Archive | Green building

Code for smarter cities released

The Smart Cities Council, covering Australia & New Zealand, and the Green Building Council of Australia released a new practice standard last week which they said would address issues relating to telecommunications connectivity, data insights, digital planning practices & innovation districts.

The 2 organisations released the Code for Smart Communities in Sydney, as part of Smart Cities Week Australia. They said it would set a new benchmark for urban development practices across greenfield communities, urban regeneration precincts & diverse institutional campuses.

Smart Cities Council executive director Adam Beck said the release of the code was an “important milestone after deep engagement with the development industry, technology companies, city shapers & all tiers of government.

“This is the first time a smart community has been defined in a way that can be practically applied. We went back to principles to build this code from the ground up.”

Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said there was a strong synergy between the sustainable development outcomes articulated in the green star – communities rating tool and the enabling opportunities from technology & data to enhance community outcomes: “This work will provide us with the opportunity to ensure smart cities principles are embedded in green star as the rating system evolves to meet industry & global trends, and continues to deliver environmental efficiencies, productivity gains and health & wellbeing outcomes in our buildings & communities.”

Chris Isles, planning executive director at Place Design Group, a technical partner in the code’s development, said it would be a single source for planners, developers, communities & governments as they shape cities & suburbs.

Mr Beck said 2 projects would be the first to embrace the code’s principles:

  • Yarrabilba, a Lendlease community in Logan City, on the Brisbane fringe, set to be home to over 40,000 residents, and
  • Sydney Olympic Park, planned to grow into a 23,000-person community with more than 30,000 jobs.

Lendlease was the code project’s lead partner. Matt Wallace, managing director of its communities business, said: “Our customers are expecting more seamless connectivity in all aspects of their lives, from high-speed broadband at home to free wi-fi in the park.

“Our smart community flagship, Yarrabilba, has provided us with a platform to test & evolve a range of technologies to optimise people’s lives to create healthier, safer & more sustainable communities.”

In addition to the new code, the Smart Cities Council’s Smart cities explorer illustrates technology options, their place-based outcomes and relationships to the metrics of the new code.

Smart communities code
Smart cities explorer

Attribution: Smart Cities Council release.

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Precinct commits to Wynyard stage 2

Precinct Properties NZ Ltd committed yesterday to stage 2 of its Wynyard Quarter project, part of the wider Innovation Precinct on the Auckland waterfront.

Chief executive Scott Pritchard told the company’s annual meeting yesterday Precinct would develop the second stage, 10 Madden St, on an uncommitted basis. It will comprise a single-level basement & 7 upper levels, providing a net lettable area of 8290m², has an expected total project cost of $72 million and is expected to generate a yield on cost in excess of 7% once fully leased.

In a release out yesterday, Mr Pritchard said: “Committing to the development of stage 2 reflects an important step forward in the development of the wider Innovation Precinct and the creation of a thriving creative hub. We began construction of stage 1 in 2015 and we are excited to proceed with the next stage of the project’s evolution.

10 Madden St’s N Cole Plaza.

“Having developed the Mason Bros building during stage 1 on an uncommitted basis, we have confidence that the quality & location of this development will attract occupiers, with the majority of tenancies expected to be committed prior to completion. We are already seeing good levels of enquiry from businesses wanting to be located in the Innovation Precinct.

“Following stage 2, there are a further 2 sites which offer another 22,000m² of office space, which we expect to develop over the next 5-6 years.”

Sustainability is a leading principle of the Innovation Quarter’s design, and for stage 2 Precinct will be targeting a 5 star green design (office) & as-built star accreditation, and a 4.5 star NabersNZ whole building rating. The building will include end-of-trip facilities, with 12 electric vehicle charging units, and incorporate daylight-harvesting energy-efficient LED lighting. The rear side of the building will also feature a vertically planted green screen which will cover the open egress stairs.

