Energy Efficient Urban Form: A Simulation of Building Energy Performance in Wynyard Quarter, Auckland
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Climate change has become a challenge with adverse impacts on the Earth. Coastal cities, such as Auckland, are now more vulnerable to natural disasters arising from climate change, mainly sea-level rise. Waterfronts are unique locations of coastal cities, around which primary settlements have been formed or have become invaluable for many reasons such as extending land reclamation. Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s waterfront is reclaimed land that in recent years has been undergoing major redevelopment. Although Wynyard Quarter is vulnerable to the adverse impact of climate change, it is believed that the current altitude of the land will be greater than the projected sea-level rise for the next century. Therefore, redevelopment of the area is deemed inevitable. However, redevelopment aims to reduce its long-term impact by reducing its carbon footprint and, consequently, greenhouse gas emissions. A more sustainable built environment can be achieved by improving the energy efficiency of buildings. In order to achieve this, sustainability strategies, frameworks, and standards have been produced for Wynyard Quarter. The two main outcomes from these initiatives are firstly, conserving more energy in buildings, and, secondly, generating more clean energy on-site. Wynyard Quarter’s urban design framework identifies the development potential for the area and guides future development to achieve the best urban design outcomes. The Urban Design Framework was first published in 2007 and a revision of it was published in 2014. The 2014 version of the framework investigates flexibility in terms of improving development capacities for some sites in Wynyard Quarter. The aim of this research is to investigate how the Urban Design Framework provides opportunities for a more energy efficient development in Wynyard Quarter. The research adopts a mixed-methods approach. As will be developed in the course of the thesis, the mixed-methods approach enables the gathering and analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data. The research chooses one case study in Wynyard Central. Two different development scenarios are modelled to understand the potential energy demands of each scenario as well as modelling the potential for on-site solar energy generation in order to understand the potentials for offsetting each scenario’s energy consumption. By aggregating the results of the two-staged analysis, the research aims to determine which version of the urban design framework supports the more energy efficient development in the case study. The research also reviews the relevant policies that support the achievement of a more energy efficient built environment, so it can identify opportunities for improvement in terms of planning and policy.