The Christchurch Central Recovery Plan is an exciting step in the rebuild of Christchurch, and signals a strong opportunity for the built environment to help meet the vision for a safe, sustainable city, according to the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).
The NZGBC was responding to the plan that was announced recently by the Christchurch City Development Unit (CCDU).
“It is fantastic to see a strong commitment to building sustainably in the vision for Christchurch City,” NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler says.
“Green buildings offer Christchurch healthier living and working spaces, long-term operational savings for occupants, and resilience against rising energy, water and other climate costs,” she says.
“We wholeheartedly endorse the Central City Recovery Plan’s view that ‘greener, healthier and more resilient building approaches and technology help to create a unique identity for central Christchurch and a lasting, positive legacy’.”
The property and construction sectors are already operating with industry tools such as Green Star that address the environmental impact of construction activities, building design and performance during the planning stages.
Green buildings can support cities to become:
• Sustainable: reducing the environmental impact of communities.
• Profitable: decreasing operational costs and impacts on municipal infrastructure.
• Prosperous: saving energy and creating jobs.
• Productive: improving the health, well-being, learning and productivity of building occupants.
• Healthy: reducing illnesses from poor indoor air quality.
“Our members from the construction sector have the skills and knowledge to design and build sustainable buildings that can deliver long-term value for Canterbury,” Ms Cutler says.
In addition to the Green Star environmental building assessment tool, the NZGBC has developed an introductory-level, green building assessment tool specifically for the Christchurch Central City rebuild, called BASE (Building a Sustainable Environment).
BASE is a simple assessment for new office, retail and mixed use buildings to help the Christchurch rebuild, developed by the NZGBC in conjunction with the Christchurch City Council and property industry experts.
It provides building owners and project teams with a tool to benchmark environmental features. The standards within the tool have been set to provide a moderate increase in green building practices over standard industry practice and Building Code requirements.
The standard has been designed to be achievable for small and large buildings.
BASE can help Christchurch building owners and investors deliver entry-level green buildings for between 0.5% and 1.3% of the capital cost, with a payback period of between 2.4 and 11.4 years, depending on the building size.