Super-efficient buildings lauded in EECA Awards
Two vastly different buildings, in Wellington and Northland, have won trophies for exceptional energy performance at the 2014 EECA Awards.
The Ngāti Hine Health Trust was named joint winner of the Innovation Award for its highly energy efficient Te Mirumiru childcare centre in Kawakawa - the first commercial earth bank building in New Zealand.
DNZ Property Fund won the Energy Management award for its finely-tuned Meridian Building on Wellington's waterfront.
EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill said the Te Mirumiru centre and the Meridian building were exemplars of energy efficient design, construction and management - and both brought benefits to their owners and occupants beyond just energy savings.
"The Te Mirumiru earth bank building is technically advanced, using passive design to reduce energy use by two-thirds. It provides real cost savings for its iwi owners, as well as health and education benefits. It's an asset that will deliver long-term value to the community.
"The Meridian Building was designed with many energy-efficient features, but importantly, it's being managed to optimise efficiency on an ongoing basis - delivering benefits in terms of cost and comfort to both its owners and tenants.
"Both are worthy winners - and I'm sure will inspire others."
The Te Mirumiru centre, designed by CASA architects, is integrated fully into the landscape with complete green roof and earth banks - the first of its type in New Zealand. Around 67% more energy efficient than a standard building, it uses passive heating and cooling to reduce energy use. It includes solar energy for water and under-floor heating, and is fully glazed on one side for maximum daylight and passive solar heat. It's the first education building in New Zealand to attain 6 Green Star - the highest rating possible, denoting ‘world excellence' in sustainable architecture.
Award judges said the building was "technically excellent and genuinely cutting-edge - the first time passive annual heat storage has been used in New Zealand." They commented that the impact of energy savings would provide ongoing community and inter-generational benefits. The project was also Highly Commended for the Community Award.
The Meridian Building, owned by DNZ Property Fund, last year received 5.5 out of 6 stars in one of the first NABERSNZ energy ratings. This verified its energy use at only 28% of the average for commercial buildings - achieved through continuous monitoring and fine-tuning of its many climate-responsive systems. The high-profile building is also a potent example of the business case for efficient design, with electricity savings alone compared to an ordinary build calculated at $15 - $18 per m2 per year - or an opportunity benefit worth $67,000 a year.
The judges praised DNZ's long term commitment to the asset, saying it showed "a great partnership" between the landlord and tenant Meridian Energy. It was also Highly Commended in the Large Business Award.
The 2014 EECA Supreme Award went to K&L Nurseries, winner of the Small to Medium Business award, for a bioenergy installation that is the first of its type in New Zealand.
Several other outstanding building projects were recognised in the Awards. ASB was Commended for energy management at its new North Wharf headquarters, which is using half the energy of its former premises. Energy management specialists ECOsystems were Highly Commended for two projects - one that reduced energy use in an Auckland office building by 40% and another that halved the Dowse Art Museum's energy use.
Little Greenie Building Education was Commended in the Community award for its work with Weltec and others to promote energy efficient home construction; while another residential energy efficiency advocate, Bob Burnett Architecture, was Commended for Energy Leadership.
The EECA Awards, held every two years, celebrate organisations and individuals that demonstrate excellence in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Collectively, 2014 Awards entrants have saved or generated energy worth around $100 million over the life of the projects, and have reduced or avoided 200,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
The EECA Awards are presented in partnership with Principal Sponsors Fujitsu General NZ, Opus International Consultants and Vector.