Mānawa Bay is set to deliver NZ’s first fully electric shopping centre food court

(Source: Auckland Airport)

In what is expected to be a first for New Zealand, the new premium outlet shopping centre, Manawa Bay, will house a dining precinct fully powered by electricity only. 

The Auckland Airport team who are developing the site will be introducing a zero natural or LPG gas policy on site, which is expected to eliminate up to 57 per cent of its greenhouse gas emissions from its kitchens.

Auckland Airport’s chief commercial officer Mark Thomson said Manawa Bay is committed to sustainability and renewable energy on site.

“We’re incredibly proud to take a strong position when it comes to zero gas on site for Manawa Bay. This is a new movement for New Zealand – to have all kitchens cooking without gas – so it’s a significant milestone for the industry.

“The initiative is receiving great feedback from tenants so far because it’s the right thing to do. Tenants can see the benefits with Manawa Bay, as a shopping centre, trying to help reduce its impacts on the environment. It’s also an important step towards achieving a 5 Green Star rating for the centre.”

With 13 food and beverage operators planned for Manawa Bay, cooking and heating with electricity will mean there will be less wasted energy projected into the atmosphere. 

Research shows when you cook with gas, as much as 65 per cent of energy used by gas is wasted and goes into the air, rather than being utilised to heat food. Using radiant heat devices instead reduces energy loss to 35 per cent, while induction cooking equipment reduces energy loss to just 15 per cent loss.

Key benefits of a fully electric dining precinct:

  • Up to 37 per cent energy savings compared to a traditional food and beverage precinct, operating with gas.
  • In turn, this will mean a projected decrease in loud ventilation systems in the onsite kitchens.
  • The electric kitchens will also provide a saving on space, compared to using gas appliances, which are typically larger.
  • In the long run, electric kitchens are estimated to cost less to run, with reduced energy and cleaning costs estimated to quickly offset higher capital outlay
  • Approximately 75 per cent of appliances in typical commercial kitchens are gas.
  • The reduction in energy use on site in turn reduces demand on the building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Auckland Airport has also announced that Manawa Bay is expected to have the largest rooftop solar array in New Zealand on top of the 35,000sqm building.

At 2.3-megawatts, the solar array is expected to generate the equivalent of 80 per cent of the 100-store centre’s power usage when it opens in the second half of 2024.

Manawa Bay will feature 100 plus stores, ranging in size from 50sqm to 1500sqm, offering sought-after fashion, athleisure, lifestyle, and homeware brands. 

The dining precinct is to be located at the heart of the retail centre. With a focus on indoor and outdoor flow, it connects to an expansive alfresco area amongst park-like grounds, overlooking a play area for kids.

By achieving a 5 Green Star rating, Manawa Bay is aiming to have improved energy efficiency, better indoor air quality, reduced waste, lower emissions, improved water conservation, contain more sustainable building materials and contribute to making a healthier environment.

For more information head to www.manawabay.co.nz