Te Puni Kōkiri house wins EECA award, with 4.5 NABERSNZ rating

A $7.9m improvement in value, and a 30% reduction in energy use, recently saw a historic Wellington office landmark take out a major prize in the country’s largest energy awards scheme.

With its 4.5 NABERSNZ energy efficiency rating, Te Puni Kōkiri House’s win at the prestigious EECA Awards on May 18th demonstrates that even New Zealand’s oldest heritage buildings can get a new lease of life and be transformed into high performing green buildings, when comprehensive energy efficiency ratings are used. The property already has a 5 Green Star Built rating, so the recent upgrade to a 4.5 NABERSNZ energy rating puts it in a unique position in the commercial property landscape.

Te Puni Kōkiri House at 143 Lambton Quay in Wellington was the overall winner of the Opus International Consultants Public Sector award, and it also received a highly commended in the Smart Energy Solutions Small to Medium Energy User category.

With partner Argosy Property, Te Puni Kōkiri House underwent a major internal retrofit, which resulted in a 30% reduction in energy use. The transformation also saw TPK achieve a 4.5 NABERSNZ rating, which is one of the best ratings for a heritage building in New Zealand.

Highlights of Te Puni Kōkiri House’s retrofit:

  • The value of the building, owned by Argosy Property Ltd, has improved by $7.9 million
  • $80,000 worth of energy savings now goes back into the public purse each year as all eleven floors are occupied by Te Puni Kōkiri (The Ministry of Māori Affairs)
  • Energy audits before and after refurbishment showed energy use had reduced from 205 kilowatt-hours of energy per square metre annually to 138 kilowatt-hours - an improvement of more than 30%
  • Te Puni Kōkiri House was the first building in New Zealand to use electro-commutated fan coil units, which improve control of air conditioning
  • 90% of construction waste was re-used or recycled, and water use has been reduced by 29%.

NABERSNZ ratings are fast-becoming the industry barometer for commercial office buildings to measure and improve their energy efficiency. Landlords are getting NABERSNZ ratings to improve their building values and attract high quality tenants, and tenants are seeking out more efficient, attractive, and cost-effective premises to occupy.

Demonstrating the growing influence of innovative and effective sustainability measures in the commercial property sector, several NZ Green Building Council members were also finalists in the EECA Awards, with Laminex NZ receiving a commended in the University of Waikato Innovation category and the Trustpower Renewable Energy category, Christchurch City Council commended in the Opus Public Sector award, and Victoria University’s Victoria Energy initiative receiving a highly commended in the Fujitsu General NZ Community award.

NZGBC member, Panuku Development Auckland, saw its Sustainability Manager, Viv Heslop, win the Vector Energy Leadership Award.