How a building is managed alongside the technology employed to monitor and improve sustainability is integral to ensure commercial properties are not only appealing to investors and tenants for years to come. It also can reduce operating expenses for existing tenants and contribute to our environmental goals as a sector and a nation.
For these reasons, PMG has been advancing our environmental strategy to work toward achieving National Australian Built Environment Rating System NZ (NABERSNZ) ratings for several buildings across our portfolios.
We are thrilled 8 Rockridge Avenue in Penrose, Auckland, which is currently one of seven in PMG Direct Office Fund, is PMG’s first NABERSNZ rated property. This building joins 30 other buildings currently rated across New Zealand.
“As with most commercial buildings built prior to 2007, Rockridge was not designed with green building initiatives as its focus,” says PMG’s Head of Facilities Management, Simi Mukherjee.
“So, we had a challenge on our hands using older technology in the building, making it hard to firstly set up a monitoring system and then measure energy consumption.”
“However, we worked hard, made some significant improvements in how we measure energy usage in the building, and we are now able to see unusual spikes or drops in consumption and take the right action to converse it wherever possible. This has saved our tenants money and I know, like us, they are really pleased the building has received a 4-star accreditation through NABERSNZ.”
The four-level property constructed by Fletchers in 1997 has a net lettable area of 3,149 sqm, and current tenants include SGS New Zealand, Managed Hosted Applications, Matrix Security Group and Advance Retail.
NABERSNZ ratings are easier to achieve in newly constructed buildings that have been designed with environmental sustainability in mind and have the latest technology.
With older buildings, energy efficiencies can be compromised due to a lack of sophisticated technology and building systems.
The 8 Rockridge Avenue property was purchased by PMG in 2017 and was consuming a lot of energy due to an outdated HVAC main plant. The energy performance of the building was poor, and the strategy was to allow for a phased replacement of all four main units with the latest technology that included remote access to taper the units to function on load levels required and manage plant efficiently. Further to that strategy, we conducted phased replacements of fluorescent lighting with LEDs, which helps the property's overall energy conservation.
By 2020, we saw a 40% reduction in energy consumed, giving us the opportunity to apply for a NABERSNZ rating.
What is NABERS?
NABERS is an initiative launched by the Australian Government in 1999 to measure and compare the environmental energy and carbon performance of commercial buildings and tenancies. Building owners in Australia have also had to disclose a NABERS energy rating for their premises at points in all sale and lease documentation since 2010.
The NABERS success in driving improved environmental efficiencies has led EECA to introduce NABERSNZ as a voluntary tool to rate the carbon performance of New Zealand commercial properties, which has been operating since 2013.
A NABERSNZ Certified Rating gives a star rating from 0 to 6, which clearly shows a building’s energy performance compared to others.
NABERSNZ star ratings:
0 stars = very poor performance
1 star = poor performance
2 stars = below average performance
3 stars = good performance
4 stars = excellent performance
5 stars = market leading performance
6 stars = aspirational performance
Why it matters.
Simply put, it makes a difference both to our tenants and the environment.
The advantage of having NABERSNZ ratings for our properties is that we are more likely to attract high-value tenants who value working in an energy-efficient building, while reducing the operating costs.
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) Chief Executive Andrew Caseley stated commercial buildings use 21% of New Zealand’s electricity, costing businesses $800 million every year*.
“There is huge potential to embrace energy efficiency and reduce energy costs, and it can be through low or no-cost fixes. But property managers need to benchmark their building energy use first,” he said1.
PMG is doing its part to drive this change – looking into everything from rain harvesting systems and electric charging stations to solar panels. To make more of our buildings NABERSNZ ready, PMG is working on a strategy of installing energy metering that also includes installation of a centralised building management system (BMS), allowing building systems to integrate, measure and accurately report on electricity, water, natural gas, waste and recycling.
“Today, people want to work in an aesthetically pleasing and healthy building,” Simi says. “A place that is structurally safe and offers amenities to elevate their daily experience.”
The future of our properties.
As PMG strives to be the Landlord of Choice, we continuously work toward crafting better workplace environments. We do this by offering improved amenities, such as end-of-trip facilities (showers, lockers and storage), natural ventilation and lighting to promote a physically healthy work environment, and an optimal office layout to suit different working routines (including flexi-working and hot-desking).
NABERSNZ is one way that keeps landlords accountable while pushing us forward to create the ultimate workspaces fit for the future. PMG wants to be ahead of the game by actively working on our portfolio with the intention to get NABERS accreditations on many more buildings before it becomes a mandatory requirement.
View the certificate HERE.
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