The green stars

The work­ers in Green Star-rated build­ings are the envy of the rest of us of­fice work­ers. We know they’re fancy and new, but what does the rat­ing re­ally mean?

Element - - Special Report -

Green Star is a com­pre­hen­sive, national, vol­un­tary en­vi­ron­men­tal rat­ing scheme. This scheme evaluates the en­vi­ron­men­tal at­tributes and per­for­mance of New Zealand’s build­ings us­ing a suite of rat­ing tool kits de­vel­oped to be ap­pli­ca­ble to each build­ing type and func­tion.

It is ad­min­is­tered by The New Zealand Green Build­ing Coun­cil (NZGBC), which is com­mit­ted to set­ting stan­dards of best prac­tice and lead­er­ship through the de­vel­op­ment of green build­ing rat­ing tools, so the prop­erty in­dus­try can ap­ply to have their projects rated ac­cord­ing to their build­ing type.

Green Star ad­dresses the needs of spe­cific build­ing types, such as of­fice build­ings, in­dus­trial build­ings and ed­u­ca­tion build­ings, in the de­sign phase, and fol­low­ing con­struc­tion, in the built phase. Cur­rently more than 50 per cent of new and ma­jor re­fur­bished of­fice build­ings are un­der­tak­ing Green Star cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. This is mainly driven by ten­ant de­mand. With both de­sign and built tools avail­able for these build­ing types, the NZGBC is next fo­cus­ing on the de­vel­op­ment of a per­for­mance tool that will rate a build­ing on the ba­sis of its mea­sured oper­a­tional im­pacts on the environment.

Green Star as­sesses the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pacts that are a di­rect con­se­quence of a build­ing’s site se­lec­tion, de­sign, con­struc­tion and main­te­nance. The Green Star frame­work has eight sep­a­rate en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact cat­e­gories plus an in­no­va­tion cat­e­gory; man­age­ment; in­door environment qual­ity; en­ergy; trans­port; water; ma­te­ri­als; land use and ecol­ogy; emis­sions; and in­no­va­tion.

The in­no­va­tion cat­e­gory is in­cluded within the Green Star rat­ing tools as a way of en­cour­ag­ing, recog­nis­ing and re­ward­ing the spread of in­no­va­tive tech­nolo­gies, de­signs and pro­cesses for build­ing ap­pli­ca­tions that ex­ceed Green Star re­quire­ments.

Cred­its are awarded within each of the cat­e­gories based on the build­ing’s en­vi­ron­men­tal mer­its in a range of ar­eas and they take into con­sid­er­a­tion the unique de­vel­op­ment re­quire­ments and im­pacts of each sec­tor. Points are then weighted and an over­all score is cal­cu­lated, de­ter­min­ing the project’s Green Star rat­ing.

New Zealand Best Prac­tice is fo­cused on mak­ing smarter de­ci­sions re­gard­ing ba­sic con­struc­tion prac­tices and should be achiev­able at no ex­tra con­struc­tion cost. New Zealand Ex­cel­lence builds on these prac­tices while in­clud­ing green prin­ci­ples and tech­nol­ogy such as pas­sive ven­ti­la­tion. World Lead­er­ship en­com­passes a prin­ci­pled green ap­proach to the whole project from start to fin­ish, along with in­clud­ing cut­ting-edge green tech­nol­ogy such as on site power gen­er­a­tion.

A Green Star cer­ti­fi­ca­tion re­flects the com­mit­ment and lead­er­ship of the build­ing owner to green build­ing prac­tices and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance.

The NZGBC com­mis­sions at least two third-party as­ses­sors to check and val­i­date a project’s sub­mis­sion and rec­om­mend a Green Star cer­ti­fied rat­ing.

NZGBC then pro­duces a fi­nal Green Star rat­ing that appropriately recog­nises the achieve­ments of the build­ing.

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