New East Wing Building (NEWB), Stage Two of Project Maunga, Taranaki Base Hospital

27 April 2023

In 2021, the health sector was identified as the largest emitter of carbon emissions in the public sector.

But decarbonisation and other sustainability measures have been a key focus for Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand for some time - and the 5 Green Star rated New East Wing Building (NEWB) at Taranaki Base Hospital is leading the charge.

NEWB is the first 5 Green Star rated public health building in Aotearoa New Zealand, heralding a new era as all new large-scale public health infrastructure investments are now required to meet 5 Green Star accreditation.


Name: New East Wing Building (NEWB)

Where: Taranaki Base Hospital, David Street, Westown, New Plymouth

What: a purpose-built, six-storey building housing acute clinical services including the emergency department, ICU, maternity, radiology, laboratories and a roof-top helipad

Patient beds: a clinical services building. NEWB has 127 bed spaces - 42 of which are inpatient beds

Background: NEWB is a critical cornerstone in the implementation of Project Maunga - a long-term site master plan redevelopment of clinical facilities and infrastructure at Taranaki Base Hospital. The current hospital campus was developed in the 1950s with ongoing improvement over the decades

Project Maunga Stage One: construction of a new Acute Services Building (2013)

Project Maunga Stage Two: construction of NEWB (completion 2025). Stage Two also includes the construction of a new renal unit, a new integrated cancer centre and a range of campus infrastructure upgrades

Project Snapshot

Owner: Te Whatu Ora – Health New Zealand

Sustainability and GSAP: Beca

Architect: Warren and Mahoney

Building Services Engineering: Beca

Structural Engineering: Holmes

Cost Consultant: RLB

Main contractor: Leighs Construction

Project status: business case commenced 2018; enabling works commenced March 2021, main works commenced July 2022; completion early 2025

Project certification: 5 Green Star Design and As-Built NZ v1.0 certified Design Review (December 2022)


NEWB is leading the way towards sustainable, holistic, and efficient public health buildings, with the Project Maunga team at Taranaki Base Hospital is proud to have achieved a 5 Green Star design rating for NEWB - the centrepiece of the Stage Two redevelopment at the region’s hospital campus, says Gillian Campbell, Te Whatu Ora interim hospital and specialist services lead, Taranaki.

“Project Maunga Stage Two is leading the way in Aotearoa in establishing sustainability as both a key design principle and construction focus. The recognition this Green Star accreditation brings to our mahi is something the team can take real pride in,” says Gillian.

“A 5 Green Star rating signifies a real commitment to best practice design that creates healthy, comfortable, sustainable spaces not just through direct impacts such as materials or water use but an overall holistic approach.”

Stage Two of Project Maunga has been underpinned by the need to replace the hospital’s essential acute clinical services currently housed in aged buildings designated as earthquake prone.

It is the largest investment in health and specialist care services in the Taranaki region to date.

Together with the 5 Green Star rating for NEWB, Te Huhi Raupō, the newly opened renal unit at the hospital campus, is targeting Zero Energy certification and Zero Carbon certification via the International Living Futures Institute, and an upcoming integrated cancer services centre will also target 5 Green Star rating.

“Green Star - along with worthwhile certification systems like Zero Energy with the International Living Futures Institute - provides a proven and transparent framework for validating the sustainability of a building in the design, construction and performance phases. The key is for a project to commit to a formal certification system appropriate for its scale and complexity to ensure that sustainability outcomes are not watered down as a project progresses,” says Gillian.

The benefits of a 5 Green Star rating include:

  • an improved environment for patients, staff and whānau
  • a reduced carbon footprint for the building and the organisation
  • a reduced energy load for the building and campus
  • reduced operational costs
  • a source of pride for staff working in the building.

Gillian says designing and building NEWB to the benchmark aligns strongly with the Zero Carbon Bill 2050 and the Taranaki 2050 Roadmap - a regional growth document focused on a low emissions future.


Michael Smith, Project Maunga lead and senior architect from Warren and Mahoney, says once-in-a-generation hospital redevelopments such as NEWB are fundamentally projects for change with the potential to contribute positively to people’s lives, thriving communities and a flourishing natural environment.

“Together with our client and the project team, Warren and Mahoney has endeavoured to bring the building’s potential to life, integrating sustainability principles into the vision and identity at every stage of the project. We set the bar high and are very pleased with the 5 Green Star Design rating.”

He says the building and its position on campus connect to the historic and cultural themes surrounding Mount Taranaki and the sea “representing the path to treatment and recovery. Patients and staff can flow like water through the valley between buildings and out into the landscape.”

“The design of NEWB is based on a ‘natural as metaphor’, reflecting healing, calming, restful and therapeutic analogies to ensure patient wellbeing.”

“We wanted to improve user wellbeing, resulting in reduced patient stay duration and improved staff wellbeing. Consideration was given to the use of interior finishes to reduce the clinical nature of selected spaces, specifically in radiology, providing an optimal environment particularly for children.”

Research from green hospitals overseas shows patients in sunlit rooms have 40 percent shorter stays, faster overall recovery rates and reductions in pain medication. (The Case for Sustainable Healthcare - NZGBC and Green Building Council of Australia 2018).

Michael says one of Te Whatu Ora’s key objectives was to reduce energy loading and achieve decarbonisation at the hospital campus.

