Ceres Organics gains first 5 Green Star rating for a food warehouse

03 February 2016

A warehouse complex in Mt Wellington, Auckland has become the first building of its type in New Zealand to gain a Green Star rating.

Ceres Organics’ 5,500 square metre home at 82 Carbine Road consists of a two level office building attached to large precast concrete warehouse. From the outset, sustainability was integral to the project.

The building is oriented to make the most of passive solar heating and natural light. Built on a brownfield site, the project incorporated material recycled from the former derelict building. Concrete was chosen for the bulk of the building structure to give good thermal mass, helping it stay cool in summer and warm in winter. The need for mechanical air conditioning and artificial lighting is minimised through natural ventilation and daylight harvesting.

Only two other buildings in New Zealand have been certified under the Green Star Industrial tool, and this is the first food warehouse to do so. A rating of 5 Green Star denotes New Zealand excellence.

Ceres Organics’ Managing Director Noel Josephson said sustainability was vital to the company’s ethos.

“Our business is organics, and we’re serious about walking the talk on sustainability. So the design and construction of our new building had to have low environmental impact. Our team of 80 staff moved in at the end of 2013 and we’re all delighted with the result. We’re more than 40% more efficient in terms of energy use than the previous building. It’s also a lovely building to work in, with good natural light and fresh air. Getting the Green Star rating is icing on the cake, because it’s proof of the high sustainability standard we were aiming for.”

NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler said it was exciting to see Green Star being used on an industrial project.

“Ceres has shown real leadership by using Green Star to ensure and endorse the environmental standards of their building. It’s particularly exciting to see that they’re tracking energy use and carbon, which gives a very clear picture of real life performance. The benefits of sustainable building accrue year on year in terms of lower energy and water use, less waste, better staff satisfaction – Ceres is a living example of that and I’m sure they will inspire others.”

Other sustainability features of the building include:

  • solar hot water system
  • rainwater collection system, with low water usage fittings
  • fully automated building management system (BMS) to monitor lighting, CO2 levels, and water and energy usage
  • energy efficient LED lighting
  • dedicated recycling area to minimise the volume of waste that goes to landfill
  • low-VOC, sustainably sourced materials.
  • substantial greenery in the office environment

The project picked up points for innovation under the Green Star rating, including for the stringent carbon footprinting used by Ceres to measure the building’s impact.

The building is owned and was developed for Ceres Organics by Norak Properties Ltd. The Green Star Accredited Professional was Paul Jurasovich, Senior Project Architect and Sustainable Design Consultant at Williams Architects.