Business, Events, Housing, Non-profit organisation, Otago, Schools, Upper Clutha, Wanaka

Passive House event in Wanaka

Wilkinson Primary School (Passive House certified) Photo: Juraj Mikurcik / Architype UK

Southern Sustainable Building Network invites you to a public event on Passive House for School and Business in Wanaka.

Elrond.jpg

Elrond Burrell, Director of VIA Architecture has been invited to speak at a public event on Friday 18th August 2017 at Mt Aspiring College North Block between 7 and 9pm.

“Our children deserve healthy, warm learning environments as well as homes.” He says.

Passive House is a building standard that is energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time. Passive House is not a brand name, but a tried and true construction concept that can be applied by anyone, anywhere, and is particularly valuable to educational and commercial premises.

The Passive House Standard is achieved by means of highly efficient building systems, careful planning and highly efficient components such as super-insulating window frames, highly efficient ventilation units, thermal bridge free connection details, glazing that allows solar gains.

Elrond says, “Too often keeping NZ schools warm in winter comes at a cost of the indoor air quality – windows are shut and the heating turned up. As a result CO2 and humidity builds up leading to drowsy inattentive children (and teachers).”

Elrond Burrell is one of Australasia’s most experienced Passive House specialists, having worked for leading UK sustainable architecture practice Architype for 10 years and has been instrumental in the design and delivery of some of the UK’s largest Passive House apartment buildings, several Passive House schools, as well as Passive House offices, community facilities and homes.

The event is organised by Southern Sustainable Building Network, an informal group of professionals and homeowners who are interested in sustainable construction in Central Otago /Lakes. 

Entry with kohā – Confirm attendance by email if possible to florencemicoud@gmail.com. For more information please call 021 0279 2481.

Header Photo credit
Wilkinson Primary School
(Passive House certified)  
Photo: Juraj Mikurcik / Architype UK
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Business, Climate change, Events, Transport, Wanaka, World

Climate change at the top of your agenda

The Earth seen from Apollo 17

While 175 nations were signing the Paris Climate treaty in New York on Earth Day, Friday 22nd April 2016, Tim Flannery was the keynote speaker of the first Aspiring Conversations, “Cool It: dealing with climate change”, with Suzi Kerr and Veronika Meduna.

Click here for my comprehensive notes of the event.

What can your business or organisation take from it?

Climate change is happening and we are better off taking this into account.

Climate change is not a destination. It is a process. Our actions -or non actions- decide on the tempo of the change.

The hope is: we understand clearly now that there is a problem and we know what tools and what paths we can take.

Good news is: We are at the peak of emissions. Half of energy investments last year were in solar and wind energy.

If we take a good look at what we do wrong now, we give ourselves permission to be creative and innovate.

Adapting to change

Today is a turn. The Paris climate agreement signed today is saving us from the worst. There is hope but we are so late, change has already happened so we need to think about adapting to it.

Here in the mountains, the snow cover thickness is forecast to be 90% of what it is now in 2040 so there is only minor change for ski resorts until then.

There will be however 50% more rain in winter and spring and at the same time, there will be more dry days. This means heavier and more damaging storms, more floods as well as more droughts. How do we adapt to that?

Click here to read more about “How Climate Change affects our region”. We need to acknowledge the change so we can think about how to manage it.

Reducing emissions

While many innovations aiming at capturing CO2 from the atmosphere are on their way, reducing emissions is the best start.

Electric cars are a huge opportunity.

Planting trees is definitely part of the solution with lots of co-benefits.

It is great that governments will help with appropriate regulations. Yet it is down to private initiatives to act now.

All we need to do is to put climate change at the top of our agenda.

Climate change, Community group, Events, Wanaka

Wanaka Climate Celebration

Involved for a long time with Avaaz and 350, I was well aware of the preparation of Climate Marches all over the world ahead of the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015 (read the IPCC recommendations here). When I checked in October, I found out that the closest march was 280 km away so I dived and signed up to create an event here in Wanaka.

It’s been a stunning month of preparation. I received an amazing support from everyone in the community.

We’ve eventually had a volunteers team, 2 banners, a facebook event page, 6 local newspaper articles, 2 radio talks, a poster all over the place, a video made before and a video made during the event sent to the world organisers days later, an informative leaflet, 100 signs pre-made, face-painting, bubbles, 25 sponsors/supporters and even a song!

Most importantly, it’s been a great success! Between 320 and 350 people came to the Dinosaur Park and / or marched to “the Wanaka Tree”, with music, signs and cheerfulness. People here care for the planet.

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A BIG thank you to everyone who supported the event, particularly my Team Green students who carried the banner all the way into the water!

And the Paris COP 21 conference was a victory, as governments signed the beginning of the end of the fossil fuels era.

We did make difference!