Sustainable Design

Jasmax are industry leaders in sustainable design. We approach sustainability holistically, working across a wide range of social, economic, environmental, material and cultural measures. We have set design targets for New Zealand to achieve Net Zero Carbon buildings by 2030. In 2014, we piloted the Living Building Challenge in New Zealand, the world's most rigorous sustainability standard.


Te Kura Whare

Watch the story of New Zealand's first Living Building Challenge project

Net Zero Carbon Design

Launched in 2020, our Pathway to Net Zero Carbon Design sketches a roadmap to achieve carbon neutral buildings by 2030. Our framework is underpinned by research from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). We translated this framework into a New Zealand context and invested in research to measure a cross section of our projects against the framework. 

Our performance targets set relate to three key areas of building sustainability we believe will drive the most change towards achieving carbon neutrality: Whole of Life Embodied Carbon, Operational Energy, and Potable Water Usage.

There are a number of differences between the UK and New Zealand that have been factored into our Pathway to Net Zero Carbon Design. For example, New Zealand buildings have quite different material supply chains and are designed to meet a strict code for earthquake resilience – typically this means embodied carbon of a NZ building is often higher than a similar United Kingdom design. But we have set the target of a 50% embodied carbon reduction by 2030 and an operational energy usage reduction by 70%.  

While the targets set are ambitious, we already have the knowledge and capability to achieve them. For example, AUT University’s Mana Hauora building, completed in 2017, exceeds the 2025 operational energy target. And it was delivered on a budget that had no extra allowance for sustainability.

Innovation in Timber Design

A critical aspect of meeting Aotearoa New Zealand’s Zero Carbon 2050 target will be mobilising the wider design and construction industry around advanced timber construction systems. Jasmax are targeting timber primary structures as a means to reducing and sequestering greenhouse gases.  

Innovative multi-storey timber design projects include Arvida Park Lane Retirement Village, Merchant Quarter Apartments, Ara Kahukura, AUT A1 and Canterbury University's Beatrice Tinsley Building.

Demonstrating the design potential of lightweight post-tensioned timber moment frames, Beatrice Tinsley is the first structure of this type to be built in the southern hemisphere. With a locally-sourced LVL timber frame, the building sequesters over 100 tonnes of carbon. The building also demonstrates the seismic potential of timber in one of New Zealand's most earthquake prone locations.  

Jasmax Pathway to Net Zero Carbon Design targets. Given the lifecycle of buildings, for New Zealand to achieve its carbon zero legislation it is essential to set targets now. 

High Performing Sustainable Assets

Our portfolio includes approximately 20% of all Green rated projects in New Zealand including New Zealand’s first and highest performing NZGBC 5.5 Star Greenstar building, the NZI Centre in Auckland. 

Jasmax have also designed NZGBC 5 Star Greenstar certified schools such as Ormiston Senior College, Pegasus Primary School, Stonefields School and Golden Sands School. 

When working with longstanding clients such as AUT, Jasmax have been able to significantly refine building performance. For example, AUT Business School was ground-breaking for AUT when it opened in 2002. It uses 140kWh/sqm/year. Mana Hauora, completed in 2017, is now through a combination of design and tuning one of Australasia’s most efficient tertiary education buildings consuming just 65kWh/sqm/year. Currently under construction is A1 a new multi-purpose teaching space and campus heart for AUT's North Shore campus, set to reduce this usage even further with a target of 60kWh/sqm/year. With an embodied carbon of 482 kgCO2e/m2, the building exceeds the 2030 target. 

Green Urban Infrastructure

Connecting with nature is fundamental to the experience of being human. And we believe nature and wildness belongs in cities. 

Christchurch’s Accessible City walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure design is designed to stimulate investment and confidence in the rebuild of the city centre using landscape and infrastructure design at an attractor. 

New Zealand’s largest infrastructure project, City Rail Link, (CRL) has set a target of zero waste to landfill and has already received two awards, the 2018 Deloitte Energy Excellence Award’s Large Energy User Initiative of the Year and the 2018 Sustainable Business Network’s Supreme Award - the NZI Transforming New Zealand Award. Both these are Leading Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Design ratings awarded by the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA), the highest possible achievement. In recognition of the project's authentic bicultural design outcome, the project also won the 2019 World Architecture Festival Award WAFX prize for cultural identity. 

Regenerative Design Frameworks

What differentiates regenerative design frameworks is the intention to radiate value from development and contribute to the regeneration of the natural environment and communities. It is a process to build understanding, positive relationships and sustain the vision and energy required to enact deep, far-reaching change over time - especially when this requires the support of multiple organisations and many people. 

Through exploring relationships and inter-dependencies between owners, users, neighbours, stakeholders, mana whenua and community groups in workshop series, a regenerative consultation process can help realise the fullest potential of a project and become a catalyst for change.

Regenerative thinking often underpins Living Building Challenge projects such as Te Kura Whare for Ngāi Tūhoe.

Alternative Housing, Liveable Cities

Jasmax are exploring the potential of alternative building technologies and also investigating alternative funding and ownership models for housing that operate successfully in Europe and Australia. We are focused on establishing relationships with clients and investors interested in developing high quality medium to high density housing models that we believe are needed to transform New Zealand cities.