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Mitre 10 Wanaka store to be 50 per cent self powered

Mitre 10 construction

Hardware chain Mitre 10 says construction of its Wanaka Mega store is underway with its rooftop solar array now installed.

The solar panels are expected to provide as much as 50 per cent of the store’s total energy usage during parts of the year and is part of a broader commitment to sustainability throughout the store, which is located in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful tourist destinations.

The 9000sqm store, due to be completed by late November, will have a 4870sqm retail space, a 3900sqm garden centre area, a 10000sqm trade and timber yard and 220 car parks. The 28000sqm site will also have a  Columbus Cafe and a playground.

Mitre 10 Mega Wanaka
Mitre 10 Mega Wanaka is taking shape fast.

Martin Dippie, Mitre 10 NZ chair and co-owner of Mitre 10 Mega Wanaka, said the new store, with energy-efficient features, will demonstrate the company’s commitment to sustainability which will show in both the construction materials used for the construction of the store and the technologies that operate the building.

The recently installed roof has a 900sqm 100kva photovoltaic solar array that will help power the store and two electric vehicle charging stations, which is one of the future-focused sustainable technologies integrated into the store’s design.

The main retail hall is clad and roofed with Kingspan PIR-core fire-resistant panels that have an R5 insulation rating, which will further reduce the need for heating and cooling.

“The goal is to be off the national grid for 50 per cent of the year, subject to seasonality and available sunlight hours,” according to Mitre 10.

The New Zealand company said the building will be a hybrid, with a traditional steel and tilt-panel walls, post-tensioned concrete floor and mass timber construction interior fit out.

Mitre 10 Mega Wanaka aerial view
An aerial view of Mitre 10 Mega Wanaka.

The solar array is grid-tied, which, according to Mitre 10, means any surplus generation is exported back into the national grid.

“Coupled with LED smart-lighting technology throughout and automatic and dimmable lighting controls to retail spaces, it provides for a sustainable and environmentally-sound solution,” the company said.

The internal design of the store makes extensive use of cross laminated timber (CLT) in the mezzanine office areas and cafe. In addition to excellent thermal, seismic and noise ratings, a key benefit of using CLT is carbon sequestration, with the timber acting as a carbon store.

High underneath the slip roof, smart automatic-opening windows will provide sustainable and energy-efficient passive ventilation, opening and closing automatically depending on wind direction and interior temperature.

In the hot, dry summer climate, cooling units will cool outdoor air by evaporating water into it and circulating it around the store, allowing air conditioning units to operate in economiser (free) mode most of the time. 

Dippie, who co-owns the Mitre 10 Wanaka store alongside his brother Alan, said they are excited with the construction of the new store especially as the project has been five years in the making.

“The community has been hugely supportive of our store, and we are excited to be giving back by delivering the best home-improvement store we can for the Wanaka community,” he said.

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