Innovation inspired by quakes

WILL HARVIE
Last updated 07:59 06/01/2014
Faux Arcadia
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ
FAUX ARCADIA: Pleasing alternates to spraypaint art.

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The Rebuild

2014 Canterbury's busiest year for house construction Christchurch rebuild workers on less than minimum wage Historic buildings threatened by demolition Land for anchor projects reduced Library a symbol of Kaiapoi's recovery Breakfree Hotel: Refurbished city hotel almost ready for business Christchurch faces glut of office space SOL Square squabble stalls redevelopment of entertainment hotspot New Returned and Services Association base only weeks away Convention centre lands international conferences

For much of last year WILL HARVIE found innovations emerging in the rebuild. Here are his favourites.

Three: Rowing lake in the red zone

Technically called a "flat- water sport facility", it would be sited on former residential land in the red zone near the Avon River and be a training and competition hub for paddlers of all kinds, while helping solve drainage woes along the river. A significant facility like this in the East could ease the pain of losing QE2.

Two: Illuminating seaside cliffs

Imagine the cliffs at Scarborough, Summer and Redcliffs dramatically glowing blue, green and whatever hues colour-smart people can devise. Here's a chance to use smart LED technology and hopefully renewable energy.

Best: Heating the Arts Centre with aquifer energy

Think of heat pump technology, but the warmth comes from underground water. The centre will spend $500,000 to heat all 23 of its buildings and break even in about 10 years. Renewable, smart and a prime example of how new Christchurch will be better than the old.

Honourable mention: Street art

Street art is rightly all the rage at the moment in Christchurch, but spraypaint isn't everybody's favourite. Those dissenters should celebrate local artist Michaela Cox's Faux Arcadia project, which are lush photographs of plants and birds mounted on aluminium discs scattered throughout the central city.

Open Source is a weekly series. If you want to share an idea, email will.harvie@press.co.nz

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