Top en­vi­ron­ment rat­ing for new school

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By DEB­BIE JAMIESON

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.

Photo: DEB­BIE JAMIESON

Con­crete achieve­ments: Nudura chief ex­ec­u­tive Mur­ray Snider and New Zealand gen­eral man­ager Chevy Chisholm, in Queen­stown re­cently.

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