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Meridian Building has market-leading energy performance

The Meridian Building - one of New Zealand’s most iconic sustainable buildings - on Wellington’s waterfront has achieved a 5.5 star base building rating. This is a market-leading NABERSNZ rating for energy performance - the highest to be awarded under the 6 star scheme.

Owned by DNZ Property Fund, the Meridian Building was the first 5 Green Star commercial office building to be occupied in New Zealand. Green Star rates the environmental performance of new buildings from a design and build perspective, whereas NABERSNZ rates the energy performance of existing buildings.

“The 5 Green Star rating shows its potential, while the NABERSNZ rating of 5.5 out of 6 certifies its day-to-day performance,” explained DNZ Chief Executive Paul Duffy. NABERSNZ used 12 months of in-use energy data to verify the building’s Green Star design objectives for reduced energy use.

The Meridian Building is the first to get a base building Certified Rating under the scheme. Base building ratings include services such as lifts, base building air conditioning and common areas like foyers. Ratings are also available for whole buildings and tenancies.

“The Meridian Building was designed and built to the highest standards of sustainability and efficiency, with many innovative features,” said Duffy. “Although we knew it performed well for our tenants, this rating proves it conclusively.”

The building’s sustainability features include a double-skinned facade; exposed thermal mass; automated window opening, automated, external louvres and internal blinds to control solar gain and glare; daylight-controlled lighting; solar hot water; and air conditioning via chilled beams. The NABERSNZ Certified Rating found that the building uses a tiny 34 kWh/m2 per year.

New Zealand Green Building Council Chief Executive Alex Cutler says the rating shows the importance of tuning and commissioning a building well.

“Aside from its groundbreaking design, the Meridian Building went through a process of finetuning its systems well to make sure it really works for its occupants,” Cutler said. “It’s the perfect balance of being designed sustainably and also being well run and maintained.”

EECA Chief Executive Mike Underhill noted that while most New Zealand office buildings will sit around the 2.5-3 star mark for energy use, the Meridian Building shows what can be achieved.

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