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Ngā Kāinga Anamata – Homes of the Future

Glendowie, Auckland, New Zealand
88 Riddell Road Auckland 1071 NZ

Our client, Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities, is New Zealand’s largest residential landlord, providing homes to around 200,000 customers and maintaining around 68,000 public houses, while also providing home ownership products and other services. The organisation’s focus is on prioritising the wellbeing of its customers and delivering good quality, warm, dry, and healthy homes.

In 2021, Kāinga Ora asked us to be involved in a research and development pilot programme to change the future of sustainable residential development. The organisation’s ambition was to understand what high-performance; low-carbon social housing would look like using typical New Zealand materials and building systems.

We designed five almost identical apartment buildings, each from a different structural system: steel, concrete, light frame timber, mass/cross-laminated timber, and a hybrid combination of light and mass timber.

Sustainability and lifecycle carbon mitigation were at the forefront from the programme’s inception, along with aspirations for each building to achieve Passive House certification, a 9 Homestar rating and be net-zero energy. For Kāinga Ora customers, living in a Passive House means more affordable heating, fresh indoor air quality, and comfortable and healthy temperatures year-round. Environmentally, it means delivering high-performing homes with significantly reduced operational carbon emissions.

This flythrough video shows a 3D representation of the site highlighting the five different building materials, sustainability initiatives, and biodiversity aspects that make up the project.

Ngā Kāinga Anamata was gifted its te reo Māori name, which aptly means ‘Homes of the Future.’ The data and learnings from this programme will influence and catalyse system transformation in the construction industry for years to come.

Construction on the project will begin this year as a proof of concept for how New Zealand can build low-carbon homes at scale.

Ngā Kāinga Anamata was recently featured at the COP26 Built Environment Virtual Pavilion Build Better Now – one of only 17 exemplary sustainable projects selected from around the world for the virtual reality (VR) online pavilion. You can find out more by visiting


Building type:
Multi-unit residential
Project phase:
Under construction
Certification type:
Passive House Classic
Year of construction:
Treated floor area:

Team members

Business Role
Context Architect/Designer
Southbase Construction Contractor/Builder
Aurecon Passive House Designer/Consultant
Sustainable Engineering Passive House Certifier
Ortus International Quantity Surveyor
Robert Bird Group Structural Engineers
Aurecon Passive House and Energy Modelling

Project suppliers

Suppliers Supplied products
XLAM CLT panels
Steel Frame Solutions Light gauge steel
APL Aluminium windows and doors
Timber Connect Rothoblaas connections for CLT
Outright External insulation - Rockwool