3 August 2011 – The New Zealand Green Building Council has awarded the country’s first six star Green Star Office Interiors 2009 rating to the Bank of New Zealand’s Harbour Quays offices in Wellington and will soon be certifying its 66th Green Star project as well as completing a Green Star rating tool review.
NZGBC chief executive, Alex Cutler, told The Fifth Estate: “We have seen growth in membership among building contractors, investors, construction industry professionals and building product manufacturers and distributors.
“With the launch of our residential rating tool, Homestar, late last year, we also hope to see greater interest from the residential sector in coming years.
“We will shortly be certifying our 66th Green Star project, and have a further 28 registered projects in the pipeline.
“Our 2011 tool review will substantially streamline the submission process and make Green Star simpler and more affordable.
“We expect to see heightened interest in Green Star once the tool review is complete and we release new versions of each of our four rating tools in early 2012”.
Ms Cutler said council membership had remained steady in the past two years with around 430 member organisations.
“There was a slight levelling off of Green Star projects following the financial crisis, however, we remain pleased with the number of completed projects in the four years since we launched Green Star in New Zealand,” she said.
There had been strong industry support for a performance tool for New Zealand.
“This will greatly assist in building the pool of data on New Zealand’s buildings, contributing to the growing business case for green building.
“There has also been growing interest this year from local government in the development of tools to support more sustainable built environments in New Zealand’s three largest cities – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.”
Ms Cutler said Christchurch City Council was committed to rebuilding the city sustainably.
“NZGBC is working with both the council and industry to develop an approach that will work in the central city.
“The key objective here is to have a tool that is simple, cost effective and easy to use, whilst also achieving demonstrable results in terms of reduced environmental impact and enhanced sustainability of the built environment,” she said.
The council will be consulting publicly on the proposal in the soon to be released draft central city plan.
NZGBC has trained more than 2000 industry professionals. More than 5000 New Zealand home-owners have undertaken Homestar self-assessments.
BNZ Harbour Quays joins a growing portfolio of the bank’s workplaces that are Green Star certified – with its offices at the Deloitte Centre (80 Queen Street) and Quay Park in Auckland already boasting 5 Green Star Office Interiors 2009 ratings.
Commenting on the award, Ms Cutler said: “Six Star Green Stars represents world leadership in environmentally sustainable design, and we challenge other New Zealand businesses to follow BNZ’s lead by investing in workplaces that are not only good for their employees but good for the environment too.
“With staff costs significantly outweighing all other costs during the lifetime of a building, investing in healthier, productivity-enhancing workplaces makes sound financial sense.”
BNZ chief operating officer, Stephen Mockett sees the value in being committed to investing in workplaces that are not only great to work in, but that employees can also be proud of.
“Following our involvement in the Office Interiors Pilot project in 2009 at our Quay Park premises, we’re delighted to be setting the benchmark,” he said.
Together with its project design team, including Jasmax architects and engineering firm Beca, BNZ has achieved certified Green Star Office Interiors ratings for three of its office fitouts over an 18-month period, representing half of the projects currently certified under the Office Interiors rating tool.
The Office Interiors 2009 rating tool was developed by NZGBC with industry to assess the environmental attributes of new office fit-outs in New Zealand and encourage the development of workplaces that are healthy, efficient and environmentally sustainable.
There is a growing body of research that demonstrates employee satisfaction, wellbeing and productivity levels are higher in sustainable buildings than conventional buildings.
BNZ Harbour Quays sustainable design features
- Indoor Environment –50 per cent improvement on standard ventilation rates, layout planning with good internal connection to the outdoors
- No cooling towers – resulting in reduced water consumption and minimising the risk of legionnaire’s disease
- Rainwater recycling for toilet flushing
- Use of water efficient fittings –waterless urinals and low flow taps
- Transport – close proximity to transport hub, cyclists’ facilities are provided including secure and sheltered bike parks and showers and lockers for staff.
- Use of materials that minimise impact to the environment – recycling of steel and building waste, PVC replaced with alternative materials where possible
BNZ’s three Green Star offices are also within Green Star buildings: The Deloitte Centre at 80 Queen Street has both a 5 Green Star Office Design v1 and a 5 Green Star Office Built v1 rating (achieved by Brookfield Multiplex), as does Quay Park One (achieved by Mansons). Harbour Quays has a 5 Green Star Office Design v1 rating (achieved by Centreport).