Precinct will undertake the development in partnership with Auckland Council property arm Panuku Development Auckland. Hawkins Construction Ltd will be the main contractor under a fixed-price construction contract. Construction is expected to begin this month, and practical completion is programmed for the end of 2020.

Attribution: Company release, annual meeting.

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Housing to replace Henderson carparks attracts international designers

Published 28 August 2018
5 teams have been shortlisted in a global design competition to redevelop 2 Henderson carparks into housing.

Image above: The Alderman (left) & Falls (right) carparks, across Edmonton Rd from each other in Henderson.

The 2 sites were nominated last year for Reinventing Cities, an international contest to inspire world-leading sustainable design. You can check most of the shortlisted entrants’ websites below.

Reinventing Cities is run by C40, a group of cities around the world working together on climate change, which Auckland Council went close to not joining when membership was proposed in 2015. The super-city’s first mayor, Len Brown, said he was invited to apply for membership at the world cities summit in Singapore in 2014 and believed membership could be beneficial for Auckland’s regeneration.

However, when membership finally went to a vote 7 months after going to a council committee for approval, it was only carried 9-7. Most of the minority said it was a nice idea, but not a priority.

Henderson the urban eco-centre

The Henderson sites were chosen as Auckland’s nominees, fitting the Reinventing Cities criteria for innovative low-carbon design as they’ve been part of a long-held development vision for Henderson as an urban eco-centre.
13 bids were received across both sites. After a screening & selection process, the 5 successful design teams have been selected to progress to the next round. They will be invited to respond to the request for proposal that gets underway in late September. The teams are:

  • Te Tira Ngakaunui, led by Ockham Group (Mark Todd, Auckland) with Cheshire Architects (Auckland) & Jakob + MacFarlane Architects (Paris)
  • Taupae Commons, led by Central Element (Australia) and Nicolas Laisné Architectes (Paris)
  • Te Kopua, led by Province Developments (Collin Elder, Auckland) with Sills van Bohemen Architects (Auckland)
  • Tiriwa Collective, led by international design collective Studio AH-HA (Lisbon)
  • Falls Collaboration, led by Isthmus Group (Auckland & Wellington)

One of the “foreigners” on the shortlist is Brendan MacFarlane, who was born in New Zealand, graduated from the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles in 1984, received his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Architecture in Boston in 1990, and partners Dominique Jakob at their Paris-based firm.

Compelling visions, says Hulse

The Alderman site borders the Oratia Stream and has a proposed cycle route along one edge. The larger Falls carpark is next to the historic Falls Hotel. Both sites have been identified for residential development as part of plans to revitalise Henderson. As prominent ‘gateway’ sites, they have the potential to make a strong visual statement about Henderson’s vision & identity.

Cllr Penny Hulse.

Waitakere ward councillor Penny Hulse, who chairs Auckland Council’s environment & community committee, was deputy mayor when the super-city’s first mayor, Len Brown, proposed membership of C40 and was a leading advocate of environmentally sound development as a councillor in the old Waitakere City.

She said the interest in the C40 competition was an exciting step towards realising Henderson’s future: “It’s great to see such a strong response from the global design community. These are 5 compelling visions for Henderson, all with sustainability front & centre. As the competition moves into a more detailed phase, it will be exciting to see how these visions evolve.

“The urban eco-centre strategy puts families & the environment at the very heart of how Henderson is developed. Reinventing Cities is a great opportunity to capture world-leading expertise to create resilient, future-focused neighbourhoods that will be wonderful places to live.”

Under the Reinventing Cities rules, bidding teams had to respond to 10 challenges central to sustainable precincts – including solutions for energy, water, waste, movement, ecology & greener lifestyles. The RFP (request for proposals) stage will open on 30 September and close in February.

The project is in the hands of Auckland Council development agency Panuku Development Auckland, which has the task of delivering urban redevelopment at multiple locations and on scales from large long-term urban regeneration projects to small projects on specific sites.

