A major boost for sustainability in new and existing buildings in this country looks certain to eventuate with the establishment of a New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) now at an advanced planning stage.
Already supported by professional managers from many key organisations in the building industry, the Interim NZGBC has run focus groups to secure inputs from suppliers, designers, central government, territorial authorities, investors, occupiers and corporate building owners.
Interim NZGBC Establishment chair Peter Dow is adamant that green building “is not an abstract technology playpen with gimmicks”. The council will encourage promotion of green building based on hard business facts, not emotion. “The evidence is out there now,” Mr Dow says. “Our focus and challenge is to demonstrate the benefits in a way that will withstand a rigorous business case review.
“It must make good business sense to get buy-in. We’ll put it together with a big education programme which will withstand rigorous scrutiny”. A primary function of the NZGBC will be to bring together and strengthen the diverse perspectives and energies of organisations currently involved in the green building movement.
Mr Dow insists there are simple worthwhile green things that people can do even with existing buildings — for example, conducting an energy audit. He’d like to see property owners achieving three worthwhile and financially viable green outcomes over the next three years, rather than getting bogged down trying to focus on 100% green solutions.
“Depending on where you are located, there are some green tracks you can go down today that are very relevant,” Mr Dow says. “The NZGBC will help inform people where the biggest gains can be achieved.
We want to provide information for people to make decisions that are commercially sound and environmentally responsible.”