NABERSNZ energy efficiency rating is trending for building owners

22 March 2017

Owners of major property portfolios are moving to benchmark all their buildings for energy efficiency as the advantages of owning energy-efficient buildings become more obvious, says the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).

Chief executive, Andrew Eagles, says both tenants and property owners are realising the benefits of greener buildings. “A green building doesn’t just cost less to operate in terms of reduced energy consumption; the people who work in such buildings are more comfortable, have a safer workplace and are more productive. Happier, more productive staff means a happy tenant and a satisfied building owner,” he said.

A Harvard University study, recently reported in The Guardian, found that green buildings, characterised by improved light, ventilation and heat control, can boost workers’ productivity by thousands of dollars a year and reduce instances of sick building syndrome (SBS).

The study showed workers in green buildings scored more than 25 per cent higher in cognitive tests, slept better and reported 30 per cent fewer symptoms associated with SBS, such as headaches and eye and respiratory irritation.

Using a scale of 1 to 6 to benchmark office energy performance, NABERSNZ ratings are carried out for whole buildings, just the tenancies or only the base building, such as the common areas and services provided by the landlord. NABERSNZ can be used to assess just one building, but is increasingly being used to rate a whole property portfolio.

Major developers have completed, or are completing, ratings for the buildings in their portfolios.

Kiwi Property says it is committed to getting a NABERSNZ certification for all the buildings in its portfolio.

“The key for ourselves is that a good NABERSNZ rating is another mark of quality giving tenants further comfort their valued staff are in a supportive environment,” said Kiwi Property’s National Facilities Manager, Jason Happy.

Andrew Hay, General Manager Commercial and Industrial, Stride Property stated “We have been a supporter of NABERSNZ for some time and have lead with assessments against our Wellington assets. We see NABERSNZ as useful and a real driver of future performance. We are committed to assessments across all our long term office portfolio.”

Leadership by central government and Auckland City has also been important to the success of NABERSNZ.

Auckland Councillor Penny Hulse, Chair of the Environment and Community Committee said “buildings are an important aspect of the city’s vision of a lower carbon high quality city. As a Council, we are committed to carrying our NABERSNZ certification on all our office buildings. It is a great tool that helps us reduce costs and provide healthy working environments. I would encourage other owners and tenants of office buildings to do the same.”

Eagles says tenants are more likely to rent a building with an energy efficiency rating and they will stay longer in a building where their staff are comfortable.

“Building owners are increasingly recognising that better buildings support their investment goals.

We are seeing increasing interest from landlords and tenants who are seeking independent verification on how well their building is being run. This is a positive development which is simply good business, it delivers results for tenants.”

Improving existing buildings and NABERSNZ is a central topic of the national Green Property Summit taking place on 29th March 2017.