The Asteron Centre in central Wellington has earned a 5.5-star base building energy rating from NabersNZ, out of a maximum 6 stars.
The New Zealand head office of Suncorp Group insurance subsidiary Asteron Life Ltd is only the second building to achieve that energy rating since it was introduced in June 2013. The first, the Meridian building on Queen’s Wharf in Wellington, was also the first 5 green star commercial office building to be occupied in New Zealand.
The 4-storey 5000m² Meridian building uses 34kWh of energy/m²/year. Over a period of 2 years, the Asteron Centre has halved its energy consumption to 46kWh/m²/year. Crown building performance specification requirements for tenancies the Government occupies generally vary between 105-120 kW/hours/m².
The Asteron Centre is Wellington’s largest single office building at 49,000m² (net office area of 34,110m² on 12 of its 17 levels). Warren & Mahoney designed it and Aurecon NZ Ltd provided all its engineering consultancy services.
It was designed to ensure it was environmentally sustainable and was completed in 2010. Aurecon lead mechanical engineer Marcus Welby said: “It already had a 5 green star office design rating, but the owners felt there was potential to make further savings. We monitored the building 5 days/week to look at what changes could be made. Effectively, it’s about getting the best out of the millions & millions of dollars’ worth of the very complex equipment that has been installed.”
Mr Welby said the Asteron Centre had a wide spectrum of energy-saving features, including rainwater harvesting, automatic dimming lighting when sufficient daylight is available, heat recovery chillers, high performance glazing, hot water preheating from chiller waste heat, chilled beams & heat pump hot water cylinders.
Housing more than 2700 workers, the building is owned by Grant Corleison & Mark Dunajtschik, who are developing the Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre opposite Te Papa.
Mr Corleison said: “This award is great news for our tenants. The drastic savings we’ve achieved ultimately benefit the tenants, who pay for their own consumption while we pay for the common areas. The lower we can get the energy consumption, the better it is for landlord & tenant.”
Nabers – the National Australian built environment rating system – was adopted for New Zealand in June 2013. The Nabers & NabersNZ trademarks are held by the New South Wales state government and the New Zealand scheme is licensed to New Zealand’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority. The NZ Green Building Council administers the programme.
The rating system is performance-based, measuring an existing New Zealand commercial office building’s energy performance during operation against factors such as building occupancy, number of computers and rentable area. Comparing this against other similar buildings & climate conditions provides a rating on a 6-star scale, which the organisation can use to understand, and then improve, their energy performance.
Attribution: Aurecon release.