29 Nov 2012
By Wright Communications
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 says the new tool will help meet our community's desire for Christchurch to be rebuilt as a green city.
"Through Share an Idea, during the development of the Draft Central City Plan, our community asked for a Central City which was green in all aspects: more parks, green networks and infrastructure and green buildings," he says.
"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."
The new BASE tool will help the city to achieve its vision and make Christchurch a better place to live, work and play, Mr Parker says.
NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler says the benefits of building green offer the people of Christchurch healthier living and working spaces, long-term operational savings, and resilience against rising energy costs.
"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 new tool complements Green Star which already sets leadership standards for green building in New Zealand, and with which the property and construction sector is already familiar, says Ms 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."
The new tool will help Christchurch building owners and investors deliver entry-level green buildings for between 0.5 per cent and 1.3 per cent capital cost, with a payback period of between 2.4 and 11.4 years, depending on the building size.
Ms Cutler says NZGBC is delighted there has been significant support from the local industry for a minimum standard to ensure new buildings have an enhanced environmental performance and improved sustainability outcomes.
She praises the leadership shown by Christchurch City Council which has helped drive development of the new BASE tool. "Christchurch has shown a bold commitment to urban sustainability in its impending transformation. With industry and government collaboration, green buildings can help put the future Christchurch at the global forefront in the development of a sustainable and efficient built environment."
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