The Living Pā

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The Living Pā project represents an ambitious endeavour to transform Te Herenga Waka Marae, located on Kelburn Parade at Victoria University of Wellington, into a globally renowned hub of environmental responsibility. Spanning 3000 square meters, this initiative aims to expand the marae’s capacity for fostering sustainable education, living, and community engagement. Grounded in Māori aspirations, it seeks to embody Māori beliefs, values, and passions.

Crucially, the project sets its sights on achieving Living Certification – the summit of regenerative building – under the International Living Futures Institute’s® Living Building Challenge® (LBC) program. This means that the Living Pā must not only be energy, carbon, water, and waste positive but also actively contribute to the local ecology and community across a wide array of criteria.

The primary objective of the project is to challenge and elevate our understanding of what can be achieved in design, construction, education, and life. By intertwining Māori values and LBC principles, this endeavour calls on all participants to:

  • Prioritize Papatūānuku (earth Mother) and the importance of nature to humans.
  • Actively seek innovative solutions and push the boundaries of good practices.
  • Tackle complex issues by considering them in the context of their system, so encompassing factors like equity and inclusion, history, and people and ecosystem health.
  • Advocate for transformative change in all aspects of the project.

The anticipated completion date for the building is late 2024, and this case study aims to spotlight the exemplary approach and processes employed in this groundbreaking project.

View the full case study below

The Living Pā

Kelburn Parade at Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington

The Living Pā serves as a remarkable example of how mass engineered timber construction can significantly reduce carbon emissions while providing an inspiring environment for learning.

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