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From the Resene News – issue 2/2003

Green space - Environment Canterbury

Environment Canterbury office development and civil defence headquartersWelcome to the office of the future! For workers at the $9.3 million Environment Canterbury office development and civil defence headquarters in Christchurch that means acoustic tiles made from recycled wool, waterless toilets and a foyer that traps the sun's heat and pumps it through the building. Recycled plastics have been incorporated into office furniture and rainwater is collected on the roof to water native gardens. The paint is Resene from the Environmental Choice approved range, the timber veneers made from macrocarpa wind breaks - and there is space for 70 bicycles.

What makes a green office?

  • Natural lighting and ventilation, sunlight, views and fresh air to keep staff healthy.
  • Low energy lights and sensor switches to minimise energy use
  • Re-used resources such as recycled fibre carpets and pin-board fabric made from recycled plastic bottles.
  • Dedicated space to park bikes and proximity to public transport, reducing the reliance on cars and the associated burden of greenhouse gases.
  • Waterbased or natural pigment paints that reduce toxic gas emissions.
  • Indoor plants to purify the air.
  • Water conservation, the collection of rainwater for toilets and irrigation.
  • Waste management, space for storing and collecting recyclable materials such as paper, bottles and cans.
  • Incorporation of concrete in the building design to aid heat capture and storage.

The Resene range of Environmental Choice products is an ideal fit with the 'Green Office' concept, with a selection of Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss waterbased enamel, Resene Zylone Sheen low sheen acrylic and Resene Aquaclear waterborne urethane used extensively throughout the Environment Canterbury project in hues of Resene Sea Fog (greyed neutral), Resene Chalice (grey) and features of Resene Thunderbird (orange red), Resene Bunker (deep grey) and Resene Avocado (olive green). The Environmental Choice approved status of these products was a key reason for their inclusion in the specification, enabling the project to achieve its stated environmental objectives without sacrificing product performance.

The traditional negative spin on environmentalism is being turned on its head, with new developments proving that a focus on environmentalism can offer significant efficiencies on day-to-day running costs. Energy efficient features of the Environment Canterbury and South City Library buildings are expected to pay for themselves within five years through associated energy savings. Combine these savings with the human feel good factor associated with working in a 'Green Office' and this new design direction makes not only sound environmental sense but sound economic sense.

Architect: Warren & Mahoney
Main Contractor: Arrow International
Painting Contractor: Brown & Syme Contracting Ltd
Resene: Tony Walter, Christchurch Architectural Services Representative


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