Christchurch building first to earn 5.5 energy star

6:39 PM Wednesday July 11, 2018 True Commercial

The energy-efficient, award-winning building at 14 Show Place, Addington, Christchurch. Photo / Supplied

A landmark Christchurch office facility in MHP’s commercial property management portfolio has become the first building in New Zealand to earn a 5.5 star whole building NABERSNZ rating for energy efficiency.

The acronym stands for National Australian-Built Environment Rating NZ.  

The rating, awarded this month, recognises the market-leading energy efficiency of the office complex at 14 Show Place, Addington, Christchurch, which is made up of two interlinked three-level buildings.

The 7044sq m facility, constructed in 2006, is owned by a group of investors represented by Mitchell Mackersy Lawyers and occupied by IAG, which has over 700 staff based there.

MHP managing director Dale Robertson says the new NABERSNZ rating is the result of the combined input of various parties involved with the building, including MHP as property managers, tenant IAG, as well as the refurbishment undertaken by IAG and previous owner Henshaw Goodman Limited.

“This nationwide first 5.5 star whole building rating is well-deserved recognition of the efforts of the building’s present and past owners, tenant and everyone involved in its management and maintenance in the area of energy efficiency,” Robertson says.

Kirita Sio, MHP property management team leader and Sonia Adams-Richardson, MHP property and facilities manager, oversee the management of the building on behalf of its landlord, MM Group 1 Ltd, which purchased it in July 2016.

“For a building of its age to perform at this level, and achieve a higher NABERSNZ rating than newer, state-of-the-art office developments constructed in the past few years in New Zealand, is a tremendous achievement,” says Sio.

The building’s high energy performance is likely to result in positive outcomes for its owners as well as its tenants, she says.

“Buildings displaying this level of energy performance must embrace leading-edge building management technology to deliver a comfortable working environment for staff, while at the same time reducing energy wastage.

“It’s testament to the joint efforts of MHP, IAG and the landlord into improving energy efficiency that this rating has been achieved. The result is a highly energy-efficient environment that staff are happy to work in – which helps contribute to stable, long-term tenancies.”

NABERSNZ is a system for rating the energy efficiency of office buildings. It is an independent tool, backed by the New Zealand government. NABERSNZ ratings assign a star, from 0 to 6, to rank the energy performance of office buildings.

Buildings are rated on the energy efficiency of either the base build (core services such as lifts, air conditioning and ventilation); tenancy (energy use in tenant-occupied areas) or whole building (a combination of base build and tenancy).

In contrast to the New Zealand Green Building Council’s Green Star ratings, which are used during design and construction to assess all the environmental aspects of buildings, NABERSNZ looks solely at energy performance, and is used once buildings are occupied and operating for a year or more.

The 5.5 star whole building rating is the second NABERSNZ nationwide first for 14 Show Place. In 2016, the building became the first in New Zealand to achieve a five star NABERSNZ whole building rating, following a comprehensive energy efficiency-focused refurbishment project undertaken by IAG and Goodman, the property’s previous owner.

A cornerstone part of this refurbishment was the installation of a BMS (building management system) by Honeywell to monitor the building’s energy efficiency and manage its energy use.

Sarah Ryan, property manager at IAG, says positive collaboration between landlord and tenant was the principal driving force behind the achievement of the 5.5 star rating.

“A key part of ensuring the building’s sustainability into the future was including NABERSNZ in the lease agreement. This made sure that the impetus was on both tenant and landlord to continue making improvements to the building’s energy efficiency,” Ryan says.

“Continually making small changes to the operation of the building over the past two years, in partnership with our landlord, has resulted in the rating increasing to 5.5 stars and we are very proud of this achievement.”

Ryan says it made “enormous sense” for IAG to adopt the NABERSNZ whole building rating tool, which provided the impetus for adopting best practice energy initiatives and to track performance.

Since the five star rating was awarded in 2016, energy usage at 14 Show Place has decreased by over 40 per cent, while the building’s occupancy has increased by 40 per cent.

Andrew Eagles, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council, congratulated MHP, IAG and the property’s owners on achieving the rating.

“This great energy efficiency rating shows that this Addington building is one of the best performing in the whole of New Zealand. Proving the energy efficiency of our buildings using NABERSNZ makes sense commercially, financially and environmentally, so it’s really good news for Aotearoa that more and more businesses are choosing to use this straightforward authentication tool.”

The two buildings at 14 Show Place are linked by a double-storied air bridge. The facility is located in the Show Place Office Park and is the South Island headquarters for insurance provider IAG, which has occupied the property since construction was completed.

The facility’s key energy-efficiency features include:

  • VRV air conditioning system with full heat recovery and a return air system;
  • high tech CO2 sensors for fresh air and temperature sensors;
  • switchless LED lighting with zoned occupancy sensors;
  • daylight harvesting;
  • highly efficient heat pump hot water system;
  • sophisticated BMS with real-time monitoring; and
  • visual display units on each floor tracking energy efficiency with benchmarking to encourage savings by occupants.