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The national green building benchmark for New Zealand

Green Star NZ is an Environmental rating system for buildings developed and operated by the New Zealand Green Building Council (www.nzgbc.org.nz). It is a powerful tool that allows building clients to catalyse their desire for environmental initiatives into a simple phrase such as "we shall aim for a 5 star building". This in turn means the design team will explore a number of possible environmental options spread across 8 major impact categories.

The benefit of designing to Green Star NZ is the possibility of having the building officially "certified" by the NZGBC. This mark of excellence can then be used to the owner's advantage as tenants may be willing to pay a slight premium for a healthy and resource efficient building. In order to award certification, the Green Star NZ Technical Manuals set out a lengthy set of "rules" to be followed in terms of documentation, team members roles, contractual targets and requirements and submission methodologies (including modeling requirements)

This submission process needs to be carefully managed right from the start and all the way through the project. Strong coordination and communication abilities are required to ensure a positive outcome. If badly managed, the Green Star NZ submission can be a reasonably difficult and time-consuming process (and time equals money) whereby teams have to re-work documentation and revisit designs in order to ensure compliance. On the other hand, if done correctly from the start, it can be an enjoyable learning curve that will promote efficiencies in the future and improve communication within the team

It is essential to choose your Green Star accredited professional right at the start of your project and to follow the guidance provided.