Ockham Group
Cheshire Architects
Jakob + MacFarlane Architects
Central Element
Nicolas Laisné Architectes
Sills van Bohemen Architects
Studio AH-HA
Isthmus Group

Earlier stories:
16 October 2015:
Council to join C40 global climate change network after tight vote
12 October 2015: Why aim high when we’re just fine on low?
16 March 2015: Council holds off joining international climate group C40
6 July 2005: Simpson the boffin councillor sets path for Auckland to become high-flying technology conference site, with a benchmarking brand

Attribution: Council release.

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Avanda scores 6 Homestar rating at Airfields using bespoke checklist

Chinese-owned housing developer Avanda Ltd, confirmed as the developer for stage 2 of the 20ha council-owned Airfields precinct at Hobsonville Point in February last year, is about to build the first homes awarded a 6 Homestar rating using a bespoke checklist.

The new homes’ design has received the quality assurance mark from the Green Building Council, which certifies their healthiness & sustainability. The mark ensures good energy efficiency, ventilation, moisture control & insulation.

Council redevelopment agency Panuku Development Auckland’s development director, Allan Young, said yesterday Panuku was committed to ensuring a minimum of 6 Homestar-rated homes across all its development locations. To help reach this goal, a customised checklist was created in collaboration with the Green Building Council & other Auckland Council organisations.

Mr Young said: “We’re committed to ensuring high quality homes for Aucklanders, while making the Homestar process smoother for our development partners. That’s why we developed the checklist. Every area we work in is different, and it was important for us to work closely with the Green Building Council & industry to ensure our development partners have the tools they need to deliver quality homes, on budget.”

Avanda project manager Paul Wither said that, while the company knew its home designs were good quality, the Homestar rating independently verified that: “It was straightforward working alongside Panuku on the Homestar process. At Avanda, we take care to ensure the homes we deliver are energy- & water-efficient as well as being designed for the future.

“The advantage for families moving into these homes is that they know they will get a Homestar-verified home that not only looks great but performs well – and will deliver value for years to come. We’re thrilled to have 6 Homestar as evidence of the quality homes we will be delivering at The Airfields in Hobsonville Point.”

The Building Excellence Group Ltd, started by environmental scientist Alex Reiche in 2015, carried out Avanda’s Homestar assessment. The development is expected to be started in the next few months.

Avanda’s ultimate holding company is Guangzhou Jinxiu Dadi Property Co Ltd, of Guangzhou.

Image above: An artist’s impression of Avanda’s Airfields development.

Building Excellence Group
Green Building Council

Earlier story:
22 February 2017: Avanda wins Airfields stage 2 development

Attribution: Panuku release.

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Homestar v4 rating launched

Green Building Council chief executive Andrew Eagles thanked the construction industry last night for an extremely robust response when the council sought feedback on its proposed upgrade of the Homestar standard.

The outcome, he said, was a far better version that would make it easier to lift & verify the performance of new homes.

One important outcome is that it will be more readily available to large subdivision builders, enabling them to provide high volume of better homes at speed.

In Homestar version 4, the R values for energy rating are set out, doing away with modelling, and a one-page checklist can be used.

The Green Building Council introduced the original Homestar – an independent rating tool that certifies the health, efficiency & sustainability of homes – in 2010. After wide industry consultation, version 4 was re-engineered to align with the needs of volume builders, providing for volume certification, with more practical evidence requirements, and a removal of the requirement for slab edge insulation in Auckland, Coromandel or Northland.

Mr Eagles said: “Where Homestar v4 is applied to a new build, New Zealanders individually & collectively benefit. Over the course of 5 years, a 6 Homestar-rated household will save $5,000, an 8-star $10,000, carbon emissions will be 1900kg lower for 6-star and 6000kg lower for 8-star.”

Any questions about the need for improvement can quickly be negated. Mr Eagles said New Zealand’s building code as it concerned health & energy efficiency was the worst in the OECD. The 40% of homes that were damp & mouldy were a permanent cause of respiratory problems.

“We know our R values [for heat loss] are 2-3 times worse than other countries’,” he said.

