Kahukura is an unusual building material in New Zealand, but it was used on this project because it's environmentally friendly.

The following elements have been incorporated into the building to achieve its green status:

  • Kahukura has an array of 400 solar panels, on the roof, which are expected to generate 40% of the building’s energy load.
  • Solar hot water system.
  • Living Building Challenge target "net zero energy ready".
  • Almost all of the building materials specified are toxicity-free, not containing chemicals listed in the Living Building Challenge’s "red list" of toxic products.
  • Mixed mode natural ventilation through most spaces.
  • Solar passive flooring incorporating Megafloor installed by Polished Concrete Ltd
  • Reduce water use by 50% relative to the existing building.
  • Rainwater harvesting for non-potable use.

As well as the physical representation of a cloak, the high-performing exterior of the building is meant as a practical living metaphor to protect those who are inside using it.

The building is home to architectural, engineering, quantity surveying, and an interior design school which makes having a Megafloor polished concrete floor in this building a real feature. Many of the students are taking a keen interest in the design of polished concrete floors.