Green Star now a requirement for large Government buildings

28 April 2022

April kicks off the start of a major shift in government building.

From the start of the month, all new non-residential government buildings above $25 million must be built to 5 Green Star or above.

The climate standards for new government buildings announced in November signal an important shift in the way our public sector designs and constructs its buildings, as well as a huge opportunity for our sector to upskill and create some fantastic spaces.

As Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said at the time:

“More sustainable building systems will help government agencies plan to reduce carbon emissions. The decision also sends an important signal to the construction, design and building supplies sector to expand capacity and capability to meet demand.”

This month marks just the start of these rules, with the 5 Green Star requirement extended to new buildings with a capital value over $9 million from April next year (2023).

The result will no doubt be a surge in the number of Green Star rated buildings in Aotearoa with the rules applying to around 140 government agencies.

That means more skilled architects and designers who understand how to reduce a building's carbon footprint and design an efficient, healthy space.

That means hundreds of contractors are exposed to green accredited products and materials, sustainable construction methods, and considering the waste they're creating onsite.

That means thousands of New Zealanders enjoying and benefitting from sustainable workplaces and public spaces created over the next few years.

Most importantly, it means this approach to building is becoming the norm.

If, as we expect, the number of certifications ramps up NZGBC is prepared. We have been working closely with MBIE to assist with protocols, webinars and training to ensure the affected agencies are prepared for these new green buildings. As a team we're already gearing up for the higher demand.

For those of you who are preparing to take advantage of the higher demand for Green Star services, we have a range of training courses and webinars available. 

The signal is there, the public sector is moving to be carbon neutral by 2025. As was highlighted in the latest IPCC report, buildings have a major part to play in tackling our emissions and keeping to our climate commitments. This is an important step on the journey to a zero-carbon Aotearoa.