From a slow start, the Homestar programme has started to take off and a market was being created for these tools, indicating better performance: “We know if every home was built to a 6-star rating, New Zealand would benefit to the tune of $350 million after 5 years and $150 million/year after that.”

Link: Green Building Council Homestar

Attribution: Green Building Council launch & release.

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Free assessments offered for NabersNZ ratings

The Green Building Council is offering 60 free feasibility assessments for NabersNZ certified ratings in Auckland, Wellington & Christchurch.

Chief executive Andrew Eagles said yesterday the free assessments were available to property owners & tenants for existing office properties.

NabersNZ is an independent measurement & rating tool that benchmarks the energy performance of commercial office buildings.

The Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority’s EECA Business delivers the ratings in collaboration with the Green Building Council. The assessments will be carried out by interns, who will undergo a training course before starting.
Mr Eagles said: “NabersNZ helps landlords identify improvements they can make to save energy, and that makes their building more attractive to tenants. A building with a high NabersNZ certified rating is more likely to attract high value tenants, who will pay a premium for an energy-efficient building. Research in Australia shows up to 8% more.”

Nabers – the national Australian built environment rating system – was adopted in 2013 for New Zealand. The 2 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.

Attribution: Council release.

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Addington refurb scores 5 star NabersNZ rating

IAG NZ Ltd & Goodman Property Trust are the first to achieve a 5 star NabersNZ whole building rating for their Christchurch office at 14 Show Place, Addington.

The sustainability-focused refurbishment of 7000m² of office space on 6 floors in 2 adjoining buildings was prompted by earthquake remediation work & a pending lease expiry.

NabersNZ measures office building energy use. Nabers – the national Australian built environment rating system – was adopted in 2013 for New Zealand. The 2 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.

Goodman portfolio manager Anna Lough said the project aimed to reduce operational costs, reduce the buildings’ carbon footprint and create a healthier environment for staff. Key sustainable features include a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system with heat recovery, CO₂ sensors, LED lighting, daylight harvesting & occupancy sensors.

Ms Lough said: “Goodman undertook the project because we saw it as a great opportunity to work collaboratively with one of our largest office occupiers in New Zealand. We were able to refurbish and add value to our asset as well as retain a quality customer and secure them a long-term lease.”

The project was planned & designed in 3 months, and allowed 6-7 weeks to strip & complete each floor while other floors remained occupied. The entire project took 10 months to complete.

IAG’s national property & administration manager, Tim Griffith, said: “The project has shown us that energy-efficient improvements can be made in existing buildings – as an example we’ve easily retrofitted LED lighting with up to 20% savings in lighting energy, with a 2-3-year payback. Air-conditioning is always the largest component of energy use in a building, so it’s worth seeking specialist advice from engineers to ensure the correct equipment is installed and you receive the best energy efficient outcomes. We are seeing a 40% reduction in energy consumption in the building despite an increase in our workforce.”

And Green Building Council chief executive Alex Cutler said: “We’ve found that the buildings with the best energy performance are those where tenant & owner work collaboratively. Congratulations to IAG & Goodman, who have proven that working together can achieve market-leading results that benefit both parties.”

The NabersNZ rating was carried out by Vanessa McGrath from TM Consultants.
The IAG building’s NabersNZ rating was achieved while under the management of Maori Hill Property Ltd, which has managed the property following its sale to a group of investors last November.

Link: Video case study

Attribution: Green Building Council release.

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Lendlease becomes Barangaroo tenant and promotes multi-storey timber office construction

Lendlease Corp moved into its new headquarters in the 168-tall tower 3 of Barangaroo South’s International Towers on Friday, 11 years after being shortlisted in the design competition for the new Sydney financial district between the harbour bridge & Darling Harbour and 6½ years after winning the state government contract to develop stage 1.

2000 of the construction company’s employees are moving from 5 locations into 24,500m² on levels 8-19 of Tower 3’s 39 floors.

