Alex Cutler

28 August 2013 — Two New Zealand government sites have raised the bar for public sector energy performance through NABERSNZ – the office building energy measurement and rating scheme drafted from the Australian NABERS program.

The Ministry of Social Development’s Community Link building in Ashburton and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority’s Wellington office have each been awarded  4.5 stars.

The ratings are the highest awarded so far under the scheme which offers one to six stars and was launched in June.

See our article NABERS launched in New Zealand

And Ashburton’s 757 square metre Community Link building is the first in the South Island to get a NABERSNZ certified rating.

EECA’s rating covers its tenanted area, two floors at 44 the Terrace, owned by Kiwi Income Property Trust.

Mike Underhill

EECA chief executive Mike Underhill said it was important that his organisation showed leadership.

“By getting a NABERSNZ certified rating, we’re showing that we take our own advice on energy management,” he said.

“We’re now talking with other businesses that occupy floors in our building to see if the things we’ve learnt in this process can help them.

“It’s outstanding that the small MSD building in Ashburton has also achieved such a high rating. That’s testament to their commitment to energy management and it shows that buildings don’t necessarily need to be modern high rises to have excellent energy efficiency.”

The 1980s single-storey Ashburton building has no automated systems and relies on simple heat pumps for heating and cooling.

MSD associate deputy chief executive Merv Dacre said with 9100 staff and 196 office buildings across the country, energy was a significant cost for the organisation.

“We are focused on energy management, and clearly our Ashburton office has set the bar for the rest of the organisation,” he said.

“We’ll be carrying out more NABERSNZ ratings and using them as a tool to improve. I’m sure Ashburton will inspire our teams in other centres.”

The Government’s Property Management Centre of Expertise, hosted by MSD, is actively encouraging public sector organisations to get NABERSNZ ratings.

New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler said public sector organisations were recognising the worth of NABERSNZ to demonstrate prudence and value for money.

“Smart design principles create a blueprint for energy efficient buildings, but how they’re commissioned, maintained and used is crucial in day-to-day energy performance,” she said.

“NABERSNZ creates a market value for good energy management – reducing costs for tenants and improving capital value for building owners.”

Stuart MacWilliam of Renewable Solutions carried out the rating on the Ashburton Community Link building while Anthony Bertrand of Smart Power undertook the EECA Tenancy rating. Both are NABERSNZ trainee assessors.