Council walks the talk with an energy-astute building

Kapiti Coast District Council Civic Building

A former 1970s rabbit warren has been transformed into an energy-smart, sustainable civic centre with a superb 4.5 star NABERSNZ rating to match.

Kapiti Coast District Council Civic Building case study [pdf 1.5 MB]


Creating a stylish gateway to the district’s municipal precinct, the double-storeyed Kāpiti Coast District Council Civic Building in Paraparaumu embodies the Council’s energy efficient values.

Prior to 2012 the Council headquarters, originally a bank, lacked public amenities and faced a growing raft of performance problems including maintenance, flooding and seismic issues.

Four years ago, fuelled by its proactive approach to energy efficiency, the Council embarked on an $8 million upgrade of the property with sustainable building practice and energy incisive future-proofing at the core of the project.

Key sustainable features:

During the 2012 refurbishment a third of the existing building was demolished, the remainder was stripped out and an attractive double-storeyed extension added – the combined footprint of old and new is 2300 square metres.

All roofing material and aluminium window frames from the original structure were recycled along with 95 percent of its structural steel and 90 percent of cabling.

Today sustainable features at the Kāpiti Coast District Council Civic Building include:

  • Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) air conditioning system and heat recovery system.
  • Occupancy sensors to operate lights in meeting rooms.
  • Atrium for natural light.
  • Low flow water fittings.
  • Double glazed northern windows with laminated cedar fins to create shade and reduce solar glare.  
  • Recycling facilities in kitchens to feed the Council worm farms.
  • Shower, changing rooms, lockers and bike parks for staff.

Company Profiles

The Owner

The Kāpiti Coast District Council administers an area 50 kilometres north of Wellington comprising around 52,000 residents. It employs 300 staff. The Council’s engagement with its local population is underpinned by its vision of building a resilient community. It is committed to sustainability and environmental management and strives for energy efficiency across its services. It is the first council in New Zealand to gain CEMARS certification (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) for managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is part of the carboNZero programme. The Council manages its Kāpiti Coast District Council Civic Building in-house.

Big Numbers

  • 2014 – achieves a 4.5 star NABERSNZ whole building rating
  • 2015 – achieves a 4.5 star NABERSNZ whole building rating
  • 2016 – achieves a 4.5 star NABERSNZ whole building rating
  • It’s energy use is now 128 kWh/year/m2 compared with 184kWh/year/m2 in 2012 – prior to refurbishment.