How green is the plastic lunch box?

Tremendously exciting this week to learn that Carisbrook Stadium Trust is putting up a fence and has plans to start work on piling tomorrow.

In times well past, CST posted (piled?) the following “loose talk” on its website. There have been NO UPDATES to further tempt our interest or attract educated critique of the green and sustainable building approaches being employed…

Environmentally sustainable design (ESD)

Listed below are only some of the proposed ideas which the designers are considering to ensure the building is as environmentally sustainable as possible. As the team move into the detailed design phase these options will become clearer and greater certainty will be provided

ESD options which the designers are considering include:

Harvesting rainwater, and potentially greywater, for irrigation and toilet flushing
Solar hot water heating
Increased insulation to occupied conditional spaces
Use of materials with low embodied energy and emissions where possible
Public transportation initiatives and traffic management planning to reduce car usage.
Selection of mechanical and electrical systems to conserve energy
Natural ventilation at concourse level and back of the house areas where possible
Low energy lighting internally and externally

CST Link

In the company of our What if? contacts and posters, what can we find out about CST’s ‘sustainability’ project?

Firstly, we know every premise establishing the need for the stadium project is completely faulty and vacuous. A no-go zone that’s bigger than any fence… It’s not a good start on the road to sustainability for any (ratepayer funded) capital works project to be based on errant local body politics and a consortium of privateers out for themselves. That is not sustainable. That is not ‘community’. That is not long-term regional well-being, in mind.


OK. Small incidental questions as we build a fence…

How will site contamination be handled – what’s to test, what’s to handle? As for demolition of existing buildings… What’s happening to the asbestos? Where are the demolition materials going, will they be recycled for use? Where will any spoil from site preparation end up – recycled for use back on site or at a new location?

Literally, $millions of questions but all we have so far is the fence.


Dunedin City Council – in the sustainability stakes, you’re responsible for leading by professional example. We’re optimists and expect this much of you…although it’s utterly doubtful you can handle the challenge in a meaningful coherent way since you opted to finance an UNSUSTAINABLE project with ratepayer funds and hastily prioritised it over a glaring lack of other ideas at council to stimulate local ‘health and wealth’.


What does the council expect of CST in terms of sustainable building approaches… Major hindrance: the council can’t see the whole stadium concept is UNSUSTAINABLE – that’s a given. Nevertheless we’ll waste our breath, and needle this.

We expect SMART scientific approaches and best practice methods. The government’s Green Star system should be your guide, based on international practice and accreditation standards – the likes of which are evolving for New Zealand.

Because these are not the Dark Ages.


Terrifying then – NOW – that CST is about to deliver a new stadium to Dunedin utilising an old copied idea, a hugely unsuccessful idea for regional ‘economic development’.

That is, CST is bent on stumping up with an UNSUSTAINABLE 24/7 MENACE to the people of Otago, who might never visit it or would do so only randomly and infrequently, ensuring the building has nil chance of generating revenue over expenditure into profit.

Put it this way, the proposed stadium might be the best example we’ll ever find at Dunedin of new development that takes a seriously (holistically) unenlightened approach to providing ‘Green Age’ solutions to a needy low income, sparsely populated, aging community.

You see why it’s easier to deal with the building’s ‘environmental’ sustainability (piecemeal) than the wider politics of political manipulation and institutionalised thievery (redistribution of wealth).

So green architecture / building sustainability, what do we know?


Filed under Architecture, CST, Design, Economics, Hot air, Politics, Project management, Site, Stadiums

7 responses to “How green is the plastic lunch box?

