Playful, inspiring, practical and visionary, the NZ Clean Energy Centre is a sustainable building that showcases the inventive approach of PAUA Architects. Fusing high energy performance with beautiful craftsmanship the NZCEC is a showcase for clean energy, collaboration and innovation.
The NZCEC was established to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies by industry and businesses in New Zealand. With a purpose so intrinsically entwined with the principles of sustainability, the PAUA Architects team lead by Geoff Lentz designed the centre to embody green architecture and energy efficiency. Experienced local building contractors Ross Construction, and engineers Aurecon helped bring the design and vision to fruition.
The Clean Energy Centre grasps the immediate and long-term importance of low- impact energy sources for New Zealand’s industries. The architecture has been designed to landmark the Centre in Taupo, to demonstrate a commitment to low-environmental impact in the construction and life of a building, and to provide a stimulating workplace for collaboration and innovation. Timber was chosen as the primary building material for its renewable and low-emission qualities, with laminated timber beams, portals, and columns reducing the structural steel required. Cement content in the concrete was reduced to minimise C02 output by using fly ash from the Huntly coal boiler. Straw bales are used for insulation on the south and east walls, while window shading reduces summer overheating and encourages winter exposure to solar gain. A planted internal balustrade is designed to filter chemicals from the air and introduce moisture in summer.
Beginning with an appreciation of the site and the local climate (hot summers and harsh winters) the building features an exceptional standard of energy efficiency and use of sustainable building materials, low water use, natural ventilation and thermal mass.