A prominent central Ōtautahi-Christchurch commercial building developed, owned and managed by Ngāi Tahu Property has received a 5 Green Star rating and a 5.5-star NABERSNZ energy efficiency rating.
The New Zealand Green Building Council awarded Te Urutī, one of two five-level office buildings in the Pita Te Hori Centre, a 5 Green Star rating. That confirms the sustainability of its design, construction and completion achieves New Zealand industry excellence.
The NABERSNZ rating reflects its market-leading energy efficiency performance following occupation by tenants.
The rating follows last year’s confirmation of a 4 Green Star rating for Iwikau – the other commercial building in the centre’s first stage.
The centre was designed by Warren and Mahoney in conjunction with services engineers and Green Star professionals from Powell Fenwick and Aurecon.
The Pita Te Hori Centre is located near the historic site of the ancient Puari Pā of Waitaha and Ngāti Māmoe and holds strong spiritual, cultural and historical significance for Ngāi Tūāhuriri, the mana whenua of the area, and the wider Ngāi Tahu iwi.
The site also carries historical military and civic significance, previously home to the King Edward Barracks and the former Christchurch headquarters of the New Zealand Police.
Ngāi Tahu Property chief executive David Kennedy says receiving the ratings is a fantastic result which can ultimately be tied back to following Ngāi Tahu values.
“Sustainability is a key feature of kaitiakitanga, one of our core values which we share with our ultimate owners, Ngāi Tahu whānui-families,” Kennedy says.
“The Pita Te Hori Centre also showcases other values including tohungatanga – expertise and rangatiratanga – leadership. Truly living up to those values means not treating sustainability as a ‘tick-box’ exercise. Everything we did provided real benefits to everyone using the buildings and all of Ōtautahi-Christchurch.”
Those benefits include tenants being able to provide excellent conditions for their staff. Sustainable technologies lower energy requirements and onsite energy production reduce demand on electricity distribution networks, and ensures the buildings have much lower carbon emissions than standard.
Development manager James Jackson says the Pita Te Hori Centre features Christchurch’s first district energy system utilising aquifer-source heating and cooling through highly efficient heatpump technology.
The scheme provides up to 215,000 kWh of clean heating and cooling capacity each year.
Additionally, solar panels generate up to 106,000 kWh of electricity annually supporting the Pita Te Hori Centre’s peak usage periods. Smart LED lighting also significantly reduces energy consumption.
Ngāi Tahu Property installed sensor-monitored ventilation ensuring above-code air-quality in the buildings. Low-flow water fittings are complemented by individual metering for tenancies encouraging further water-use reductions.
“A myriad of clever, sustainable technologies work together across the Pita Te Hori Centre,” Jackson says.
“These environmental solutions were embedded into the design of Te Urutī and Iwikau.”
These features are proving attractive to businesses who insist on healthy, safe and sustainable work environments for their staff.
“We have seen it is not just possible, but desirable, to build sustainable and healthy office spaces, with a range of Government departments and national and international firms choosing to base their South Island operations in our buildings. They appreciate and share our commitment to sustainable buildings and workplace practices.”
Warren and Mahoney project director Graeme Finlay says, “It is a pleasure working with Ngāi Tahu Property, who take a long-term and sustainable approach to their developments. Sustainable design is about contributing to cities and places that foster culturally rich and resilient communities.”
“The impact of this precinct extends beyond the built form to the influence it casts as an example for future developments.”
New Zealand Green Building Council chief executive Andrew Eagles says, “Ngāi Tahu Property has created an outstanding building that helps the environment, and provides a quality, healthy place for people to work and thrive in.
“Unfortunately, Aotearoa is lagging behind much of the world when it comes to efficient, sustainable, and healthy buildings. It’s great to see Ngāi Tahu Property take a lead and build in a way New Zealand can be proud of.”
“By opening their building up for both the Green Star and NABERSNZ ratings, Ngāi Tahu are showing they’re walking the talk and now have independent certifications proving their sustainability efforts.”
“The 5.5 star NABERSNZ rating for Te Urutī is an excellent achievement and places it among the country’s most efficient buildings. This is no mean feat and sets the bar for others to aim for. If we’re to ensure a green, sustainable, climate friendly future for our tamariki and mokopuna, we need others to follow suit and measure their impact and assess how they’re performing.”