A New Zealand first — a green air-conditioning system — has helped Telecom Place, currently under construction in Auckland’s CBD, obtain the Green Building Council’s environmentally sustainable design (ESD) standard of 5 Green Stars.
While Auckland CBD buildings were traditionally provided with either variable air-volume or fan coil air conditioning, Telecom is using passive radiant chilled beams to cool its new building.
Mounted unobtrusively above the building’s perforated metal ceiling, the chilled beams work by cooling the areas below using a combination of natural convection and radiant cooling.
This reduces drafts — a health benefit for staff — and uses 10% less energy than other passive chilled beam systems that are available.
Telecom’s head of corporate and social responsibility Abbie Reynolds says Telecom is thrilled to receive the 5 Green Star rating, and will be concentrating on more green initiatives once people move in.
“It’s not just about having a fantastic new green-accredited building, but ensuring our internal practises mean we’re utilising it in the most efficient way,” Ms Reynolds says.
“We are hoping to improve our current levels of recycling, waste minimisation and power saving initiatives with all the tools our new space provides.”
The building, which will house 2800 Telecom employees, is being constructed by Mansons TCLM Ltd, a company with a proven track record in building environmentally-sustainable buildings.
The decision to use this new technology came as a result of a detailed study of similar buildings in Australia and extensive laboratory testing in Britain, Mansons TCLM Ltd production manager Luke Manson says.
“We were satisfied this unique air-conditioning was the most efficient way to go for an open plan office situation, as well as being just as good in higher-load zones, such as meeting rooms”, he says.
“Overall we’re very happy with the 66 points Telecom Place achieved to help it reach a robust 5 Green Stars.”
Other key green features of Telecom Place include:
• its proximity to public transport and several hundred secure cycle racks,
• sophisticated lighting control, including time control, local switching and occupancy sensing. Automatic dimming control of the perimeter lighting occurs when there is sufficient daylight, saving more energy,
• solar reflective glass (to further enhance the buildings’ energy efficiency), motion detection and sunlight sensing lighting,
• rainwater to be collected from the roofs, which will be used to flush the toilets and urinals,
• sustainable timber, and low-emission adhesives and paints have been used, as well as “green-certified” data cabling, and
• a dedicated exhaust system, installed to remove potentially harmful fumes generated by printing and photocopying machines.
Throughout the construction phase, builders were required to follow best environmental practices when disposing of excavated material. They were tasked with recycling as much as possible, and focused on reducing the amount of waste generated by the site.
Telecom is on track to move into the new building in November this year.