14 Mar 2018

Daisy’s not built for driving

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:19 pm on 14 March 2018

An eco-friendly Auckland apartment block with 33 units but no parking spaces for residents' cars is causing a bit of a stir.

Daisy - the eco apartment block

The building's two car parks are for shared City Hop vehicles. Photo: supplied

The newly-opened Daisy Apartments has energy efficiency and construction features which earned it a top Homestar rating for sustainable building.

The Kingsland building’s two car parking spaces are for shared vehicles. Apartment owners are signed up to the City Hop car share firm, which gives them access to fleet of 70 cars across the city.

Mark Todd, co-founder of developer Ockham Residential, dismisses criticism over the lack of individual car parks.

“There’s a sea change coming in how people are living in the urban world,” he says.

Auckland’s Unitary Plan allows developments without car parks, and Todd says that’s the way of the future.

“With Auckland heading towards the size of Sydney or Melbourne over the next 30 or 40 years, it’s just not a normal expectation to live in a city of that size, in a good city fringe location, and expect to have a car park with that building.”

This building is 80 metres from a bus stop on busy Dominion Road and two train stations are within 15 minutes walk. With the use of car ride app firms, planned investment in Auckland’s cycle network and public transport, and electric vehicles becoming more common “the world is changing”, Todd says.

The company “took a bit of a punt” on the apartment block.

“It’s taken us just over two years to find 33 progressive Aucklanders who want to live in a city-fringe apartment block.”

Some are there because of the green ethos but others were attracted by the price, he says, and fewer car parks helped keep the price down. “An average underground car park space [built] into …Mt Eden volcanic rock - it’s between $60,000 and $70,000.”

The features that earned it the 10 Homestar rating added $15,000 to $20,000 per apartment, and Todd says that will be returned over the lifetime of the building in energy savings. It has passively ventilated spaces, solar panels for water heating, and glass designed to let in less heat, and building materials had recycled content.

“In Kiwi culture we’re still infants when it comes to apartment living, but it’s coming at us quickly, and I think it’s important to get these examples built of what best practice may look like.”

The firm’s next building will be in Ponsonby, with 100 units - and only 30 to 40 carparks.

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