The most exciting green attributes of the building include:

  • the planning layout with extensive natural light penetration and views for patients and staff
  • natural ventilation beyond the goal of reducing energy loading. Throughout the façade design manual and automated fittings are installed to bring the outdoors in - with the aim of avoiding a hospital that feels claustrophobic
  • cultural engagement and incorporation further to the innovation point of Te Aranga Māori Design Principles (a set of outcome-based principles founded on intrinsic Māori cultural values - to enhance mana whenua presence, visibility, and participation in the design of the built environment)
  • external landscaping embodying native local planting selections, highlighting the narrative around rainwater swales and harvesting.

Beca’s Project Sustainability lead and Green Star Accredited Professional, Ben Masters, says that a project specific holistic sustainability framework was established prior to the adoption of Green Star.

“Beca was engaged early as the Project Maunga sustainability consultant to develop a bespoke sustainability strategy and framework,” says Ben. “We’re thrilled to support Te Whatu Ora on this milestone project."

He says the 5 Green Star certification provides a level of quality assurance throughout the design and construction stages and verification of the project’s sustainability response via a credible, easily understood measure of design performance.

“Before adopting Green Star, it is important project teams take the time to establish a clear vision, project principles and target outcomes. The successful attainment of these objectives’ hinges on strong client leadership and the full commitment of the entire project team.”

Ben says while a number of other healthcare projects have incorporated sustainability features “this is the first New Zealand public health building to address sustainability so broadly.”

“Improved healthcare outcomes have been a fundamental design principle. This meant that best practice thermal comfort, air-quality, acoustics, daylight and views, and connection with the natural environment became non-negotiables. Targeting great daylight amenity to enhance wellbeing was considered early and informed many aspects of the design from floorplate configurations through to window design and performance specification.

He says NEWB will target around 50 percent less whole building energy usage than a conventional hospital design.

“Further carbon reduction measures on campus include electrification of the building rather than utilising the existing campus gas boilers. NEWB is the first major hospital building in Aotearoa to adopt an all-electric systems design philosophy.

“Furthermore, the NEWB project is also taking the opportunity to decarbonise the existing Acute Services Building – resulting in around 1,000Tonnes/year of additional CO2 equivalent reduction.”

This has been achieved through a well-considered integrated design approach with best practice energy efficiency opportunities reviewed at each design stage and includes:

  • a thermal envelope well above the building code minimum
  • a heating and cooling system design that targets excellent part-load efficiencies
  • maximised heat waste recovery to pre-heat incoming air for select ventilation systems
  • continuous heat exchange between space heating, hot water heating and chilled water circuits
  • the use of B-Tune (industry-leading building tuning technology developed by Beca) during the first two years of NEWB’s operation to improve energy performance outcomes and occupancy health and comfort.


Meanwhile main contractor Leighs Construction says it is “extremely excited about the 5 Green Star design rating and even more excited about converting that into a 5 Green Star As-Built rating through the course of the build.”

Leighs environmental and sustainability manager, Tom Williams, says at the peak of the build it will have up to 300 people on location “so the outreach and impact of Green Star and the ethos it brings to the site is really impressive.”

He says Green Star is central across its operation including:

  • procurement - all contractors are assessed on their ability to meet the Green Star requirements (flows onto technical submission and review process to monitor Green Star compliance)
  • the highly selective procurement of materials - impacting decisions about supplies and equipment for daily use. One supplier has changed its timber protection packaging to allow for recycling
  • improvements to reduce the construction footprint through the use of an electric crane and electric concrete placing boom
  • the use of pre-nail timber frames to reduce construction waste
  • a positive waste management plan diverting waste from landfill
  • predator control/monitoring of traps in the vicinity through engagement with the Towards Predator-Free Taranaki campaign.

“Green Star messaging is included into every step from procurement, pre-lets, pre-starts, inductions, toolbox talks and planning meetings. Additionally, we have a Green Star noticeboard in lunch and meeting rooms to keep the team updated on the latest news and to ensure they are constantly aware of good green practice,” says Williams.

Warren and Mahoney project lead, Michael Smith says NEWB will act as a baseline for future healthcare projects in New Zealand.

“As always, there are valuable lessons learned and ways to streamline the process. And that is part of the Green ethos - ever evolving - a benchmark should never become the norm. “

He says in the context of large-scale healthcare architecture NEWB “is an inspiration both in Aotearoa and globally.”

NEWB green features include:
  • all electric
  • high efficiency systems with tuning post-construction
  • rainwater collection to supplement flushing water
  • natural ventilation to selected spaces
  • staff end of trip facilities
  • on-site water detention via raingarden and stormwater pond
  • comprehensive climate change risk assessment and adaptation plan
  • resilience in the event of seismic activity design approach (Base isolated structure)
  • low GWP refrigerants
  • at least 95% of the timber (by cost) used is re-used or certified by a recognised forest certification scheme
  • at least 95% of internally applied paints, adhesives, sealants, and carpets meet stipulated VOC limits
  • operational waste management plan
  • responsible construction practices included in main contract
Technical features include:
  • outdoor air is provided at a minimum rate 50% greater than current recognised standards
  • benchmark energy consumption reduction of 50% compared to a reference building
  • benchmark operational GHG emissions reduction of 70% compared to a reference building
Innovation points include:
  • BTune advanced building tuning
  • Decarbonisation of existing Acute Services Building included as part of project
  • Improving on Green Star benchmarks - mattresses (reflects Te Whatu Ora’s commitment to procure mattresses that avoid VOC - hence promoting improved indoor air quality)
  • Te Aranga Design integration