Work practices

Chief executive & managing director Steve McCann said the new headquarters showcased Lendlease’s capability – it’s owned by a Lendlease-managed fund, was built by the company, is in a precinct transformed by its urban regeneration business and is in a tenancy that demonstrated the group’s understanding of vibrant, productive workspaces for employees & customers.

Under the team-based working model, instead of belonging to an individual desk, employees belong to a team neighbourhood of 15-20 people, and each neighbourhood has access to a range of spaces. Spaces include a team table, the anchor point for each team; working walls for visual communication; enclosed spaces known as pods; breakaways, for less formal & ad hoc collaboration; and focus points, for tasks requiring concentration.

Levels 13 & 14 feature a 6m high breathing green wall containing over 5000 plants. Mr McCann said the active, modular green wall system was scientifically proven to accelerate the removal of air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide & volatile organic compounds. “In addition, it cools the surrounding air temperature, resulting in energy efficiency and health & wellbeing gains.”

Tower 3 is one of the largest highrise office buildings to have received a 6 star green star office design v3 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

As well as noting that staff will have access to over 1000 bike racks, 40% of their work stations are stand-up desks. Lendlease made some observations about work practices in its business, and said the research that informed its new workplace strategy & design revealed:

  • 41% of its people occupy a work point seat at any time
  • 36% are away, on site or working away from the office
  • 23% will be around & about, mainly in meetings or refreshing
  • 54% of their work is process-type, interruptible & routine
  • 53% of their work is done collaborating with others, and
  • 46% of their work requires deeper thinking, focus & to be ‘in the zone’.

Barangaroo South project progress

The whole of Barangaroo South adds about 270,000m² of premium office space to Sydney – similar in scale to the Marina Bay financial centre in Singapore & Canary Wharf in London. 3 towers named International Towers Sydney have been built, 2 now occupied:

Tower 1, PwC, HSBC, Marsh & McLennan, Servcorp
Tower 2, Westpac, Swiss Re, Gilbert + Tobin
Tower 3, KPMG, Lendlease

  • $A4 billion of funding secured for the whole precinct
  • Unitholders in the Towers 2 & 3 owner, Lend Lease International Towers Sydney Trust, are the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board (50%), Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial (25%), Lend Lease Trust (15%) & APG (10%)
  • Tower 2 completed & opened 1 July 2015. Tower 3 opening mid-2016 and Tower 1 to open end 2016
  • Barangaroo Reserve (6 ha of parkland) opened by NSW Government in mid-2015.
  • 7000 office workers have moved into Tower 2 and 25 retailers are trading in the precinct; on completion there will be over 80 retail outlets
  • $A40 million public art fund ($A20 million for Barangaroo South) established, with first indigenous artwork unveiled late 2015
  • Transport for NSW’s construction of Wynyard Walk & Barangaroo Ferry hub is ongoing
  • Planning assessments in progress for concept plan amendment (modification 8) & Crown Hotel
  • Application to come for Renzo Piano-designed 1 Sydney Harbour towers.

Trust also buys 6-storey laminated timber office building

An impression of the 6-storey Barangaroo timber-structure office building.

An impression of the 6-storey Barangaroo timber-structure office building.

As its own new headquarters in Barangaroo South neared completion, Lendlease Corp announced on 24 June that the owner of 2 of the 3 office towers in the precinct, Lend Lease International Towers Sydney Trust, would also acquire an innovative 6-storey engineered timber office building.

The building, designed by Jonathan Evans & Alec Tzannes of Tzannes Associates, is aimed at setting a new benchmark in the use of sustainable building materials. It’s due for completion next year.

It will have 5 office floors above ground-floor retail, net lettable area of 6850m², and will be built at the Sussex St junction between the old central business district and the new Barangaroo.

The building will be constructed from cross-laminated timber (CLT) & glue-laminated timber (glulam). CLT has a lower carbon footprint than other building materials, the production process produces zero waste, and timbers are sourced from certified sustainably managed forests. Much of the building can be prefabricated and assembled on site.

