New Zealand reaches 100 Green Star ratings

Te Mirumiru childcare centre, owned by the Ngati Hine Health Trust, was awarded a 6 Green Star rating.

A childcare centre in New Zealand recently gained the joint 100th Green Star rating awarded since the scheme launched in 2007.

The childcare centre is the first 6 Green Star education building in New Zealand, representing world leadership in sustainable construction.

The building in Kawakawa, Northland is known as Te Mirumiru, and owned by the Ngati Hine Health Trust. With a gently curved concrete structure covered by earth and grass on its roof and unglazed sides, the structure is integrating with the landscape and pays homage to the ‘Ngati Hine tribe’s history (‘Ngati Hine of a hundred hills’).

Around the same time, two other buildings gained Green Star certification, effectively sharing the 100th rating honours. The Forté Health Building in Christchurch and the Sharp Tudhope Building, Tauranga both received 4 star ratings, the former being the first Green Star building to be built since the 2011 earthquakes.

Alex Cutler, chief executive of the New Zealand Green Building Council, said the Te Mirumiru building was not only beautiful and technically accomplished, but demonstrated the health and education benefits of working and learning in a green building.

“The appetite for green buildings is growing. These three projects show the diversity of sustainable building – it’s not just premium commercial space in our bigger cities. It’s fantastic to mark our century with not one but three buildings which are each extraordinary, and leaders in their own way,” she said.

“It’s brilliant to have progressed to 100 rated projects. Credit belongs to the many smart, far-sighted owners, developers and professionals who have embraced Green Star and used it to create great buildings. We’re now looking forward to hitting 200.”

Since 2007, Green Star-rated offices, industrial buildings and schools have been designed and built around New Zealand, improving the quality and sustainability of the country’s built environment. Green Star buildings on average use 66% less electricity and 50% less water than conventional counterparts.

There is now 687,300 m2 of Green Star space in New Zealand – equivalent to around 99 rugby fields. A further 20 Green Star projects are expected to be certified during 2014.