(L-R): Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners, NZ Communications Minister Amy Adams and NZ Prime Minister John Key.

Vodafone’s new Christchurch office in the city’s Innovation Precinct has become the first commercial property in the precinct awarded a Green Star rating from the NZ Green Building Council.

The 8500 square metre InnoV8 building comprises four levels of office space, and a ground floor with a Vodafone concept store and cafes. It will be base for the 350 of the company’s staff and participants in the Vodafone xone ‘innovation incubator.

Designed by Jasmax, and developed by Studio D4 and Calder Stewart Development, the end investor in the project is Tuam Street West, with Vodafone leasing the premises under an exclusive long-term agreement.

NZ prime minister John Key and communications minister Amy Adams toured the buildings as part of the official launch on Wednesday.

The development was awarded 5 Star Green Design for a range of initiatives including passive solar design, high performance facade, waste reduction and a ventilation system that brings in fresh air at a rate 50 per cent greater than the basic requirements of the NZ Building Code.

The building also has LED lighting and occupant sensors throughout the office area, sub-metering of water and alarmed leak detection, FSC-certified timber, low-VOC materials throughout to minimise pollutants that can impact occupant health, storage systems for recycling waste, cyclist facilities and dedicated fuel-efficient and carpool parking.

For the 12 months following completion, building tuning will be carried out to ensure all the systems are performing to their designed potentials.

Paul Naylor, co-director of Studio D4, said the development’s Green Star rating was independent proof the new building’s sustainability features would perform well over time.

“Our decision to work towards a Green Star rating for the InnoV8 building was an easy one: a building that enhances staff wellbeing and productivity, and costs less to run and maintain, will always be a better asset to own,” Mr Naylor said.

“We worked closely with Vodafone to create a home that suits their technology-driven working style while minimising the environmental impact, and we’re delighted with the results.”

Vodafone New Zealand chief executive Russell Stanners said sustainability was a “non-negotiable part of the future of working”.

Hw said that as technology was at the centre of the company’s business, it wanted to move into a building that helped its people run technology as efficiently as possible.

The building also enhances staff wellbeing and productivity through clever design and material choice, he said.

“This building illustrates our commitment to Christchurch, and to ways of working that promote sustainability and wellbeing as well as business success.”

Technology is very much the backbone of the building, with extensive use of wireless networks meaning there is minimal cabling. Instead of swipe cards, staff use their smart phones as personal “passports” into the building, and visitors can register from up to 500 metres away from the entrance.

Smart phones also act as control consoles for presentations, and both team members and guests can also play presentations wirelessly through them – no cables required.

NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler said that, as the Christchurch rebuild continued, it was inspiring to see companies creating high-performance buildings with smaller environmental footprint.

“Designing for sustainability is the best way to ensure lower energy bills, a healthier indoor environment and a more resilient building. This makes a Green Star building a smart long-term investment, as those features mean it’ll be more attractive to both investors and tenants,” Ms Cutler said.

“Together, Tuam Street West and Vodafone have created a building that is fit for the future, and will also be an attractive, comfortable space for staff and visitors. It’s an example that we hope other companies will follow when building in Christchurch.”