ZERO ENERGY Building
The boys are back in town.!
Well known and masters of the art of Photography the Makwana Brothers are back in the Christchurch CBD in a state of the art new Building.
The much loved Mak’s Photo Lab guys have rebuilt in Colombo Street and, along with the team at Solarchitect, have put so much ‘energy’ into their new project, that the building hardly needs a power connection.!
The Mak’s building has been designed as one of the first Zero Energy commercial buildings in the Central City. After two years of collecting the data, the numbers are out and yes, we can say the building generates plenty of energy and interest.!
The building is now ‘data certified’ to have a Net Zero energy balance on an annual basis, that means it produces more energy than it uses annually.!
Zero Energy Buildings - ZEB are not unusual overseas, there are some striking examples around the world, and are built because they are commercially viable for both developer and the tenants.
When approached by Mak’s Photo Lab, Solarchitect proposed this Energy efficient commercial building approach to the delight of their new Client. This building is simple and elegant in form and, while it can be said, straightforward in construction does provide a cost-effective solution with lightweight timber construction. Putting aside the obvious tilt-panel concrete box approach, the building is lightweight enough to save considerably on its foundations.
It has not been a low-cost approach either, the building can be converted to two titles at a later date with consideration of the fire design already made. This provides for future design flexibility, in a meaningful way, when a sustainable design approach is thoroughly considered.
As well as being energy efficient, these considerations extend further. As a ZEB building, Mak’s does this in an environmentally friendly way. Ventilation requirements, for example, are met by natural means with low level windows and skylight venting upstairs in the Solarchitect Architectural Studio. The use of natural paints and finishes is completed with eco-friendly carpet to give a high quality of interior air and further contributes to the overall healthy building approach.
The Mak’s ZEB is a modest addition to the revitalized Colombo Street fabric adding a touch of difference and successfully combining an environmentally friendly approach with a commercial development and the business operation.