Copyright Natural Habitats 2016

Green walls earn St Marks’ development NZ’s first Homestar Innovation Point

Green walls earn St Marks’ development NZ’s first Homestar Innovation Point

Soaring five storey green walls have earned St Mark’s luxury apartments New Zealand’s first Homestar Innovation Point from the New Zealand Green Building Council.

Designed by landscape design and build company, Natural Habitats, the series of three green walls will also make up the tallest and one of the largest green walls in the country at more than 330 square metres.

With more than 5000 predominately native plants, the walls’ design pattern features organic swathes of largely native plants with explosions of seasonal colour change, says Natural Habitats Landscape Architect, Mel Robinson.

“Apart from visual benefits for the development’s residents, visitors and neighbours, the green walls also will have ecological benefits,” says Ms Robinson.

“The increased biodiversity provides additional bee and bird food, absorption of contaminants from the atmosphere and the production of oxygen. The walls will also contribute to reducing the ‘heat island effect’ and can help protect the building from temperature fluctuations and UV radiation.”

Currently under construction on the corner of St Marks and MacMurray Roads in Remuera, the St Marks development is comprised of three separate six storey buildings. To be completed in early 2018, the buildings include one to four bedroom apartments, commercial suites, the St Marks Breast Centre and a restaurant and café.

Being installed on inner walls of the development, the vision of property developer John Harman was for a central communal green area to offer a relaxed space for social connection and provide a high quality landscaped ecological and visual amenity.

“The green walls provide a wonderful visual appeal for residents of the rear apartment,” says Mr. Harman. “Rather than looking at glass and concrete, they will be enjoying an ever changing landscape of exciting colour and structure.”

“Our aim is to encourage our commercial tenants to lunch in this green space accentuating the area’s life and colour. It will also be the neighbourhood café and restaurant within easy walking distance for other surrounding businesses such as the nearby medical centres and luxury car dealers.”

Developed by the New Zealand Green Building Council to rate a home’s performance and environmental impact, Homestar awards points on a scale from 1 to 10 across seven categories: energy, health and comfort; water; waste; materials; site; home management; and an optional innovation category.

The New Zealand Green Building Council’s CEO Andrew Eagles says the Homestar rating is an independent, robust and straightforward tool to show what the building has achieved, and communicate the quality of the building to investors and residents.

“These great green walls are not only innovative, they’re also great for the environment and for the health and well-being of the New Zealanders who’ll be living at St Marks,” says Mr Eagles. “That’s why we’re really pleased to see this exciting development achieve the very first Homestar Innovation Point. Nice work St Marks and Natural Habitats.”