Kāpiti Civic Building achieves ‘excellent’ energy rating

Kāpiti Coast District Council's refurbished Civic Building in Paraparaumu has been awarded 4.5 stars out of 6 for energy performance under NABERSNZ, the energy rating scheme for office buildings.

The score, covering the whole building's energy use, denotes 'excellent' energy efficiency. It is the second council building in New Zealand to obtain a NABERSNZ rating, after Auckland Council achieved 3.5 stars for one of its buildings last year.

Providing ratings from one to six stars, NABERSNZ is the industry standard for benchmarking and improving office building energy performance in New Zealand.

Kāpiti Mayor Ross Church said the Council had worked hard to improve its own efficiency and carbon emissions, demonstrated by its recent wins in the 2014 EECA Awards. The NABERSNZ rating was 'real world' proof that its civic building operated efficiently, he said.

"It confirms the effectiveness of Council's response to climate change, which is one of the most significant challenges facing New Zealand.

"We are committed to reducing our own impact as well as inspiring change and resilience, both in our local community and for other communities in New Zealand."

The two-level Civic Building in Rimu Road is home to the council chambers, customer services and operational staff. It was extensively rebuilt and refurbished in 2012 with an atrium for natural light, external shading on north windows and highly efficient air conditioning and ventilation. The building will eventually form part of a 'civic precinct' and town centre for Paraparaumu.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said NABERSNZ helped owners and tenants easily understand energy use information, providing a benchmark to compare and improve energy performance.

"Kāpiti Coast District Council is showing real leadership - both to business in the region, and to the local government sector. For public sector bodies, NABERSNZ is a way to help reduce energy waste and ensure public funds are being managed well.

"Energy savings of around 25% are achievable for most office buildings and tenancies. This scheme helps simplify the process - getting and improving a NABERSNZ rating is the best way to make these savings." 

New Zealand Green Building Council Chief Executive Alex Cutler said local government had a strong role to play as an advocate, as well as a client for NABERSNZ.

"Councils aren't huge owners of commercial property, but they can show strong local leadership and promote smart energy use - which is exactly what Kāpiti is doing.  NABERSNZ creates a market value for good energy management, reducing costs for tenants and improving capital value for building owners."

A NABERSNZ Rating covers one year of energy use data, taking into account equipment used, staff numbers and occupancy hours. A whole building rating such as that for the Kāpiti Civic Building examines energy used by occupants such as lighting and IT, as well as base building services like air conditioning.

Kāpiti Coast District Council's NABERSNZ rating was carried out by John Gallagher from Anax.