The Te Mirumiru building

27 February 2014 — New Zealand has hit 100 Green Star buildings with the country’s first 6 Star education building.

The Te Mirumiru building, in Kawakawa, Northland, is also New Zealand’s first commercial earth-bank building. It features a curved concrete structure covered by earth and grass on its roof and unglazed sides, and is designed to integrate into the landscape and pay homage to the Ngati Hine tribe’s customs and history.

The building includes polystyrene insulation and waterproofing, and passive design to reduce heating and cooling needs. It employs thermal mass so the centre can store heat when needed and remain cool in summer. There is also a solar hot water system and under-floor heating.

Chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council Alex Cutler said the Te Mirumiru building was not only beautiful and technically accomplished, but clearly showed the health and education benefits of working and learning in a green building.

Image: Simon Devitt

Two other buildings gained Green Star certification at the same time as Te Mirumiru:

  • Forté Health Building in Christchurch (4 Green Star) – NZ’s first Green Star medical centre and the first Green Star building completed after the Christchurch earthquake
  • Sharp Tudhope Building, Tauranga (4 Green Star) – the Bay of Plenty’s first Green Star office building featuring an innovative energy saving airconditioning system

“The appetite for green buildings is growing,” said Ms Cutler said. “These three projects show the diversity of sustainable building – it’s not just premium commercial space in our bigger cities. It’s fantastic to mark our century with not one but three buildings which are each extraordinary, and leaders in their own way.

“Increasingly the industry is realising that to maximise value and performance, our buildings need to be designed and built with people, and the environment, in mind.

“It’s brilliant to have progressed to 100 rated projects. Credit belongs to the many smart, far-sighted owners, developers and professionals who have embraced Green Star and used it to create great buildings.

“We’re now looking forward to hitting 200.”

Green Star was launched in New Zealand in 2007.