10 September 2013 — New Zealand’s Hobsonville Point Primary School, awarded a New Zealand 5 Star Green Star rating for both design and construction, is also the first school in New Zealand to be developed as a public private partnership.
The school, which opened this year, is on the former Hobsonville Air Base, about 25 kilometres from Auckland.
The project achieved its 5 Green Star built rating by streamlining 63 per cent of its Green Star design points.
The streamlining process, in place since 2012, allows Green Star design projects to achieve faster and easier built ratings when the construction adheres closely to the sustainability features of the design.
Under the Ministry of Education’s new PPP model the private consortium brought together to design and build the school will maintain the building for the next 25 years.
The consortium is led by Hawkins Construction and includes Programme Facilities Maintenance which will manage the building, and was involved from the start of the 18-month PPP design and build process.
Hawkins Construction design manager Craig Watkins said the sustainability features included as part of Green Star, combined with the PPP approach, made this project unique.
The PPP process ensured that all parties were actively involved with the development of the sustainable initiatives and that these not only complemented the building but met the growing needs of teachers and students alike in New Zealand, he said.
“We’ve focused on sustainability and Green Star from the outset and the result is a hugely energy efficient building with an environment that is built to encourage modern teaching methods,” he said.
Key sustainability features include rainwater harvesting to provide the school with all its grey water requirements. All heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting is automatically controlled through a building management system that responds to levels of daylight and occupancy in different parts of the building.
Clear glazing covers about 45 per cent of the roof area with daylight strips to provide and distribute natural light while minimising glare which means more than 74 per cent of the usable floor area exceeds the 2.5 per cent daylight factor required.
Mr Watkins said the project had many complex challenges such as matching energy efficiency needs with learning needs including acoustic requirements.
The school is fitted out with acoustic insulation which not only cuts out any outside noise but ensures there is minimal noise leakage from one open learning area to another.
In a bonus for students, many of the school’s sustainability features double as learning resources such as rain water harvesting and energy efficiency in action.