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New energy use rating scheme a game changer for commercial property.

The door has now opened for New Zealand’s existing office buildings to be recognised for energy efficiency, contributing to a more sustainable built environment and ultimately reaping the rewards of as much as $200 million in energy savings annually, says the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC).
The long-awaited NABERSNZ scheme was launched in Auckland last night by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges and property industry leaders. The tool independently rates office energy use, measuring performance across a one to six-star scale; one being poor, three being the market average and six aspirational.
“We are excited about the ability of this tool to create new opportunities for existing buildings to gain market recognition on the basis of good energy performance and, ultimately, begin to implement meaningful changes that will raise the bar for green buildings as a whole,” says NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler.
This new tool will contribute to the market value of office buildings on the basis of good energy performance, and stimulate continuous improvement for those parties wanting to move up the rating scale and improve the value of their properties.
NABERSNZ is based on the Australian NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) tool operated by the New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) since 1998. The scheme has transformed the way energy is used in commercial office buildings across Australia, leading to lowered operating costs, increased occupancy rates and higher capital values on buildings with good ratings.
Now, the NABERS tool has been licensed for New Zealand use to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) by OEH and it will be administered by the NZGBC. It has been adapted to suit the New Zealand market by the Energy Management Association of NZ (EMANZ) and Exergy.
A building’s day-to-day operations have a dramatic impact on its performance, and without better information, facilities and property managers cannot identify inefficiencies and improve operations of their assets, says Ms Cutler.  
”The crucial thing about NABERSNZ is not simply that it ranks buildings and benchmarks their energy use; it’s using this as a tool to improve,” says EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill. “Kiwi businesses on average could improve their commercial building energy use by 20 – 25%, worth $200 million to the economy. NABERSNZ will help us realise those savings.
“The development and roll-out of NABERSNZ has been a real collaboration between industry and government. It’s pleasing to see such widespread enthusiasm from the commercial property sector.”
Ms Cutler says a number of factors affect a building’s ability to deliver good energy performance, including energy-modelling, properly timed energy solutions, quality commissioning, upfront goal setting and benchmarking, and co-ordination between design and operation.
The NZGBC’s Green Star rating system already addresses early intervention opportunities for improving the environmental impact that is a direct consequence of a building's site selection, design, construction, and maintenance – including energy efficiency benchmarks.
But the biggest issue is the way occupants use the building daily. Are there protocols in place for checking controls are operating as they were designed to? Do technicians know when those controls malfunction? How granular is the data coming through? What processes do facilities managers have in place to address data discrepancies?
“NABERSNZ will provide an instant measure of a building’s energy performance that can be compared to other office buildings. Tenants, particularly, will find NABERSNZ useful when procuring new premises and owners will find value in being able to demonstrate building energy efficiency. With such useful information on offer, the scheme has been hotly anticipated by the commercial property sector.”
“NABERSNZ Practitioners are being trained in the technical detail of the tool and a large proportion of the market will find this the most useful training,” she says. “NABERSNZ Accredited Assessors will assess 12 months of energy use data to provide a Certified Rating which can be used for promotional purposes.  Alternatively a free online self assessment tool is available for a rough guide on how a building or tenancy might rate.”
NABERSNZ has been sponsored by Precinct Properties and DNZ Property Fund. 

We would love to train your team, only NABERSNZ Practitioner courses are available for in-house training at special member prices. Please contact us to register your interest.
Copyright © 2013 New Zealand Green Building Council, All rights reserved.
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