Two government agencies get ‘excellent’ energy performance rating

Two vastly different government sites have raised the bar for public sector energy performance through NABERSNZ™, the office building energy measurement and rating scheme.

The Ministry of Social Development's Community Link building in Ashburton and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority's (EECA) Wellington office have each been awarded an ‘excellent' 4.5 stars.

These ratings are the highest awarded so far under the scheme, which launched in June.

Ashburton's 757m² Community Link building is the first in the South Island to get a NABERSNZ Certified Rating.

EECA's rating covers its tenanted area - two floors at 44 the Terrace, which is owned by Kiwi Income Property Trust.

Providing ratings of 1 - 6 stars, NABERSNZ is set to become an industry standard for benchmarking and improving office building energy performance. Ratings are available for whole buildings, base buildings and tenancies.

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill says it is important that EECA show leadership.

"By getting a NABERSNZ Certified Rating, we're showing that we take our own advice on energy management. We're now talking with other businesses that occupy floors in our building to see if the things we've learnt in this process can help them.

"It's outstanding that the small MSD building in Ashburton has also achieved such a high rating. That's testament to their commitment to energy management and it shows that buildings don't necessarily need to be modern high rises to have excellent energy efficiency."

The 1980s single-storey Ashburton building has no automated systems, and relies on simple heat pumps for heating and cooling. The ‘excellent' NABERSNZ rating shows good staff practice in switching off.

MSD Associate Deputy Chief Executive Merv Dacre says the 4.5 star rating is a great result for the Ashburton office.

"With 9,100 staff and 196 office buildings across the country, energy is a significant cost for MSD. We are focussed on energy management, and clearly our Ashburton office has set the bar for the rest of the organisation.

"We'll be carrying out more NABERSNZ ratings and using them as a tool to improve. I'm sure Ashburton will inspire our teams in other centres."

The Government's Property Management Centre of Expertise, which is hosted by MSD, is actively encouraging public sector organisations to get NABERSNZ ratings.

New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler said public sector organisations were recognising the worth of NABERSNZ to demonstrate prudence and value for money.

"Smart design principles create a blueprint for energy efficient buildings, but how they're commissioned, maintained and used is crucial in day-to-day energy performance.

"NABERSNZ creates a market value for good energy management - reducing costs for tenants and improving capital value for building owners."

Businesses wanting to get a feel for where they might rate can start with the NABERSNZ self assessment tool. This is a free online resource that any organisation can use.

Stuart MacWilliam of Renewable Solutions Ltd, carried out the rating on the Ashburton Community Link Building. Anthony Bertrand of Smart Power undertook the EECA Tenancy rating. Both are NABERSNZ Trainee Assessors.