The developers of a major new property set to revitalise the Hamilton CBD say they are pleasantly surprised at how cost and time effective it has been to achieve Green Star certification.
Citygate in Hamilton is being developed by national property development firm McConnell Property, which has worked closely with the Hamilton City Council, Wintec and CBD businesses in the planning and delivery of the $20 million “smart” building.
Assessed by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), Citygate has been awarded a 4 Green Star certified rating in a single assessment round, as opposed to the usual two.
Fully understanding the principles of the Green Star tool and applying them carefully at the pre-planning stage of the development has meant that the team has achieved a highly productive outcome in a record time, NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler says.
“The building is a best practice result that will deliver an efficient, healthy and productive work environment — something that tenants are increasingly focused on.
“Third party confirmation with the Green Star rating allows tenants to place trust in the building, aligning their procurement decisions with organisational values,” Ms Cutler says.
McConnell Property’s Aidan Donnelly says everything about the 5300sq m Grade A building has been constructed with a mind to providing an efficient, light-infused workspace for up to 400 workers — “a beautiful, functional building that explicitly addresses the corner location, and one that is future-proofed so we can respond to our customers’ changing needs,” he says.
The six-level building will have four levels of office space and ground floor retail, opening out into open landscaped space, with art displays and cafe seating on the paved courtyard planned for the new public area.
The building, due for completion in early July 2013, features extensive use of low E double-glazed glass with high U-value and shading co-efficients, thermo mass insulated panels and a fresh air VRV heat recovery system that enables smart temperature control and allows energy to be transferred within the building.
Some of its other green features include a Building Management System, energy efficient lighting systems, recycling facilities and bicycle parking. It is expected the design of the building will lead to a reduction of energy usage of about 5% to10% annually — a cost saving to tenants that is expected to be significant over time.
Mr Donnelly says despite extensive pre-planning, he was still pleasantly surprised that the building achieved its four-star rating with a minimum of fuss, and believes that the rating will become an increasingly important tool as the property and construction industry moves to keep up with new codes and regulations around building green.
“We wanted certification because it provides certainty to the occupiers at Citygate, and they can take comfort that McConnell Property has delivered on what we said we would in terms of the building’s design and sensitivity to the location.
“As a result, I think Citygate will prove to be more flexible and adaptable to change, and more productive for these businesses.
“We are confident it was the right thing to do for our firm, the staff and people who will occupy the building and, ultimately, the people of Hamilton, who will have something striking, innovative and efficient for decades to come.”
Citygate is the fifth Green Star certified building in the Waikato, although it is the first in a CBD location.