  1. Phil

    In Sweden it is law that all new building work involving electrical or mechanical systems show an minimum energy efficiency improvement in those areas of 20%. From their already rather efficient levels. The energy efficiency level of every building is a public record. Kind of a “name and shame” approach. It’s not all doom though as the report also shows what work is needed to bring the building up to the current energy efficiency requirements. Great stuff for a new home shopper. Sadly our government is not quite brave enough yet to impose such demands, and leaves it up to the standards authorities to set the codes for energy efficiency. We have the Green Star rating system in it’s infancy, but I think that is purely voluntary at present. And no one is going to list their building if it’s not going to have a good rating. Some things mentioned in the project like high level thermal insulation will have to be included in order to meet code in the South. Sadly though, many optional energy efficiency improvements have a relatively high capital cost so are often the first to face the axe when budgets are trimmed. I’m not sure but I think the solar energy was proposed but was later discarded ? Someone else will hopefully know more about that than me. Still, they could at least pipe everything up ready for connection later. It will never be cheaper than now. This is an area where central government really should be more proactive with legislation and financial incentives. Going back to the Swedish example, most major Scandinavian towns supply reticulated heating and cooling water directly to homes and businesses, from a central, waste fueled, plant. This does away with expensive and energy inefficient boilers or chillers, as well as reducing landfill demands. I can see no reason why New Zealand could not follow the same innovative approaches. The problem as I see it is that we give people too many choices at times, rather than direction.

  2. Phil

    as usual, Marinkina says it all.

    {Sorry guys, some sort of Russian Span got through the system. -Ed}

  3. Phil

    Well that IS excellent news, Elizabeth. It needs someone with some clout in the city to really drive this. And that would be University, Hospital, or Council. There’s a certain irony in that so many of the new innovative green design techniques such as rain water harvesting, natural ventilation, and sun shading, are all centuries old. Back in the dim days when there were no mechanical building systems. Just clever, well thought out, building techniques. Which we are now recreating today. Sometimes I think we are way too quick in dismissing the genius of the past. But hats off to Property Services for a job well done.

  4. Elizabeth

    What the District Plan says about site contamination, site disturbance and remediation:

    Dunedin City District Plan – 27 Stadium

    27.1 Significant Resource Management Issues
    Issue 27.1.6
    Some site contamination may have occurred within the Logan Point area through prior industrial use of the area.

    Some sites within the Logan Point area have been identified as potentially contaminated. Disturbance of contaminated sites can pose a health and safety risk to people.

    Objectives: 27.2.1
    Policies: 27.3.7
    [CORRECTION: this should read 27.3.6]

    Policy 27.3.6
    Require testing for site contamination and appropriate remediation, where redevelopment in the Logan Point area disturbs or alters the ground.

    Site redevelopment may result in disturbance to the ground.There is potential for contaminants to be released that maybe harmful to the health and safety of visitors and workers in the area. Because of the previous industrial land uses in the area it is appropriate that sites are tested and remediation undertaken prior to redevelopment.

    Objective: 27.2.1
    Methods: 4.4.1


    The decision issued by the planning commissioners following the hearings for Plan Change 8 – Stadium includes a statement on site contamination:

    8.9 Contamination
    [55] Some submissions provided comment on their concerns that portions of the site may be contaminated. The Otago Regional Council (PC-8-94) sought the inclusion of specific rules in Plan Change 8 to control this issue. As with many of the matters discussed at the hearing, no expert evidence was presented in respect of the matter, other than that of Mr McLeod, on behalf of the Dunedin City Council. We noted that the documentation that accompanies Plan Change 8 recognises the likelihood of contamination of the stadium site, and that this issue is controlled and managed by the provisions of the Regional Plan: Waste for Otago. We are satisfied, therefore, that any work occurring on a contaminated site would require a resource consent from the Otago Regional Council. We concur with Mr Freeland’s comment that the Otago Regional Council would assess any likely impacts of this contamination (with particular reference to the mitigation measures proposed) on stadium users, and determine the application on that basis. Accordingly, we are satisfied that no additional control is necessary in the provisions of Plan Change 8 to resolve this issue.
    Link to Decision


    We’ll ask Chief Executive Jim Harland what process is being followed now that fencing and site preparation (ground disturbances) are under way, presuming that resource consent has been got from Otago Regional Council?

  5. David

    This also sounds familiar. Will they clean up the contamination, or will they just seal over it.

    The Green Island landfill was reportedly told to expect nearly 300 truckloads of contaminated toxic fill from the old Methven site (new Mitre 10 site) – but it never arrived – instead it was simply sealed over.

  6. Phil

    I remember a discussion with the hazardous substances people at the ORC that the nickel and chromium metal content of the soil under the Methvens site was tested after demolition and found to be of suitable quantity and concentration to support commercial mining. Not entirely relevant, but a fun trivia note to toss around parties.

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