Influence and Inspire

At Camp Glenorchy, we are creating comfortable and efficient buildings designed to educate, inspire and delight.

Our vision for the project reaches far beyond these physical spaces, however. We have committed to reducing our impact on the environment and aim to inspire our guests to do the same once they return home. We envision a future where a connected community of visitors to Camp Glenorchy have gone on to champion positive change in their own homes, workplaces and cities. 

To achieve this vision, the importance of sustainability education has been embedded in the design and construction of Camp Glenorchy from day one. We are being intentional about the best way to tell the story of Camp Glenorchy so that visitors will understand not only what we are doing but why are we doing it, and more importantly, how they can adapt the lessons learned to their particular situation back at home. 

We believe everyone has a role to play in the creation of a sustainable future. By creating a world-class demonstration project and allowing visitors to experience first-hand how our sustainability solutions conserve resources, we hope Camp Glenorchy will influence and inspire the next generation of better buildings and lifestyle choices in New Zealand and around the world. 

Educating for sustainability 

To build a network of visitors who can successfully champion change in their own homes and communities, we want to create educational content that is comprehensive enough to enable transformative choices. Our sustainability communication plan is based on six stages people pass through on the way to taking action, and has helped determine where to focus our resources and effort.

 Influence and Inspire chart


We expect thousands of people will come and stay with us at Camp Glenorchy each year. Our hope is that every single visitor will enjoy staying with us; that the majority will take some time to interact with our cabins and learn about our efforts around sustainability; and that some among them will feel inspired and motivated to apply the lessons when they return to their own homes, workplaces and communities and begin to make steps large and small towards a better built environment.

If we are able to achieve this with only 1% of our annual visitors, we will have succeeded in kick-starting hundreds of transformations around the world. In turn, these projects will inspire the next generation of buildings, increasing exponentially both the scale of impact and adoption of technologies and systems like those implemented at Camp Glenorchy.


What we are doing?

Our approach

The sustainability communication strategy and implementation plan for Camp Glenorchy was developed by Evident, a sustainability consultancy based in Auckland, more than a year before construction started at Camp Glenorchy.  

As a result, the plan has been deeply integrated with the design and construction process, influencing design decisions and identifying educational opportunities throughout the site. It is allowing us to create an engaging educational narrative around the project to meet the needs of different groups of people, from school children to industry experts. This narrative organises and structures the available information to ensure it is communicated at the right time, in the best way, to the relevant audiences.

A key aspect of this strategy is the use of data as an educational opportunity. Camp Glenorchy is using a site-wide control and monitoring system to help achieve the highest levels of energy and water efficiency while simultaneously ensuring a comfortable and healthy environment for our guests. Information collected by this system will be integrated with our educational content and displayed across multiple platforms both on site and online, allowing visitors to learn about the campground’s performance and how their actions impact it.

Camp Glenorchy’s educational narrative is being communicated on multiple and innovative levels, from tablets providing information that could influence a family’s everyday actions while staying in the rooms to providing a living and working example of how the tourism sector could operate more sustainably. We are aiming to create a ripple effect and are producing content to satisfy the needs of a variety of different visitors. 

Onsite resources for visitors

One of the platforms for our educational narrative will be the user app installed on tablets in the bedrooms and bunkrooms, where our guests will be able to actively manage their cabin’s energy and water use by interacting with live data. For example, the app will display the energy used by the heating system, which will instantly change if guests increase or decrease the indoor temperature. They’ll also be able to set energy and water use targets for their stay and learn how their cabin’s performance compares to that of other cabins as well as that of previous visitors.

Educational content will be woven subtly into Camp Glenorchy’s buildings and systems. Mechanical dials in the kitchen, for example, will show guests how we are tracking towards our Net Zero Energy goal in real time, while a sundial located in the Garden Classroom will hold the site’s weather station, providing awareness of changing weather patterns. 

Equipment that is often locked away in service cupboards – some of which is key to improving building performance – will be accessible to visitors. Guided tours will allow visitors to learn about composting toilets in the Amenities Building’s cellar, or about greywater treatment in the constructed wetlands. Education stations located across the site will focus on key elements of the project such as: 

  • The solar garden: An array of more than 400 photovoltaic (PV) panels-- the South Island's largest solar installation -- will be located on the south-eastern corner of the site, generating most of the electricity Camp Glenorchy needs to achieve Net Zero Energy. Guests will be able to stroll through the garden and learn how the sun’s energy impacts energy generation through an interactive display. 
  • Net Zero Energy cabin: One of our guest cabins is a standalone Net Zero Energy demonstration building. This cabin will have its own set of solar panels and a battery to store surplus energy. The equipment related to energy generation and storage, as well as diagrams and performance information, will be visible in an external cabinet viewable on guided tours. To help guests understand how the site is using energy, mechanical dials mounted on its exterior will display the cabin’s current energy generation and use, as well as the daily and annual balance. 

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Onsite resources for industry groups

Once Camp Glenorchy is fully operational, we hope to welcome industry groups from different sectors – such as construction or tourism – to share with them our journey of building Camp Glenorchy, and provide an inside view into its operation and key achievements.

We’ll provide all the facilities for groups to have a comfortable stay and productive gatherings while encouraging a little bit of healthy competition. Team members staying in different rooms will be able to compare their energy and water use to that of other workmates to find out who was the ‘most sustainable’ at the end of their time at the campground. 

We believe that if we are able to inspire a small group of people within an industry it has the potential to transform an entire sector. To achieve this, we sharing information about our energy and water conservation efforts and the impact we are having, we are also creating a meaningful experience tailored to each group’s particular interests. 

Site tours can be organised that emphasise and discuss key areas relevant to a specific sector and information packs with further detail about the design and sustainability practices can be provided. This information can be taken back to visitors’ workplaces to help fast-track new sustainability-focused projects in different areas around the world. 

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Online resources for a global community

Camp Glenorchy’s website will be the go-to place for people who want to learn more about the project’s design and construction to help jump-start their own projects. Our online sustainability content has been structured around the seven petals of the Living Building Challenge (LBC) with more than 20 articles, such as this one, that discuss features and technologies implemented in the project. 

In addition to the articles, the website will allow users to post questions to our team, read a comprehensive FAQ section about sustainability in design and construction, and ultimately to connect with like-minded people around the world. The aim is to create a strong and inspired online community and to empower them with the information and tools they need to initiate positive change in their own homes, workplaces and communities. 


A future that safeguards equal possibilities for all requires a widespread transformation in the way we design, construct and use our buildings. We believe education is key to achieving this transformation and this belief has been a core motivation for Camp Glenorchy from the very beginning. 

Through an engaging educational narrative, we hope to demonstrate and share information about how buildings and sustainability choices can make a positive impact on our planet. We will be communicating with our guests on multiple levels, whether as individuals, part of an industry group or part of a worldwide online community. Our goal is to spread the message of sustainability through a global network of change-agents and effect positive change at scales both large and small. 

Meeting our water and energy use targets will have a positive impact on the Glenorchy environment and community, yet an even greater impact will be achieved by inspiring our visitors to initiate sustainable choices in their own communities.

We look forward to seeing the next generation of like-minded projects emerge; to providing the support and tools these need to thrive; and to sharing your achievements with others – because that’s truly something worth celebrating.


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