The Christchurch earthquakes of September 2010 and more particularly February 2011 caused significant damage to the city’s built environment. As Christchurch recovers and focuses on how best to rebuild, there is a strong call from the people of Christchurch for a green and sustainable city. The New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) is actively engaged in the Christchurch rebuild process and is providing knowledge, skills and tools to ensure that the opportunity to create a more sustainable city and an improved built environment is fully realised.
The NZGBC is involved in a number of initiatives in Christchurch and responding to the needs of the rebuild process as they develop. NZGBC initiatives in Christchurch include:
The NZGBC is working closely with Christchurch City Council to develop a simple, introductory-level green building assessment for the Christchurch Central City rebuild. The green rebuild tool will be developed as a separate, but complementary building assessment offering to Green Star. The tool will be tailored for the small/medium size, mixed use buildings that will make up much of the Central City rebuild. Estimates identify that at least 50% of buildings in the Central City will need to be rebuilt.
It is proposed that changes to the Christchurch District Plan will require new office, retail (shops, cafés, bars and restaurants), apartments and mixed use buildings within the Central City to achieve a pass score under the new green rebuild tool. Achieving a pass would allow new commercial developments to become a permitted activity under the District Plan. Further information on the green rebuild tool.
The NZGBC is holding a series of events in Christchurch during August, September and October 2011. Each event will focus on a key theme that is central to the success of the Christchurch rebuild. The events will encourage participation and bring together knowledge and skills to tackle these key issues. Learn more about Green City Dialogues.
The NZGBC is a member of the Christchurch City Council Built Form, Public Space and Green Technology advisory panel. A key role of this panel is to provide input on the built form and public space aspects of the Central City Plan. The panel forms one of eight work streams representing different aspects of the plan.
Homestar is a voluntary residential rating tool that evaluates the performance of both new and existing homes. NZGBC is working with various organisations and industry professionals to ensure that Homestar services are available to homeowners. The free online Homestar tool has also been promoted directly to public at events such as the Star Homeshow and the CERA Housing Options Expo. Homestar is the ideal tool for homeowners facing repair work or building from scratch. To learn how Homestar can measure and improve the performance of homes, visit www.homestar.org.nz.
NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler was a member of the judging panel for the Christchurch 48 Hour Design Challenge held by the Council. 15 teams took part in the Challenge at the start of July, each putting forward their best plans for specific parts of the Central City. In addition to judging the final submissions, Alex fulfilled the role of roving sustainability expert during the Challenge. Further information on the Challenge and to view the final presentations.
NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler presented on a sustainable built environment at the Share an Idea Community Expo held in May. The Share an Idea campaign received more than 90,000 ideas for the redevelopment of the Central City. More information on the outcomes of the Share an Idea campaign and view presentations from the community expo.
Property Council New Zealand (PCNZ) invited a panel of speakers to describe their visions for the Central City at this event held in August. NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler outlined and discussed opportunities for sustainability and how the green rebuild tool will enable the introduction of these elements.
The draft Central City Plan www.centralcityplan.org.nz
Christchurch City Council www.ccc.govt.nz/strongerchristchurch
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority http://cera.govt.nz
Rebuild Christchurch www.rebuildchristchurch.co.nz