A prime example of using modern technology to increase energy efficiencies is the Tupuānuku building and its ground-breaking energy centre.
Powell Fenwick provided engineering services for Tupuānuku including Mechanical, Electrical, Fire, Civil, Hydraulic and Acoustics. As the newest student accommodation building at the University of Canterbury, the 508-bedroom facility is spread between three towers, which includes a master chef style commercial kitchen, shared and ensuite facilities, communal study spaces and games and music rooms.
Its energy centre houses two high temperature hot water heat pumps: these utilise artesian bores as their energy source. Using the latest in refrigerant technology to provide high temperature water, they serve both the building’s heating and chilled water circuits, as well as its domestic hot water needs.
Ensuring the university received a robust and high-quality building – while maximising value and meeting a tight budget – was key to the design and construction process. This resulted in the strong focus on efficiency in both space and services design.
It is expected the energy centre will serve future projects in the area, while similar systems are now being rolled out to the rest of the university.