Top environment rating for new school
Shotover Primary School could be the first in the region to achieve a 5 Green Star rating under Ministry of Education guidelines.
Ministry head of education infrastructure services Kim Shannon said the ministry worked to the New Zealand Green Building Council’s Green Star standard, and provided an additional 10 per cent of the construction cost of new schools to ensure they met the standard.
There were 14 schools in New Zealand which were Green Star rated at 5 Star (ranked as ‘‘New Zealand Excellence’’), and one kohanga reo (Te Mirumiru in Kawakawa) which holds a 6 Star rating of ‘‘World Leading’’.
Plans for Shotover Primary School, which is due to open next year in the Shotover Country subdivision, near Queenstown, included high levels of insulation, large roof eaves and under floor heating to create an energy efficient and comfortable space.
Timber would be sourced from sustainable forests, with other materials chosen for their environmental credentials. It would also incorporate rainwater harvesting and drought-tolerant plants to reduce water consumption.
‘‘We expect the amount of waste generated on site to be reduced by 70 per cent with the implementation of an environmental management plan to minimise the impact of construction activities on local ecology,’’ Shannon said.
‘‘These environmental initiatives will be incorporated into the school’s curriculum, with students able to track energy and water consumption over time.’’
Pegasus Bay School in Christchurch, which opened to students last week, is New Zealand’s first ‘‘net zero energy school’’, which means it was designed to make as much energy as it uses.
Its use of solar panels means it will be almost entirely selfsufficient in energy use, which will save more than $15,000 a year in energy bills.
‘‘We expect this school will be a model for other school construction projects,’’ he said.
The ministry recognised the importance of energy efficiency across the school network by providing a heat, light and water funding grant (HLW) for schools.
HLWwas fixed in 2010 at a level based on an average of each school’s last three years’ use, and schools who keep their energy bills below this level can keep any savings they make. This might be through choosing to install solar panels at the school.
Eco awareness: An architect’s impressions of the new Shotover Primary School.
Concrete achievements: Nudura chief executive Murray Snider and New Zealand general manager Chevy Chisholm, in Queenstown recently.