Sustainability and eco-identity is at the core of AR & Associates’ modus operandi and business philosophy. We are market leaders in designing environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing, safe, functional and efficient urban infrastructure following these philosophies.
Kirimoko Park is an innovative 130-lot green-field residential subdivision in Wanaka, New Zealand, that exemplifies effective integration of landscape architecture and urban design with stormwater management function.
The design of stormwater management systems within Kirimoko Park was based on a Water Sensitive Urban Design (“WSUD”) philosophy. The protection of the receiving environment is achieved through the acknowledgement, preservation and use of the inherent natural landform and hydrology, and the integration of stormwater design with landscape and urban architecture elements.
One of the key objectives of the adopted WSUD philosophy was to mimic natural rainfall-runoff behaviour and maximise the use of ‘surface’ stormwater features such as swales, raingardens and basins, in favour of traditional underground piped infrastructure. This approach showcases the value and beauty of stormwater when used as a resource, through the visible integration of water features within open spaces. This resulted in superior landscape architecture, urban design and public amenity for the project, which responded to the inherent social and cultural context of the project.
Piped systems provide an ongoing asset management liability regarding operation, maintenance and renewal. They are also difficult to access, prone to blockage and structural failure and there is an ongoing risk of wastewater cross connections. With this project these risks were eliminated with an above ground stormwater solution.
Additionally, the development introduced unique roading and transportation design, including walkways, cycleways and shared use spaces. This helped facilitate and promote active transport modes throughout the development which in turn encourages sustainable behaviour by residents and other users of these public spaces. The undulating topography together with the curvilinear nature of the roading network and its integration with bespoke urban landscape and WSUD features created attractive, community focused pedestrian amenity features within a low speed environment.
In addition to the environmental, landscape architecture, urban design and public amenity benefits offered, experience within Kirimoko Park showed that the use of WSUD resulted in a more cost effective stormwater management solution when compared to piped infrastructure, which translated to higher cost-benefit for the project.
This project has been the subject of several conference papers and university lectures and was selected by Engineers New Zealand as the project that won AR & Associates the Arthur Mead Award of Merit in 2016.
In 2015 Andres Roa co-authored a conference paper which explored a comparison of capital construction costs between Kirimoko Park and an equivalent development in the same setting following a conventional ‘piped and earth-worked’ design approach. This research, which was backed by similar studied overseas, found that that the construction cost for this project resulted in about 23% savings in capital construction costs, compared to the cost of a conventional subdivision of the same size. When considered together with the operational efficiencies and other advantages, these design initiatives translate to higher cost-benefit and vastly superior technical and economic outcomes.
In the 2018 Water New Zealand conference in Queenstown, Kirimoko Park was one of two sites selected as WSUD examples for delegates to visit during field trips.
ARAL was responsible for the three waters, earthworks, roading and infrastructure design for Stages 2B, 2C and 3 of the Kirimoko Park development (last three of four stages). The overall design of the subdivision was developed following a fully integrated approach, where the various disciplines including civil engineering, planning, urban architecture and landscape design worked together from the outset to create unique urban spaces with high amenity and environmental value. Due to the unique engineering drivers which called for water sensitive urban design initiatives, this project required close collaboration with Queenstown Lakes District Council to ensure all expectations were aligned with each other.
Andres Roa attended the Tauranga Water Sensitive Design seminar in 2019 and presented
Kirimoko Park: a living example of integrated water sensitive urban design