22 The Terrace
24 March 2022
A seismic upgrade has transformed this 1980s Wellington office block into an efficient, more sustainable showpiece
Name: 22 The Terrace (known as QualIT House)
What: 11-storey commercial block
Where: 22 The Terrace, Wellington
The building: constructed in the mid-1980s; situated in a prestigious central city precinct; an adjacent historic house (circa 1860) is part of the title
Tenants: 11 – key tenants are QualIt, Ministry for Women Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment
Occupancy: estimated 350 people
Owner: Stride Property Ltd
About Stride Property: current portfolio comprises 14 properties, including office and retail town centre assets across Aotearoa. It is a joint venture partner in the Industre industrial portfolio. Stride Property purchased 22 The Terrace in 1997
Project management: Catalyst
Structural Engineer: Beca
Plumbing and electrical consultants: Beca
Project status: December 2020 to February 2022
Project cost: $25 million
Project certification: 5 Green Star Design Review Rating (December 2021)
You only have to glance at the directory board in the lobby at 22 The Terrace to realise you're in a very special green building.
"It immediately identifies the high-level of amenity and sustainable attributes in the building - from dedicated end of trip facilities, secure lockers, clothes drying room and ironing facilities to secure cycle and scooter parking and EV charging," Jarrod Thompson says, Stride Property's Senior Development Manager.
"You receive that same sustainable message when you see tanks for the rainwater harvesting system discreetly placed alongside the ground floor carpark entry."
The high-profile property in Wellington's CBD has been awarded a 5 Green Star Design Review rating - an accolade which salutes its journey from 40 year old office block to market-leading sustainable asset.
Jarrod says while the refurbishment project at 22 The Terrace started as a seismic upgrade, further consideration of design, sustainability and corporate desires to invest in assets with enduring appeal resulted in a full-scale upgrade.
"In tandem with earthquake strengthening, we saw an opportunity to transform 22 The Terrace into a genuinely sustainable, low carbon, modern building with enhanced amenities, improved well-being for occupants, with enduring demand at an attractive price point," says Jarrod.
Stride Property Safety & Sustainability Manager, Sharyn Bramwell-Reweti says the energy-smart overhaul corresponded with Stride Property's role as an environmentally-responsible corporate citizen.
"Our strategic plan has as one of its goals to 'protect the planet – we want to create efficient, climate resilient places that deliver long term value and support a low carbon future' and Green Star certification provides a clear pathway to meet this objective," she says.
Stride Property's portfolio currently features four Green Star buildings with three others in the pipeline and Green Star ratings are targeted for all new builds and major refurbishments.
In addition, it is undertaking a programme to enable all its office properties to be NABERSNZ rated over time.
A 5 Star NABERSNZ goal has been targeted for 22 The Terrace – with certification expected following the building's first year of operation.
Jarrod says with corporate and government sectors increasingly interested in sustainability Green Star and NABERSNZ are fast becoming a base build requirement for new leasing.
"Without our Green Star rating 22 The Terrace would have less appeal and a lower income profile. Green Star means a superior ability to lease buildings, improved desirability from a tenant and investor perspective, it supports underlying asset valuation and it's consistent with Stride's – and increasingly tenants - corporate responsibilities."
He says 22 The Terrace has 'broken the mould' and demonstrates that high sustainable outcomes can be achieved with typical older 80s buildings.
The greening of older building stock has been a central theme in the project.
Design and build contractor for 22 The Terrace, Catalyst, believes upcycling the building is one of its most exciting design elements.
"Even though this existing 80s commercial building - of which there are a large number in the industry - was built in a decade with a lack of sustainable consideration, it's been reused and its performance in terms of sustainability has been vastly improved," says Catalyst Manager- Design Lead, Tessa Leonard.
22 The Terrace was Catalyst's first Green Star project and Tessa says the great collaborative approach between their in-house sustainability expert Xin Jiang and Green Star consultant Beca was a key factor in its success.
She says the building's 5 Green Star rating is a huge positive.
"It's great to be acknowledged for achieving what is an internationally recognised benchmark. This 5 Green Star rating helps to build awareness in the industry and to shift and raise market expectations. It's really exciting green initiatives are becoming a priority in design."
Tessa says while working with an existing building with designated tenancy areas threw in some constraints, creative-thinking helped meet the Green Star requirements.
"For example we had to think of efficient ways to incorporate the rainwater harvesting tanks while considering their placement from a practical, spatial and visual point of view."
She says with the building's occupants in mind Catalyst's design solutions centred on "delivering a modern, welcoming and really comfortable work environment with perimeter insulation, great lighting and air-conditioning with minimum environmental impacts along with end of trip facilities to encourage fitness and wellbeing."
Smart thinking around the issue of reuse at 22 The Terrace has impressed Project GSAP and Beca building scientist, Ethan Duff.
"The project exemplifies how we need to approach sustainable design in general – use what we've got, have a light touch, make a big impact. Stride Property really took the opportunity with both hands and has turned what was a fairly understated building into a real asset."
He says Green Star was a perfect tool to apply because "it gave the project team clear targets to aim for and as a result the building's sustainability credentials stand up against other premium offerings in the marketplace."
Seismically upgrading the building, decarbonising it and improving its façade has "given the building a new life – not just an extended life," says Ethan.
"The greenest future requires us to upgrade the buildings we've already got. 22 The Terrace is the best example of how to do this quickly and efficiently and make it future ready."
He says the most impactful green additions at 22 The Terrace have been 'big ticket items' including:
- strengthening the building and resetting the asset life
- insulating the existing façade and introducing a film to the existing single-glazing (reducing heat-loss and excessive solar gain).
- removing the gas boiler and replacing the HVAC with modern efficient equipment for low energy and low carbon operation (benchmarking a 70% reduction in operational carbon overall).
- reusing materials and improving what was already in the building (from the main structure to small details like handrails).
- rainwater harvesting and water efficient fixtures/ fittings (with predicted water savings per year around 50% of a typical building).
Ethan says the building's revamped façade is a highlight.
"Upgrades to the interior spandrels and glazing, while being a light touch, had a big impact on the building's performance and comfort for occupants. An existing low performance façade has turned into a high performance façade without the need for significant external works. The strengthening works also essentially renew the structural life of the building. It's an approach that could be taken on a number of other buildings around Wellington."
Catalyst Manager- Project Delivery, Sarah Courtney says a collaborative Green Star journey underpinned the refurbishment.
"From the beginning, it was really important we shared the same vision and goal and we were committed to educating and upskilling our contractors about Green Star. Our weekly toolbox talks included a focus on morale and sustainability as well as the norms of status, health and safety. We had great buy-in from our wider team many of whom appreciated the opportunity to do something of benefit to the environment and I know they came out of the project well-versed on multiple elements of Green Star," says Sarah.
"We're now embedding Green Star principles into the way we design, plan and deliver – it's no longer a question. We believe this is a positive shift forward for our team, our clients and the industry."
Sarah says her team was hugely passionate about having the opportunity to be more sustainable in what they do.
"We're extremely proud of the rating for 22 The Terrace and thankful to Stride for taking the initiative."
Green features include:
Technical features include:
Innovation points awarded: