Kiwis Get Good Neighbours

December 16, 2013

In the next few months, NABERSNZ for offices will be launched in Aotearoa.  NABERSNZ will enable office building owners, occupiers (or both) to rate the energy efficiency of their premises / building.   With a focus on existing buildings, NABERSNZ has wide application; it can be used to evaluate and compare the energy efficiency of all offices, whether that’s to compliment an existing Greenstar rating, or for previously unrated buildings.   The focus of NABERSNZ is solely on energy in commercial office buildings and certification is obtained through qualified assessors.  The cost of certification will vary depending on the size and nature of the building (or the part of it) to be assessed, but for most buildings, certification itself should fall comfortably within a four figure sum, including the NZGBC certification fee of $990+GST.

NABERSNZ in itself will do nothing to improve your energy efficiency. But expect it to become the universally accepted means of comparing your building (and how it is used) to buildings competing for the same tenants or investors, or otherwise, for publicly declaring the sustainability commitments of a business.  It is yet to be seen whether the government will use NABERSNZ as a means of benchmarking standards for the leased offices they occupy (as happened in Australia) but it seems a logical move to reduce costs and be seen to be ‘walking the walk’ of responsible government.

What impact will NABERSNZ have?  The lessons from Australia where NABERS has been around for over a decade show that higher NABERS rated buildings perform better in terms of financial returns, capital growth and vacancy levels than their lower rated counterparts across all office markets.  The markets appear to recognise the de-risking of an asset and the shifting patterns in demand towards higher performing assets.  The first results for New Zealand’s Green Property Index (IPD/PCNZ), based on Greenstar ratings, show a similar shift on this side of the ditch.  Our valuation team have long cried out for a way of determining the sustainability of a building – something they must factor into their valuations.  NABERSNZ will finally plug this gap.

If you’re considering a NABERSNZ rating, there are a number of things that you’ll need to get in place well in advance.  These include supplier bills for all energy used in the 12 months previous, a PINZ/PCNZ survey (formerly ‘BOMA’), and single line diagrams for electricity and gas installations / meters.  It may also be appropriate to consider installing sub-metering to some circuits. Getting this right can mean the difference between a good and bad rating, or even no rating at all.

Prendos have one of the first NABERSNZ Trainee Assessors in their sustainability team.  We’re more than happy to meet you to discuss your needs, how NABERSNZ might affect your business and what opportunities this presents.  As a multi-disciplinary practice with valuers, quantity surveyors, Architects/designers and project managers, as well as service partners in complimentary disciplines, we have all the resources you need to understand your property and deliver solutions that are appropriate to your needs , whether it’s just an assessment or the implementation of your energy / sustainability strategy.

If you would like an assessment, please fill in the form on our Contact Us page or call 0800 773 636 today.

Michael Gray is a chartered building surveyor and energy assessor  at Prendos with over 14 years experience in commercial property.  “For commercial buildings, being sustainable means de-risking an asset with lower running costs, increased tenant demand and higher rents and capital values. NABERSNZ is a powerful tool to benchmark the energy efficiency of office buildings  and  I expect this to become a game changer in the commercial property sector.  I look forward to providing strategic and technical advice and managing improvement works  to help even more clients maximise the value of their assets and create productive, sustainable workplaces with NABERSNZ setting new standards.”

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