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Energy efficient buildings

The New Zealand Government is committed to making government office buildings energy efficient.

Energy efficient government office buildings

Government office buildings are based within the commercial sector therefore we can deliver benefits associated with emissions reduction.

The improved energy performance of government office buildings can also directly, and indirectly, contribute to several strategic priorities:

  • The New Zealand Energy Strategy 2011-2021 has an environmental responsibility priority that includes a focus on reduced energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2017-2022 includes an action to increase the number of government owned or leased buildings that get regular NABERSNZ ratings.
  • The Government has set a target for 100% of electricity to be renewable by 2035.

Carbon Neutral Government programme - Ministry for the Environment Manatū Mō Te Taiao

Building for climate change programme - Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Hīkina Whakatutuki

The Government Property Group has collaborated with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to develop these standards and guidelines.

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

What is NABERSNZ?

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), is an initiative launched by the Australian government in 1999 to measure and compare the environmental energy and carbon performance of commercial buildings and tenancies. Since 2010, Australian building owners must disclose a NABERS Energy rating for their premises at the point of sale and lease.

Due to the programme’s success in driving improved environmental efficiencies and the expansion into new markets, EECA introduced NABERSNZ as a voluntary tool to rate the energy performance of New Zealand offices in 2013.

NABERSNZ ratings for office buildings

A NABERSNZ rating assesses the energy use consumed by the office building and its tenants.

There are three types of energy ratings:

  1. Tenancy: the energy performance of the floors and areas occupied mainly by the tenant, including computers, lighting, server rooms, and staff kitchens.
  2. Base building: this rating has the biggest impact on improving a building's energy performance and measures the energy performance of a building's core services – lifts, stairwell lighting, common toilets, air conditioning, and ventilation.
  3. Whole building: measures both base building and tenancy ratings.

Tenancy energy use accounts for around 42% of total energy use in the building. However, improvements to a building’s NABERSNZ rating can be achieved with collaboration between the tenant and landlord to minimise wastage, like after-hours air conditioning use.

Electric vehicles energy use is excluded from a NABERSNZ rating provided that a compliant electricity meter is being used, as the energy consumed by the vehicle is outside the building envelope.

NABERSNZ

New Zealand Green Building Council

How to get a NABERSNZ assessment

Agencies and landlords must follow the NABERSNZ process to assess their buildings and/or offices.

How to get a rating - NABERSNZ

How to improve the energy efficiency of buildings

There are several key areas where we can improve the energy efficiency of buildings:

  • Buildings with current good practice façade and service technology perform better.
  • Buildings where facilities management is at least partially in-sourced perform better.
  • Buildings where asset, building or portfolio managers feel able to affect efficiency, perform better.
  • Buildings that disclose their NABERS performance to tenants perform better.
  • Buildings where the facility manager reports a higher level of energy efficiency knowledge, perform better.

The benefits of obtaining a NABERSNZ rating for an office building include:

  • identifying ways to lower yearly operating costs
  • identifying cost savings across a property portfolio
  • measuring the impact of sustainability initiatives
  • making the office building more desirable to tenants
  • meeting environmentally responsible reporting criteria
  • creating a better work environment for employees
  • meeting tenant and community expectations.

Low-energy high-rise report – The Warren Centre - Better Buildings Partnership Australia

Changes to how government office buildings are assessed

From 1 January 2021, these standards are compulsory for all mandated agencies who occupy single-tenant, co-tenanted, or co-located government office accommodation. Non-mandated agencies are encouraged to follow these standards.

Read more about mandated agencies for government property.

Mandated agencies - government property

Minimum standards for agencies

Existing buildings

Agencies entering a new lease, or renewing an existing lease should target a rating above 5 stars, and achieve a minimum of 4 stars.

Agencies that own/lease office accommodation at or above 2,000m² will need to get an NABERSNZ by December 2025.

New buildings

Agencies planning a new build project need to achieve a minimum of 5 stars.

Co-assess ratings

Co-assess is a process that enables tenancy ratings to be conducted as part of a whole building or base building rating. For example, a collection of tenancy assessments undertaken for multiple agencies in a co-tenancy building. The method is designed to help building managers, building owners, and tenants to better understand their energy use and work together to improve the performance of their building and tenancies, while reducing assessment costs.

Frequency of ratings

Assessments are valid for 12 months. If the target rating has been met, a re-rating is required every three years. If the target rating has not been met, an agency must implement a work programme within 12 months to achieve the target rating and re-rate the building annually until the minimum star rating is achieved.

Assessment costs

Generally, for a Tenancy assessment, this would be paid for by the agency. We would expect a Base Building assessment will be paid for by the landlord, and this may be incorporated into negotiations between the tenant and the landlord.

Assessment costs - NABERSNZ

Disclosure of ratings

Disclosure of ratings is a big part of the NABERSNZ assessment. The rating must be disclosed and agencies can ask for it. If a building is not rated, it must go through the assessment process. Following an assessment, agencies must upload ratings onto the Government Property Portal (GPP). This rating will be publicly available on the NABERSNZ website.

Implementing NABERSNZ

Which type of assessment do we carry out?

New Zealand government office accommodation is wide ranging in its size and leased through a variety of agreements resulting in single tenancy, co-tenancy and co-location tenancies. A base building assessment is required when single or aggregated. Refer to the following table to determine which type of assessment you need to carry out:

A base building assessment is required when single or aggregated Government leases in a building are ≥2,000m2, and Government leases are 25% or greater of the total building NLA. A tenancy assessment is also required for any individual tenancies where the lease is ≥ 5,000m2, or aggregated Government leases in a building are ≥ 5,000m2.

Assessment type Single tenancy Co-tenancy Co-location Lead
Tenancy NLA ≥ 5,000m² (Y / N)

If yes, do a tenancy assessment.

