In line with our vision, The Dowse is committed to behaving in a sustainable way. We are constantly seeking new means to conduct our business in a more environmentally-friendly manner and to foster conversation around issues of sustainability. Here are some of the projects we are committed to so far.
There is a 3k array of 18 solar panels on the north facing section of our roof. This means, in full sunlight, The Dowse would produce 3 kilowatts of power each hour. In the front lobby at The Dowse, you can see a direct feed from the power inverter that shows our daily power harvest.
The perforated aluminium screens on the façade of The Dowse are an artwork by Wellington artist Simon Morris. Designed in 2006 in conjunction with Athfield Architects and Fraser Engineering, Rainscreen also contributes to the energy efficiency of the building; the screen’s movable panels capture and control the effects of the western sun. Rainscreen is a happy hybrid of artistic expression and eco-friendly design. Thousands of diamond-shaped perforations also create an ever-changing shadow play in and outside the building.
Rock Store is an innovative heating and cooling system designed by engineers Sinclair Knight Merz. The first of its kind in New Zealand, Rock Store moderates the temperature of our building. Underneath Café Bellbird lies 44 square metres of wire ‘mesh’ baskets of Wairarapa river stones that hold in the heat or cold. Cooler night air is drawn in and ‘stored’ in the stones, so when the sun comes up, this chilled air is available to The Dowse’s air conditioning units, keeping energy costs down. This naturally tempered air is ducted to an air-conditioning plant on the roof and circulated through the galleries.