Auckland’s NZI Centre has been awarded a 5-star “market leading” base building Certified Rating for energy use under NABERSNZ, the office building energy rating scheme.
Providing ratings from one to six stars, NABERSNZ, which is based on the National Australian Built Environment Rating System, is becoming the industry standard for benchmarking and improving office building energy performance.
The scheme was launched earlier this year, and this is the fifth Certified Rating to be released.
The prominent five-storey NZI Centre on Fanshawe Street was built in 2008, and achieved a 5 Green Star rating at the time of construction for fit-out and design, making it one of Auckland’s most sustainably-designed buildings.
Jacki Johnson, chief executive of tenant IAG, says the NABERSNZ result demonstrated that the building was performing in practice as well as in theory.
“The building has a great feeling. It’s pleasant to spend time in, and our staff enjoy it. So we thought it was probably performing well. Now, NABERSNZ proves it is,” Ms Johnson says.
“The value of the NABERSNZ rating is that it’s independent verification that our building uses energy efficiently.
“While it’s good to get this result, we won’t rest on our laurels, but will continue to work on being resource efficient — which is in line with our corporate ethos of operating sustainably.”
The NZI Centre’s sustainability features include a distinctive double skin facade along most of its perimeter, with automatically controlled blinds to moderate glare and sunlight. It also has exposed concrete ceilings to help moderate temperature.
New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler says while smart design creates a blueprint for efficient buildings, how they’re commissioned, maintained and used is crucial in day-to-day performance.
“The NZI Centre was designed with many sustainability features, so it has a head-start. But the key reason it has achieved such a high NABERSNZ score is that there’s a very active building management team who constantly target energy use to ensure the site is comfortable and running efficiently. It’s a great role model for other buildings,” Ms Cutler says.
EECA chief executive Mike Underhill congratulated IAG and the building management team. Few New Zealand buildings are likely to reach 5 stars in their first Certified Rating, but NABERSNZ is a powerful tool to drive improvement, he says.
“We expect most New Zealand office buildings will sit around the 2.5 to 3-star mark for energy use, but there’s immense potential. Energy savings of up to 25% are achievable for most office buildings and tenancies,” Mr Underhill says.
“This scheme helps simplify the process. Getting and improving a NABERSNZ rating is a very good way to find these savings, and to start benefiting from lower energy costs.”
The NZI Centre base building rating was carried out by NABERSNZ accredited assessor Patrick Arnold from eCubed Building Workshop.
The National Australian Built Environment Rating System that NABERSNZ is based on, is a scheme that has rated building energy performance for more than a decade.
The scheme is licensed to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and is administered by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). The Energy Management Association of New Zealand (EMANZ) adapted it for New Zealand conditions.
NABERSNZ has two commercial sponsors — the DNZ Property Fund and Precinct Properties. The New Zealand commercial sector uses around $800 million worth of electricity each year. Annual energy savings are worth around $200 million to businesses and the wider economy.
For more information visit www.nabersnz.govt.nz.