You are here:

Waterloo technical detail

Waterloo quarter-hour paradise: technical specs

Below is the nuts and bolts of how even the basic quarter-hour paradise recipe applied to a place can immediately help that place work better for everyone, including the environment.  

We’ve put a little bit of crystal-ball colour around the base technical specs, to indicate what kind of thing they make possible, and to spark the local conversations.  

There’s more detail behind this again so if you’re a super-nerd (like us), feel free to drop us a line. 

 And of course, there’s no local flavour or community nuance yet, so once you’ve had a read and – especially if you’re local – you’re full of ideas for how to do this better, make sure you join some of the conversation online! 

Building performance

Buildings base-isolated for owner and communal resilience 

Lighter construction for seismic resilience 

  • Buildings are designed to need minimal heating and cooling. 
  • The buildings are well orientated to make the most of the sun’s free energy and light while also providing shading in the summer with overhangs/shades on windows on north and western faces that help prevent overheating. 
  • The buildings have well-insulated walls, and high spec airtight windows with minimal thermal bridging (less condensation and heat loss to outdoors). 
  • Energy efficient fixtures are used throughout (e.g. LED lighting)
  • Ventilation systems have heat recovery 
  • Heat pumps with low GWP refrigerants are used for any space heating andor hot water needs. 
  • ‘Smart’ electricity meters are installed and appliances can be programmed to run when electricity prices (and carbon emissions) are low e.g. overnight.
  • Covered garden / conservatory spaces included as part of building roof garden areas, for growing food and neighbourhood connection 
  • Roof and deck gardens on alternate floors of all buildings
  • All buildings meet future operational carbon and embodied carbon Building Code requirements proposed under MBIE’s Building for Climate Change programme: lower-carbon footprint construction and materials (e.g.timber floors, hybrid timber/steel frame, terracotta façade cladding)
  • Natural gas is a thing of the past. All space heating and hot water is electrified using heat-pumps, electric elements, or solar
  • All cooking is electric. Induction stovetops are the norm: compared with 2022 there is much less wasted energy and fewer pollutants (indoor air quality is better)
  • Non-toxic materials are used throughout, such as interior finishes (paints etc) with low VOC / formaldehyde content, and low-PVC plumbing and cabling for utilities
  • Buildings have good access to natural light and views to the outdoors – particularly in living and working spaces
  • Windows are airtight but all homes include opening windows
  • Multi-core residential buildings – more units have frontages at least two sides, and natural ventilation is easier

Development and destination performance

  • Population density has made viable new businesses and expansions for old favourites
  • Within 10-15min walk of railway station, 1,300-odd more people are now living 
  • People can now eat, drink, shop, learn, worship, go to daycare, dance, rehearse, socialise, in this hub on any day of the week  
  • Since 2022 about double the number of people (~1,000) now work in the Waterloo hub area itself 
  • The town centres of Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt and Wellington city are complements to the everyday richness of the local neighbourhood
  • Families and households of all ages and sizes live here, and people stay living locally as their housing needs change through their lives 
  • People can now eat, drink, shop, learn, worship, go to daycare, dance, rehearse, socialise, in this hub on any day of the week 
  • Waterloo streets are greener and more pleasant 
  • Oxford Terrace is now much more of a place to be, that’s safe and pleasant for all ages and abilities night and day
  • Dedicated Transit Oriented Development, including in the station buildings: station functions, groceries, cafe, a community space, places of worship, rehearsal spaces, community services (including transport), offices,  with residential above
  • Over 650 new homes in the immediate area (within a 1km radius i.e. a 10-15 minute walk for able-bodied people), most of which are concentrated within 5 minutes’ walk / 15 minutes’ wheel of the railway station hub 
  • Ground floors of the buildings around the railway platforms interact with the street (outwards) as well as holding the railway station functions, so include shops, eateries, and small service businesses 
  • Floors at podium level (i.e. level with the green park space over the rail) have public realm and lively public facilities (cafes, meeting spaces) opening out into the podium-top park 
  • High percentage of residential units, and all businesses and amenities, are universally accessible 
  • Common facilities private to the residents encourage “bumping into” and knowing your neighbours, including allotments, lounges and games rooms, deck gardens, shared bike and scooter parking, and play areas
  • Wide variety of apartment sizes, from 1-bedroom to 5- and 6-bedroom, which are adaptable 
  • Balconies and pocket parks, and good quality building design help integrate residential life with the street (Oxford Terrace and podium-park work as a shared backyard). 
  • Homes overlook the street and public realm spaces, improving safety (“eyes on the street”

Water and ecological performance

  • People’s water footprint is considerably lower than in most of the Hutt Valley’s traditional NZ standalone houses 
  • Buildings have low-water-use fixtures installed
  • Digital water metering installed for leak detection and billing
  • Upgraded pipe network with better capacity for wastewater
  • Smart wastewater retention tanks smooth the peaks of wastewater passage  
  • Green roofs and rainwater tanks behind buildings use captured rain for toilet flushing, washing machines etc
  • Runoff into streams is cleaner, streams are cleaner (less sewage, fewer road-surface contaminants)
  • There is less nuisance flooding from stormwater and from streams 
  • Native birds and insects are more regular visitors to the homes and public spaces in the neighbourhood 
  •  Green roofs and rainwater tanks behind buildings take the peaks off storm runoff, and filter what flows into streams
  • Rain garden by the bridge ramp filters runoff from the road
  • Large trees in green buffer strips and rain gardens absorb more water and filter it before it enters the streams
  • Large native trees and native plantings (down to the living dividers (swales) between micromobility lane and bus lane) provide habitat and canopy cover, encouraging birds, insects and lizards to and from the two reserves and Te Whiti Riser
  • Green roofs and deck gardens, green podium over rail line all increase absorbent land-cover