Hobsonville Point School flies into future with double 5 Green Star rating

Recently awarded a 5 Green Star rating for both design and construction, Hobsonville Point Primary School is innovative, efficient, and the first school in New Zealand to be developed as a public private partnership (PPP).

The De Havilland Drive school sits on the former Hobsonville Air Base in the heart of the newly developed Hobsonville Point area and caters for primary school students from years one to eight.

The project to design and build the school, which opened in February this year, embraced Green Star from the outset.

Under the Ministry of Education’s new PPP model the private consortium brought together to design and build the school will maintain the building for the next 25 years.

The consortium is led by Hawkins Construction and includes Programme Facilities Maintenance which will manage the building, and was involved from the start of the 18-month PPP design and build process.

Hawkins Construction Design Manager Craig Watkins says the sustainability features included as part of Green Star, combined with the PPP approach, made this project unique. The PPP process ensured that all parties were actively involved with the development of the sustainable initiatives and that these not only complimented the building but met the growing needs of teachers and students alike in New Zealand.

“We’ve focused on sustainability and Green Star from the outset and the result is a hugely energy efficient building with an environment that is built to encourage modern teaching methods,” he says.

Key sustainability features include rainwater harvesting to provide the school with all its grey water requirements. All heating, cooling, ventilation and lighting is automatically controlled through a building management system that responds to levels of daylight and occupancy in different parts of the building.

“We’ve incorporated as much natural daylight into the building as possible by clear glazing approx. 45 per cent of the roof area with daylight strips to provide and distribute natural light whilst minimising glare. The full extent of this means that over 74% of the UFA (Usable Floor Area) exceeds the 2.5% Daylight Factor required,” Mr Watkins says.

“The project had many complex challenges such as matching energy efficiency needs with learning needs including acoustic requirements.”

The school is fitted out with acoustic insulation which not only cuts out any outside noise but ensures there is minimal noise leakage from one open learning area to another.

As an added bonus for the school, many of its sustainability features double as learning resources for the students who can view and study the likes of rain water harvesting, daylight and energy efficiency in action.

Mr Watkins says Hawkins Construction advise their clients where possible to use Green Star to achieve their objectives because the rating ensures they will reap a significant return on the up front investment during the life of the building.

The Hobsonville School project achieved its 5 Green Star built rating by 'streamlining' 63% of its Green Star design points. The streamlining process, in place since 2012, allows Green Star design projects to achieve faster and easier built ratings when the construction adheres closely to the sustainability features of the design.

Hobsonville Point Primary School principal Daniel Birch is delighted with his new education building and the benefits of the Green Star sustainability features.

“It’s not only the significant cost savings from energy efficiency, but also the quality of the environment,” he says. “The school is purpose built for 21st century learning and teaching and we’re already seeing students and teachers thriving in the new environment.”

Under the PPP model the consortium is responsible for all building and property maintenance, freeing up the Board of Trustees, principal and staff to focus on learning and school leadership.

An adjacent secondary school is being built to complete the Hobsonville Point schools development, and is scheduled for completion at the end of the year. This project is also targeting a Green Star rating.