Major $300 million hospital build aims for Green Star

31 October 2019

A new $300 million hospital building is aiming for 5 Green Star, answering health officials calls for more sustainable buildings and paving the way for other health projects.

The Taranaki District Health Board has received Government funding for a new acute hospital building on its Taranaki Base Hospital campus.

Expected to be completed in 2023, the building will host the DHB’s Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Laboratory, Radiology and Maternity services.

Its chief executive Rosemary Clements says it will be designed to be environmentally sustainable, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.

“Hospital buildings are the single greatest government building energy consumer in New Zealand so this represents an opportunity to have a significant impact in reducing the DHB’s carbon, water and energy footprint,” Mrs Clements says.

“As well as reducing operating costs via lower energy demand, 5-star healthcare buildings also improve building user’s wellbeing, reduce patient stay duration and improve staff productivity.

“Designing and building the New East Wing Building to a 5-star level aligns strongly with the Zero Carbon Bill 2050 and the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap too.”

Last year The New Zealand Green Building Council and the Green Building Council of Australia released The Case for Sustainable Healthcare report which highlighted the need for our health facilities to be built better.

Analysis of Green Star certified healthcare facilities shows hospitals and healthcare facilities produce 57% less greenhouse gas emissions than average healthcare buildings.

Research from green hospitals in operation shows patients in sunlit rooms have 40 percent shorter stays than those in dull rooms. Medical errors are reduced by a third, there are faster recovery rates overall and reductions in pain medication.

“This is a really big deal for New Zealand, for Taranaki, for patients and staff,” NZGBC chief executive Andrew Eagles says.

"It means lower running costs for the DHB, it means a better place to heal for patients, it means a better place to work for staff – something that health practitioners have been calling for throughout New Zealand, it means lower emissions and a brighter future for Aotearoa."

Importantly it is also the first time the current Government has stepped up to building Green Star.

“The Ministry of Health is strongly suggesting that this should be used on other projects and we see this as a template."

The Ministry of Health set out in July 2019 that “all new builds, fit outs and renovations should use a certified sustainability rating system such as Green Star, which designs in efficiencies and healthy buildings”. The NZGBC calls on other Government departments to build all projects above $10 million to Green Star to ensure a healthier, lower carbon, sustainable future for Aotearoa. 

Find out more about Green Star here