climate conscious thinking"
New Zealand’s Goals for Net Zero.
The New Zealand Government has set out a target for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions as part of a program to achieve half by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. The building and construction industry accounts for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural biodiversity.
The Architectural Industry is accountable for shaping the future and how we live, and it is our responsibility to improve our practice to better impact the planet.
Why Sustainable developments?
Sustainable developments are becoming increasingly attractive to potential buyers and local Councils alike. Environmental consciousness is beneficial to both the planet and inhabitants saving on operational costs.
Climate-conscious developments can be managed from construction management on-site to the building operational energy, optimising the design and systems to maximum efficiency. A well-designed space can naturally maintain comfortable temperatures throughout the year reducing expensive energy costs for heating and cooling. An effective design can also improve the quality of living. This may be seen as a desirable opportunity for buyers compared to other conventional developments.
We are NZGBC Homestar Designers
Homestar is run by the Green Building Council, a not-for-profit organisation working to make all homes in New Zealand healthy, warm and dry. Homestar is a holistic tool to rate a home's performance and environmental impact. It is a comprehensive method of assessment that measures the health, warmth, and efficiency of New Zealand houses.
To achieve a Homestar rating, the design, energy efficiency, property management, and innovation criteria of a house are considered and a minimum number of points must be achieved to reach each threshold. The framework assessment ranges from 6 -10 Homestar rating which represents a higher assurance that a house will be of better quality: warmer, drier, healthier, and less costly to run.
Passive Design is a comprehensive approach that takes advantage of key elements including building location, layout, window design, window-to-wall ratio, insulation rating, thermal mass, shading and ventilation to achieve comfortable temperatures without the need for heating and cooling systems.
FNC Designs uses a very specific method for context analysis to explore a site in both its inner and outer context. This helps us form a comprehensive understanding of a site before we consider changing it.
There are typically two stages to solar studies; the initial solar study is part of our site investigation during the Context Analysis stage. This may not always be necessary however it can provide a deeper understanding of strategies used to approach the site.
The second stage is while we are designing, ensuring that we are creating comfortable spaces that are enjoyable all year round.
Solar Radiation Study
Solar Radiation studies are used to assess the design’s solar performance by helping track solar energy throughout the design process. The results are used to implement solutions that improve the efficiency of the building before it is built.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA)
FNC Designs uses tools to calculate the impact of a development in the design phase. It is useful assessing a design before it is built, allowing for opportunities to review the material selections and to discuss alternative options. This also gives us the chance to explore options of carbon offsetting the development. We have in-depth knowledge of materiality and its environmental impact which can be useful when selecting materials for your project, ensuring that you are well informed before making any decisions.
Biophilic Design is the practice of connecting people and nature within our built environments and communities. It allows us to focus on aspects of the natural world that we are intrinsically linked to, helping to improve human health and productivity. Research suggests that biophilic design elements are shown to reduce stress, increase cognitive performance, improve healing, and positively affect emotion, mood, and preference (Browning et al., 2014).