Councils release green building benchmark for Christchurch

The New Zealand Green Building Council and Christchurch City Council have launched BASE, a new green building assessment tool developed for the city rebuild.

 The New Zealand Green Building Council and Christchurch City Council have launched BASE, a new green building assessment tool developed for the city rebuild.

BASE (Building a Sustainable Environment) is designed to help designers and developers benchmark environmental features for new office, retail and mixed-use buildings for new buildings in the rebuild.

Christchurch mayor Bob Parker said the new tool would help meet the community’s desire for Christchurch to be rebuilt as a green city.

“By improving the environmental design and performance of our buildings, our community will benefit by living in a sustainable city. To build sustainably requires us to be attentive at the early planning stages and we are pleased to be working with the New Zealand Green Building Council to ensure our city goes green.”

NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler added: “Christchurch is in a strong position of being able to create and realise a unique identity that represents a vision that is culturally, socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.”

BASE requires increased attention to sustainable design and green features during the design and construction of new mixed-use buildings. The tool complements Green Star, which sets leadership standards for green building in New Zealand, and with which the property and construction sector is already familiar, according to Cutler.

“We have developed a tool that allows the property industry to meet new green building standards for Christchurch that are achievable and offer benefits for owners and tenants, such as increased occupier satisfaction and improved productivity, as well as a strong business case, based on energy savings alone.”

She said BASE would help Christchurch building owners and investors deliver entry-level green buildings for between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent capital cost, with a payback period of between 2.4 and 11.4 years, depending on the building size.