A warehouse complex in Auckland has become the first building of its type in New Zealand to gain a Green Star rating. Ceres Organics’ 5,500 square metre home consists of a two-level office building attached to a large precast concrete warehouse.
From the outset, sustainability was integral to the project, according to the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC). The building is oriented to make the most of passive solar heating and natural light. Built on a brownfield site, the project incorporated material recycled from the former derelict building.
Concrete was chosen for the bulk of the building structure to give good thermal mass, helping it stay cool in summer and warm in winter. The need for mechanical air conditioning and artificial lighting is minimised through natural ventilation and daylight harvesting.
Only two other buildings in New Zealand have been certified under the Green Star industrial tool, and this is the first food warehouse to do so. A rating of 5 Green Star denotes excellence in the country.
Ceres Organics’ managing director Noel Josephson says sustainability is vital to the company’s ethos.
“Our business is organics, and we’re serious about walking the talk on sustainability. So the design and construction of our new building had to have low environmental impact,” says Josephson.
“Our team of 80 staff moved in at the end of 2013 and we’re all delighted with the result. We’re more than 40 percent more efficient in terms of energy use than the previous building.”
NZGBC Chief Executive Alex Cutler says it is exciting to see Green Star being used on an industrial project.
“Ceres has shown real leadership by using Green Star to ensure and endorse the environmental standards of their building. It’s particularly exciting to see that they’re tracking energy use and carbon, which gives a very clear picture of real life performance,” says Cutler.
Other sustainability features of the building include: solar hot water system, rainwater collection system, fully automated building management system (BMS) to monitor lighting, CO2 levels, and water and energy usage, energy efficient LED lighting, dedicated recycling area, low-VOC, sustainably sourced materials, and substantial greenery in the office environment.
The project picked up points for innovation under the Green Star rating, including for the stringent carbon footprinting used by Ceres to measure the building’s impact.