Aro Hā Health Retreat

Aro Hā Health Retreat, a haven for health and wellness, holds principles of environmental sustainability at its core. These principles have guided the construction methods of its multiple buildings and continue to shape its daily operations.

Aro Hā project was a distinctive endeavour focused on attaining genuine sustainability. It presented two main challenges: the creation of intricate internal infrastructure so the facility can function independently of the main power grid, and the establishment of extensive landscaping and permaculture practices to foster self-sufficiency and on-site produce cultivation. 

Aro Hā embraces cutting-edge principles of contemporary design, both in terms of architectural envelopes and the services they house. This ambitious undertaking encompassed nine distinct architecturally designed structures, including a spa facility, five guest accommodations, a community centre housing the kitchen, dining area, administration offices, and communal hub, the 'Aro Hā' room dedicated to yoga and educational gatherings, as well as utility buildings. The construction program also featured glasshouses, solar panels, and extensive landscaping, with all structures interconnected by a network of pedestrian pathways, harmoniously nestled within a comprehensive landscaping plan.

Central to the project's design mandate were passive building technologies, which were instrumental in optimizing the buildings' performance to minimise space heating, power consumption, and hot water requirements. This involved the creation of super-insulated and air-sealed structures, complemented by air-sealed joinery sourced from Europe.

In addition to the passive building approach, Aro Hā's off-grid services included an array of sustainable features: 450m2 of photovoltaic solar panels with battery backup, a water bore powered by solar pumps, a sophisticated control and Building Management System (BMS), a district heating system fueled by solar thermal energy and log burners, a micro-hydro scheme, grid intertie with surplus energy sold back, rainwater collection, and a biogas waste treatment plant.

Airmax worked alongside Aro Ha to create the ideal environment for health and wellness. 

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