Mum, Dad, SME & corporate intuitions, are all playing a part in our changing social, environmental and building development dynamic New Zealand is embracing. Green Building; and we have been for some time now.
And why not? When just 3% of the world’s landmass (Popularly known as the built environment), is responsible for consuming 40% of the worlds energy ,and emitting 30% of the worlds carbon footprint!
Reason enough for us Kiwis. Due to our values we place on wellbeing and the physical natural environment (AKA paradise) we are guardians of.
As the statistics and evidence indicate, New Zealand has adopted this concept of evaluating performance value from materials and structures as though it were natural; and it should be.
In our fast-paced world, it is proving imperative to be consciously aware of how we participate in the marketplace and contribute to our urban development; being part of the solution, not the problem.
Healthy structures essentially provide a healthier life for everybody, the occupants and the regions they reside, and that is not a stretch of the imagination. The immediate and flow on effects from a green building are significant. Advanced air quality, healthier lighting, acoustics and spaces can be felt and appreciated as soon as one enters a Green Star rated building. Diligently assessed by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), the sixth of over 100 international members.
As the globe, and New Zealand anticipate the population to reach 9.7 Billion by 2050 there is an expected 70%, or 6.79 Billion people to be living in Cities. A great head start for Auckland, our most populated region, already with 50+ Greenstar buildings in the CBD alone.
New Zealand Green Building Council has come a long way since 2005. Now able to assess and rate all buildings in New Zealand, from big & new construction to residential retrofit outs. With an abundance of online, easy to access tools and information, getting an understanding on what one needs to achieve a 4 Star, Best Practice grade through to a 6 Star World Leadership rating has never been easier, the same with securing recycled natural materials for long term quality and character for any project.
A Baileys Realty Group (office) occupier survey summarised the future of Green Star rating as:
“A majority of respondents felt a buildings Green Star rating would be moderately to very important at their next move. By comparison most overwhelmingly felt retro-fitting older buildings to improve energy efficiency was a good idea (even though most did not link these improvements to potential opex savings). Opinions varied regarding the benefits of occupying a green building, the most supported views included the ability to attract and retain better calibre staff, a reduction in staff downtime and also better engagement between staff members.”
Leading by example and taking the initiative in Taranaki, Oakura, where 15 000 native plants, 100+ students and a completion date of mid 2020 will see New Zealand’s first ever Green School built. Designed by BOON Team Architects; and the first of many more to come we all hope.
A very solid indicator when national realty groups, developers and businesses can see the positive humanitarian effect of healthier living through improved, greener buildings. Not a flash-in-the-pan bandwagon to jump on, but a realisation that the future is now, and investing in people through sustainable actions is the most productive way forward for New Zealanders, and the world.
So see what can be done, with World Green Building Week 2019 starting on the 23rd of September, get involved and see what can be learnt. Courses, speakers and films are all but a few of the engaging activities happening throughout the country.