Building A Climate-resilient Community
In the face of intensifying climate changes and the frequency of more severe weather events, building sustainable and resilient communities has become a central focus for NZ developers. Determining where to build, which areas are safe, and establishing housing that is built to withstand natural disasters such as storms and floods has become a primary concern for individuals looking to purchase homes or relocate to safer neighbourhoods. At Paerata Rise, we understand the critical role that building design, including architecture, surveying, understanding the land, engineering, and landscaping, plays a critical role in creating resilient communities. That is why we have chosen to embrace a new approach to building development known as “water-sensitive design,” which has emerged as a key element in constructing sustainable and climate-resilient communities
In this article, we explore more about how we are using this water-sensitive design, and what is included in the concepts and technology to drive a more climate-resilient community.
Creating a Model for Climate-Resilient Communities
Paerata Rise, a master-planned eco-friendly community located only a 40-minute drive from central Auckland, serves as an exemplar of a climate-resilient neighbourhood. Developed with the goal of creating a close-knit community that combines modern design and construction with attractive landscaping and shared amenities, Paerata Rise showcases the focus on building a community that can withstand the impacts of climate change. By incorporating various modern concepts, and implementing sustainable and durable qualities in each build, we are both future focused and intently focused on the needs and values of community members.
Vital to our community design is also creating a water-sensitive design, with the frequent weather events and recent natural disasters, every element from design concept through to buildings and landscapes has been meticulously thought out to create a climate-resilient community.
Reducing Flood Risks through Hydrological Measures
One of the key implementation factors at Paerata Rise has been building an effective stormwater management system. This system has recently been put to the test in flooding throughout Auckland and the greater regions. While we cannot stop the rain, it is possible to control where the water goes and how it is utilised through a practice known as “hydrological mitigation.” Sustainable building practices, including the use of green roofs and permeable pavements, have also played a significant role in mitigating flood risks. These practices, combined with enhanced stormwater management systems, enable stormwater to be absorbed through soakage, infiltration, and specialised infrastructure is known as “flood highways.” Our community has already seen effective management of water because of these water safety measures, and long term sees these preventative water management solutions as a way to uphold a safe resilient subdivision long-term.
Building water-sensitive design, as highlighted in reports like the Paerata-Pukekohe Future Urban Zone Structure Plan and Stormwater Management Plan, underscores the importance of recognising the value of stormwater and its relationship with natural freshwater systems in improving a communities’ quality of life. By integrating stormwater management in greenfield developments, water contamination can be minimised through measures like rainwater storage tanks, rain gardens, permeable pavement, and filter trenches. These are all considerations that have been included in the planning and design of Paerata Rise, giving us confidence in the community’s resilience.
Implementing Advanced Construction Techniques and Technologies
What sets Paerata Rise apart is our water-sensitive design and implementation of advanced construction techniques, materials, and technologies. As many of the buildings within the community are designed and implemented by the developers, the importance of using the best methods and technologies to create resilient buildings and landscaping methods has been a focus. The construction methods have prioritised upgrades to insulation and ventilation systems across all builds, ensuring that homes and streets remain unaffected during harsh weather conditions. Additionally, the integration of remote monitoring systems and emergency power supplies further protects the community, helping to withstand and adapt to adverse climates. These innovative approaches highlight Paerata Rise’s commitment to creating a safe and secure environment for our residents.
Creating a Harmonious Natural Environment
Building a harmonious natural environment has been a focus of the team at Paerata Rise. We have used a new approach to urban design that respects and responds to the natural environment of Aotearoa. The landscape designers carefully selected trees and plants that blend harmoniously with the rural surroundings, resulting in a unified-looking development, unlike many other New Zealand suburbs. The inclusion of shared amenities such as cycle and walkways, parks, and common spaces encourages residents to rely less on cars for transportation while providing easy access to the highway network and public transport. Our vibrant community promotes diversity and inclusivity within all areas of the community from the landscape and design to the activities it promotes to residents. The strategic layout of the environment offers residents the opportunity to enjoy the environment and life in an area designed for all elements.
Actively Exploring and Investing in Climate Change
At Paerata Rise, our team is dedicated to actively exploring and investing in the development of sustainable and resilient communities, with a strong focus on addressing the challenges posed by climate change.
We have implemented an excellent water-sensitive design, advanced construction techniques, and effective stormwater management to mitigate flood risks. By prioritising the natural environment and promoting shared amenities, Paerata Rise has also created a harmonious community for its residents. With climate challenges a topical subject, our growing community stands out as a shining example of how water-sensitive design and innovative construction practices can create a secure and thriving community for a sustainable future.