Single or combined agencies NLA ≥ 5,000m² (Y / N)

If yes, do a tenancy assessment.

Single or combined agencies NLA ≥ 5,000m² (Y / N)

If yes, do a tenancy assessment.

Tenant
Base building NLA ≥ 2,000m², and occupation between 25-100% of the building’s total NLA (Y / N)

If yes, do a base building assessment.

Combined NLA ≥ 2,000m², and agencies NLA between 25-100% of the building’s total NLA (Y / N)

If yes, agency with largest NLA arranges a base building assessment.

Combined NLA ≥ 2,000m², and agencies NLA between 25 -100% of the building’s total NLA (Y / N)

If yes, the lead agency arranges a base building assessment.

Landlord
Whole building If your agency falls within the base building criteria, but the utility metering cannot be measured separately, carry out a whole building assessment. If your agency falls within the base building criteria, but the utility metering cannot be measured separately, carry out a whole building assessment. If your agency falls within the base building criteria, but the utility metering cannot be measured separately, carry out a whole building assessment. Tenant and landlord

In a building solely occupied by government agency(s) a whole building assessment is acceptable. Please let the Government Property Group team know that you are adopting this approach before commencing the NABERSNZ assessment.

In all other situations, agencies can achieve greater benefits if they carry out separate base building and tenancy assessments, rather than completing a whole building assessment. A whole building assessment can skew either the base building or tenancy assessment results where space is not occupied by Government agencies; examples include crèches, retail or commercial premises. In these multi-tenanted buildings common areas are allocated on a pro-rata basis to more than one tenant. Separate assessments provide agencies with better control over making improvements and this approach also provides a more accurate reflection of energy usage.

A whole building rating includes both a base build rating and also tenancy rating(s). In assessing a tenancy rating it measures items under an agencies direct control, which encompasses the areas occupied exclusively by the tenant, including energy use such as computers, lighting, data centres, and staff kitchens.

A base build rating measures the energy performance of a building’s core services which an agency will have little or no control over such as lifts, stairwell lighting, common toilets, air conditioning and ventilation.

Agencies that do not fall into the above criteria are still encouraged to gain a relevant NABERSNZ rating or do a self-assessment to realise the benefits of energy efficient buildings.

Self-assessment tool - NABERSNZ

Examples

Single tenancy

Agency 1 is over 5,000m² (tenancy) and 2,000m² (base building) and also occupies over 25% of the building’s NLA.

Requirement: Tenant rating assessment and base building assessment unless utility meters cannot be measured separately, then do a whole building rating.

 

 

A representation of one agency (Agency 1) occupying 100% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

A representation of one agency (Agency 1) occupying 100% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

Agency 1 is under 5,000m² (tenancy) and over 2,000m² (base building) and also occupies over 25% of the building’s NLA.

Requirement: Base building assessment unless utility meters cannot be measured separately, then do a whole building assessment.

A representation of one agency (Agency 1) occupying 45% of the Net Leased Area (NLA) and a non-agency occupying 55% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

A representation of one agency (Agency 1) occupying 45% of the Net Leased Area (NLA) and a non-agency occupying 55% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

Agency 1 is under 5,000m² (tenancy) and under 2,000m² (base building) and also occupies less than 25% of the building’s NLA.

Requirement: No requirement to do an assessment. However, Agency 1 may want to do one by choice.

A representation of one agency (Agency 1) occupying 19% of the Net Leased Area (NLA) and a non-agency occupying 81% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

A representation of one agency (Agency 1) occupying 19% of the Net Leased Area (NLA) and a non-agency occupying 81% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

Co-tenancy and co-locations

The combined agency NLA total is over 5,000m² (tenancy) and 2,000m² (base building) and also occupies over 25% of the building’s NLA.

Requirement: Agency 1, being the lead agency completes a tenancy rating, agencies 2 and 3 may carry out tenancy ratings by choice. Base building assessment to be completed by landlord unless utility meters cannot be measures separately, then a whole building assessment.

A representation of three different agency (Agency 1, Agency 2 and Agency 3) occupying 100% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

A representation of three different agencies (Agency 1, Agency 2 and Agency 3) occupying 100% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

The combined agency NLA total is under 5,000m² (tenancy) and over 2,000m² (base building) and also occupies over 25% of the building’s NLA.

Requirement: Base building assessment unless utility meters cannot be measured separately, then do a whole building assessment.

A representation of two different agency (Agency 1 and Agency 2) occupying 100% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

A representation of two different agencies (Agency 1 and Agency 2) occupying 100% of the Net Leased Area (NLA).

The combined agency NLA total is under 5,000m² (tenancy) over 2,000m² (base building) but occupies less than 25% of the building’s NLA.

Requirement: No requirement to do an assessment. However, the agencies may want to do one by choice.

A representation of two different agency (Agency 1 and Agency 2) occupying 21% of the Net Leased Area (NLA) and a non-agency occupying 79% of the Net Leased Asset (NLA).

A representation of two different agencies (Agency 1 and Agency 2) occupying 21% of the Net Leased Area (NLA) and a non-agency occupying 79% of the Net Leased Asset (NLA).

Case studies

Te Puni Kokiri

Te Puni Kokiri House wins EECA Award, with 4.5 NABERSNZ rating - NABERSNZ

15 Stout Street

Rejuvenated iconic government building an outstanding energy benchmark - NABERSNZ

Aurora Centre

A complete redevelopment for two late 1960s’ buildings - NABERSNZ

Zurich House

NABERSNZ has not only honed the energy performance of Zurich House in Auckland’s waterfront precinct but shown its stakeholders exactly how its green technology ticks.

Zurich House - NABERSNZ

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