Green Star building scheme reaches its first century

LIZ MCDONALD
Last updated 13:08 05/03/2014
Forte Health
Kirk Hargreaves/Fairfax NZ

JUST OPENED: Forte Health's complex is the country's first Green Star-rated medical building.

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New Zealand's first commercial earth-bank building, Christchurch's new private hospital and the Bay of Plenty's first eco-rated office building have jointly become the country's 100th Green Star buildings.

The Green Star rating system was established in 2007 to improve the quality and sustainability of buildings.

The $55 million Christchurch hospital building belongs to Forte Health, and has just opened in Kilmore St in the central city with a green star rating of four. It is New Zealand's first Green Star medical centre and one of only three Green Star health buildings in Australasia.

In Tauranga, the Sharp Tudhope office building also has four stars, with an extra innovation point for an energy- saving air conditioning system which recovers energy from the building's extracts.

The first commercial earth- bank building is Te Mirumiru, a childcare centre in Kawakawa, Northland. It is owned by the Ngati Hine Health Trust and is the first 6 Green Star education building in New Zealand.

With a curved concrete structure, the building is covered by earth and grass on its roof and unglazed sides. The design is intended to integrate it into the landscape and reflect Ngati Hine's customs and history.

Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler said Green Star buildings on average use 66 per cent less electricity and 50 per cent less water than conventional counterparts.

There is now 687,300 square metres of Green Star space in New Zealand.

"The appetite for green buildings is growing," Cutler said.

"These three projects show the diversity of sustainable building - it's not just premium commercial space in our bigger cities.

"Increasingly the industry is realising that to maximise value and performance, our buildings need to be designed and built with people, and the environment, in mind."

A further 20 Green Star projects are expected to be certified during 2014.

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