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Sustainable Building.

Commercial Case Studies

New Zealand's most sustainably-designed tourist accommodation. 

Camp Glenorchy is located 40 minutes drive from Queenstown under the shadow of Mount Earnslaw, and is the creation of Paul and Debbi Brainerd, North American philanthropists who have a habit of building environmentally-sensitive community-based projects.  It is believed to be one of the first tourist accommodation in New Zealand built and designed according to the Living Building Challenge™, which has some of the most rigorous sustainability standards in the world


The Living Building Challenge (LBC) requires seven “petals” of sustainability including energy, water, materials and beauty and asks, “What if every single act of design and construction made the world a better place?” To achieve LBC’s imperatives, Camp Glenorchy has been created through a process of collaboration, where everyone works together for the greater good of the project. This is in contrast to typical building projects which involve architects, designers, engineers, and tradespeople working in silos, Camp Glenorchy’s approach also included local artists, craftspeople, and energy management specialists.


PowerSmart was engaged early on in the project and was excited with the different approach. Unlike most other clients, Camp Glenorchy was looking for a more creative way to mount the solar panels on the ground. The idea of lines and lines of solar panels all in a row did not meet the brief. The concept of a solar garden was floated and PowerSmart set about designing a layout for the solar panels that reflected the mountains that surround the valley. In addition, further sustainability gains were made through the use of wood as the ground mount framework


“Camp Glenorchy aims to educate, inspire and delight guests by showcasing some of the most innovative and energy-efficient products in the world,” said Paul Brainerd. “One example is our commitment to achieving *Net Zero energy use. Our large solar garden, smart lighting, energy-efficient building designs, and highly-efficient heat systems reduce energy demand while creating a comfortable and enjoyable experience for our guests.”


“Camp Glenorchy is the embodiment of thoughtful design, healthy materials and sustainable practices,” said Tricia Love, Sustainability Consultant, whose team spent many thousands of hours researching and selecting building materials and products that contain only healthy, non-toxic ingredients to meet LBC criteria, and creating a Materials Register for public online reference.


“Camp Glenorchy has employed clever technologies to make sure it doesn’t use any more energy than it can create onsite using renewable sources. Guests that wish to know more can look at an in-room smart tablet to choose and monitor their energy use, and all onsite visitors can learn about passive solar generation, ecologically-sound wastewater treatment, composting toilets, organic food production and other aspects of living more lightly upon the land,” added Tricia.


Buildings are connected to the guest booking system, allowing rooms to be heated only when needed and the right amount of hot water to be stored for the number of people in each room.


State-of-the-art composting toilets are expected to save about 300,000 litres of water per year, and LED lighting used is so efficient that the lighting load for each three-bedroom cabin is equivalent to a single 200-watt light bulb. An innovative heating system which uses ground-source heat pumps, deep heat bores and solar thermal collectors means Camp Glenorchy gets almost $4 worth of energy for every $1 spent running it.


Camp Glenorchy has seven cabins, two bunkhouses, seven powered RV/campervan sites, and gathering spaces for guests in the artist-designed Scheelite Campfire Shelter and Homestead Building with shared kitchen, dining, relaxing and meeting spaces.


Significant emphasis is placed on beauty and materials. Passionate about the guest experience, Debbi Brainerd said she was inspired by local landscapes and artists to help her create a welcoming environment that brings heart and soul to the project.


“Paul and I have visited many sustainably designed buildings around the world, and I often found them to be stark and a little unfriendly. We’ve tried to create an experience at Camp Glenorchy that integrates the latest technology, while also delivering a warm, friendly experience to our guests,” said Debbi.


“Recycled and reclaimed materials with amazing textures and history were given preference over new ones, including material from old woolsheds from throughout the South Island and demolished buildings that fell in the Christchurch earthquakes. We’ve been excited to see artist-made features such as stone mosaic walkways, hand-carved signage, structures made from re-used vintage timber and the massive Scheelite Campfire Shelter adding the real heart to the project,” added Debbi.


All profits from Camp Glenorchy go to the Glenorchy Community Trust, directed by leaders of the local community to support initiatives that enhance the liveability and vibrancy of Glenorchy.


Pricing ranges from NZD$75 for a shared bunkroom bed per night, to NZD$395 per night for an ensuite king or split-king singles cabin room, with the option of upgrading to rooms in one of two premium cabins. For meals, guests can shop for groceries at Mrs Woolly’s General Store nearby and cook their meals in Camp Glenorchy’s spacious, well-equipped shared kitchen, or take advantage of Mrs Woolly’s many fresh-made food-to-to options. Chef-crafted healthy catering from Mrs Woolly’s Pantry or from a newly launched mobile food truck is available for larger groups.

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The Headwaters - 190kW

Label Title: Glenorchy Marketplace Project

Type: Grid Tied Hybrid Commercial

Location: Glenorchy

Specs: 190.91kW

Est. Energy Production: 215,139 kWh per year

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All Projects

Yealands Estate - 411kW
Yealands Estate - 411kW

“We are delighted to be supplementing our existing renewable energy supply, which already incorporates solar water heating, wind and biological...

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Sylvia Park Mall - 350kW
Sylvia Park Mall - 350kW

“We deal with a great number of contractors and would rate the PowerSmart delivery onsite as amongst the very best.” Jason Happy –...

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Tarewa Mega Centre - 240kW
Tarewa Mega Centre - 240kW

“In 2003 the biggest monthly power bill at Tarewa Mega Centre was around $4,000 - in 2014 it was more than $13,000.” Dan Udy - Director...

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The Headwaters - 190kW
The Headwaters - 190kW

New Zealand's most sustainably-designed tourist accommodation.  Camp Glenorchy is located 40 minutes drive from Queenstown under the...

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St Kilda Development - 150kW
St Kilda Development - 150kW

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Testimonials

"We have never had a project go so smoothly, they finished two weeks ahead of schedule."

Dan Udy - Director: Udy Group

"We deal with a great number of contractors and would rate PowerSmart's delivery onsite as amongst the very best"

 

Jason Happy - National Facilities Manager at Kiwi Property

We are delighted to be supplementing our existing renewable energy supply, which already incorporates solar water heating, wind and biological initiatives with solar PV electricity. This will certainly assist us achieve our ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.”

Peter Yealands founder Yealands Estate Wines.

"We're a commercial organisation and we had an expectation of a commercial return and we're very pleased to say the output - and therefore commercial return - has exceeded that expectation." Comment on the Sylvia Park installation after 1 year. 

Jason Happy - National Facilities Manager at Kiwi Property.