Mr Tzannes said: “Looking from the bridges leading to Barangaroo, through the clean glass skin, the multi-storey timber structure forms the character of the architecture, that from inside creates an interior environment reminiscent of the spaces often found in Sydney’s historic timber or cast iron & brick buildings from the era when warehouse buildings were crucial to Australia’s maritime economy.”

International House Sydney is Lendlease’s third CLT building in Australia, joining 2 in Melbourne – Forté Apartments and the Library at The Dock. The library is Australia’s first 6-star green star public building and is made from engineered timber & reclaimed hardwood.

Links: Lendlease
Barangaroo South
International House Sydney

Earlier stories:
21 December 2009: Lend Lease wins Barangaroo stage 1
25 March 2006: 11ha of park in Sydney’s East Darling redevelopment
7 August 2005: East Darling Harbour design competition goes to round 2

Attribution: Company releases.

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Te Puni Kokiri House wins energy award as savings returned to public purse

Argosy Property Ltd’s internal retrofit of Te Puni Kokiri House in Wellington has won the building the Opus International Consultants public sector award at the annual Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority awards for its $7.9 million improvement in value and 30% reduction in energy use.

The building has a 4.5 NabersNZ energy efficiency rating as a result of its retrofit – one of the best ratings for a heritage building in New Zealand – on top of a 5 green star built rating.

The award last week demonstrated that even New Zealand’s oldest heritage buildings can get a new lease of life and be transformed into high performing green buildings.

Te Puni Kokiri House, at 143 Lambton Quay, was also highly commended in the Smart Energy Solutions small-medium energy user category.

Highlights of Te Puni Kokiri House’s retrofit:

  • The value of the building has improved by $7.9 million
  • $80,000/year of energy savings now goes back into the public purse as all 11 floors are occupied by Te Puni Kokiri (the Ministry of Maori Affairs)
  • Energy audits before & after refurbishment showed energy use had reduced from 205 kilowatt hours of energy/m²/year to 138kWh, an improvement of more than 30%
  • Te Puni Kokiri House was the first building in New Zealand to use electro-commutated fan coil units, which improve control of air-conditioning
  • 90% of construction waste was re-used or recycled, and water use has been reduced by 29%.

Several NZ Green Building Council members were also finalists in the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority awards. Laminex NZ was commended in the Waikato University innovation category and the Trustpower renewable energy category, Christchurch City Council was commended in the Opus public sector category, Victoria University’s Victoria energy initiative was highly commended in the Fujitsu General NZ community category, and Auckland Council organisation Panuku Development Auckland’s sustainability manager, Viv Heslop, won the Vector Energy leadership award.

NabersNZ is based on the national Australian built environment rating system (Nabers), which has been used to rate building energy performance for a decade. NabersNZ is the industry standard for benchmarking & improving office building energy performance in New Zealand. It’s licensed to the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority and is administered by the NZ Green Building Council. The Energy Management Association of NZ adapted it for New Zealand conditions.

Attribution: Green Building Council release.

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Call for consistent Australian sustainability ratings

The Australia Sustainable Built Environment Council called last week for a new nationally consistent rating framework for housing sustainability.

President Ken Maher said: “Housing is responsible for 13% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Improving the sustainability of our housing stock is crucial to meeting Australia’s targets for emissions reduction. At the same time, with energy costs rising, greater energy efficiency in our homes will improve the cost & quality of living for all Australians.”

Professor Maher said Australia had no coherent national framework for rating housing sustainability. Instead, a plethora of ratings & measurement tools made things complex for industry professionals and incomprehensible to consumers.

He said the framework should consist of 3 key elements: minimum regulatory performance standards in new buildings, benchmarks for market comparison of best practice sustainability performance, and explanations of the value of sustainability features to renovators & homebuyers.

National Framework for Residential Ratings – Policy Platform
National Framework for Residential Ratings – Discussion Paper

Attribution: Council release.

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