards building a more sustainable Christchurch, via work with such high-performing, low-energy developments as the Avon River Precinct, and ongoing advocacy for energy-efficiency in all commercial projects it is currently involved in.


New commercial centre

A new commercial centre for North Canterbury — at the heart of Ravenswood Village, a residential community with more than 1500 sections — will provide more choice and convenience for residents of Ravenswood, Pegasus, Woodend, Rangiora and Kaiapoi.

The new 10-hectare development, divided into 44 commercial lots with space for 70 shops and services, is currently in development off State Highway 1.

The commercial centre will focus on large-format retail and light industrial premises, including a supermarket, hardware store and a number of other leading retailers, as well as a range of food outlets and other services.

The new centre will also feature a fuel station, with comprehensive on-site facilities and extensive parking, to serve the local area and commercial and commuter traffic on State Highway 1.

Smaller scale retail, including boutique shopping, a restaurant and cafe will complement the commercial hub.

PwC building to start soon


PwC is the anchor tenant for the new PwC Centre in the heart of Christchurch’s CBD.

The new building at 56-64 Cashel Street will be ideally located on the Avon River, overlooking the Bridge of Remembrance, and central to the developing business centre, retail and justice precincts, as well as to transport links.

Construction of the A-grade development, comprising of six floors, is expected to commence within the next three months, with an expected occupancy date of mid-2016.

The building will exceed the requirements of the current earthquake code, and the development is being built to an extremely high standard, ensuring occupants enjoy a safe and pleasant working environment.

The PwC Centre is an innovative Warren and Mahoney-designed building. It is lightweight but strong, and designed to 130% of the current building code (IL3).

With a high level of energy efficiency and a distinctive facade that embraces its surroundings, the PwC Centre is expected to be a landmark in the city.


Growing market for solar

SolarCity has launched solarcitydirect.co.nz, enabling solar installers to buy the latest solar technologies at the best prices, backed up by the company’s award-winning engineering team.
In 2008, solar panel prices were 343% higher than in 2013 and, in parallel, the retail price of power has increased by 84%.

As a consequence, the market for solar energy is rapidly expanding in New Zealand, and contractors who are able to offer high quality installations will be best placed to win more work.

Solar City chief executive Andrew Booth says the company’s objective is to make solar more accessible and to support installers so they can focus on growing their business faster.

With its easy-to-navigate categories, comprehensive descriptions and detailed images, installers can quickly browse and find the products they need.

SolarCity provides its clients with a turnkey solution by providing the equipment and supporting engineering advice and documentation to help trade professionals develop their solar business.


Infrastructure forums merge

Auckland Council’s Mayoral Infrastructure Providers Forum has merged with the Productivity Partnership’s Auckland Procurement Forum to form the Auckland Infrastructure and Procurement Forum.

The expanded forum connects infrastructure providers, advisors, constructors and suppliers to help ensure that investment in Auckland’s infrastructure supports the region’s growth.
Members include the NZ Transport Agency, Vector, Auckland University, Watercare, Telecom and the Auckland DHB.

It is chaired by Auckland Council chief operating officer Dean Kimpton and will meet quarterly.

“The Auckland Infrastructure and Procurement Forum brings together decision makers and delivery agents in one place with a common purpose,” Mr Kimpton says.

“This enables us to take a collective, long-term view of Auckland’s development so we know what we’re building, when, where and why.

“An integrated approach will help ensure we have the infrastructure in place needed to deliver on the Auckland Plan.

“Essentially, the forum is about sharing information,” Mr Kimpton says.