Torere Marae commissioned Apa Architects to design and project manage the construction of a new whare paku, ablutions block in the beautiful township of Torere on the East Cape. The practice of kaitiakitanga is of central importance in maintaining and enhancing the natural environment that is such an outstanding feature of the area.
Minimising the environmental impact and running costs of the new ablutions block was a critical issue for the Trust and architects. Apricus helped to identify that the biggest energy user is water heating.The next step was overcoming the challenging design requirements for a building that has no hot water use for days on end and then an influx of people for two or three days. This required careful calculation and solar modelling using Polysun software to provide the marae with the best outcome whilst minimising expenditure.
The final system has oversized storage compared to collector area. This effectively harvests solar energy and stores enough to make a huge dent in gas consumption when the showers are used. Hot water is always guaranteed with a pair of high output gas instantaneous water heaters.