New green rebuild tool takes a collaborative and locally inspired approach

New green rebuild tool takes a collaborative and locally inspired approach

When Christchurch City Council (CCC) released its draft Central City Plan a couple of weeks back, sustainability was revealed as a core component in the rebuild and in a follow-on to that pledge, the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) has announced it is working with the council to develop a new building rating tool specifically for the Christchurch recovery efforts. To ensure the tool fulfils the needs of Christchurch, an advisory group whose members represent the building and construction industries has been established, all of whom are based in Christchurch and have strong links with the future rebuild of the city. 

The tool will apply to multiple building types (office, retail and residential and combinations of these) and feature a streamlined, affordable submission and assessment process. 

With affordability a key issue on the rebuild agenda, communications manager at the NZGBC Nicki Paull said that while it’s largely a collaborative effort, in the end it will be up to the council to work out how it will incentivise it. 

Complementary to the Green Star rating tool, the Christchurch rebuild tool will also have a number of conditional requirements in areas such as energy, thermal comfort, ventilation and water efficiency, and project teams will be able to select from a broad range of additional credits to achieve a pass mark. 

NZGBC chief executive Alex Cutler said Christchurch has lead the way in New Zealand with the country’s first 6 Green Star designed and built office – Te Hononga, the Christchurch Civic Building – representing world leadership in environmentally sustainable design. 

“With the rebuild assessment tool, Christchurch will be an inspiration to the world with sustainably designed, high-performing buildings at the heart of the new city centre.” 

To date, the CCC and the advisory group have identified the tool needs to:

* Be able to rate a variety of uses in the same building (i.e. is a mixed use tool)

* Be simple and cost effective to implement in practice (i.e. is affordable)

* Result in lower environmental impact and an increased sustainability outcome for the property sector in Christchurch (i.e. achieves environmental change).

It is intended that the tool is founded on the following key features:


* There will be no levels or rating bands as in Green Star, it will be a simple pass / fail

* The pass / fail point will be roughly equivalent to either a 3 or low 4-Star Green Star rating

Simple and cheap

* Aim to keep the total cost for certification (including consultant and NZGBC fees) to around $10,000

* Expected to take around five working days of consultant time

Producer statement based assessment model

* Compliance requirements constitute signed statements by an NZGBC Accredited Professional

* Auditing will be undertaken by NZGBC

Building types and stages

* Aim to create ‘one core tool’ which is applicable to office, retail, multi-unit residential, mixed use

* Buildings can be rated at Design and Built stages

* Provide base building and integrated fit out building delivery rating options.

The NZGBC expects the tool will be available by early next year and, as well as the NZGBC’s partnership with CCC, the tool is being supported by

Beca as primary sponsor (technical), Warren & Mahoney and the Sustainable Steel Council.  

Paull said the tool would be used in the central city for the first year and then reassessed there after to see if it can be applied beyond central city limits. 

Members of the advisory group include:

  • The Christchurch Green Rebuild Tool Advisory Group includes:
  • Alan Barbour, Beca
  • Carena Parish, Hawkins
  • David MacDonald, MacDonald Consultancy
  • Gordon Craig, Ngāi Tahu Property Ltd
  • Graeme Finlay, Warren & Mahoney
  • Michael Doig, Ganellen  
  • Philip Neale, Davis Langdon
  • Ross Davidson, Davis Langdon
  • Susan McLaughlin, CCC
  • Tony Moore, CCC

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