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Last modified: 06 Apr 2021 11:25am

Te Ara Atea during construction

The anchor of the new Rolleston Town Centre has been designed with sustainability at its core.

Te Ara Ātea – which will house the Rolleston Library, along with other community spaces and experiences – is on track to open in November. It has an innovative design to help the building be sustainable and provide a great experience for people.

Wherever possible locally sourced sustainable materials have been used in the construction and all the timber in the building has been sustainably sourced.

It has also been innovatively designed to reduce energy use in lighting, heating and cooling.

For heating and cooling the building has been highly insulated and designed to maximise the use of the natural conditions, along with a smart low-energy heating system with sensors that respond to the temperature of the building to avoid unnecessary energy use.

The lighting combines the use of the large windows and low-energy, long-life LED lights placed to use the minimum number of lights while still providing ample brightness.

These systems will be controlled by a high-tech building management system, using energy metres and other sensors to analyse what parts of the building are in use, light levels, temperature, humidity, energy consumption and weather and adjust settings such as shading, lighting, heating and cooling. It will also identify maintenance issues earlier, reducing energy use, maintenance costs and time when things are offline or services are unavailable.

The building has also been designed to be flexible in the way it can be used, with the layout able to change to meet a wide variety of different activities and functions into the future, reducing the need to build further buildings.

Sitting at the Tennyson Street entrance to the new town centre, the northern end of Te Ara Ātea will be surrounded by kai gardens and the sensory experience with its many gardens and trees.

It is part of a design that intends to have well vegetated thresholds at each entrance to the town centre to ensure a green path into the area.