Whare waro kore
Zero carbon buildings

More sustainable buildings and offices are healthier to work in, and use less resources like energy, water and materials.

Benefits of a sustainable office

There is a range of environmental, social and business benefits for creating a sustainable workplace, including:

  • more comfortable
  • more natural light
  • cleaner air
  • increased productivity.
  • more durable, which means occupancy is longer
  • can be a valuable marketing tool for potential customers, employees, and investors.

Measure your building's performance

Use the National Australian Built Environment Rating System to assess the energy efficiency of office buildings. It provides you with a rating scale from one to six that's easy to understand. Visit nabersnz.govt.nz for more information.

Building management systems help businesses to assess, report on and manage energy use across a building, including:

  • powering equipment
  • lighting
  • heating
  • cooling.

The Gen Less website has more information on the benefits and implementation.

Make your building greener

If you own a business and are either thinking of moving your office, upgrading, or building a new one, starting early in the planning process is key to making your building as green as possible.

At the start of your planning process

Here are ways to decrease carbon:

  • LCAQuick is a life cycle assessment tool that helps architects, designers and structural engineers make sustainable design decisions. It evaluates the carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of a building design.
  • Free BRANZ - CO2NSTRUCT tool provides values for construction materials. Can be used alongside the LCAquick tool as part of the New Zealand ‘whole-building whole-of-life framework’.
  • Reducing carbon emissions in building and construction process is a framework to create more sustainable buildings.

Check your building

  • Check your environmental performance with Green Star, a rating system for design, construction, operation, fit-out, and developments.
  • Living Building Challenge focuses on maximising the positive impacts of a building on our environment.
  • Passive House NZ helps achieve healthy and efficient buildings, from site location to material use. This is for residential and commercial buildings, including new builds and retrofits.
  • Find eco-friendly products and materials for green homes and businesses: Environmental Choice - product guide.

Changes to the building code

Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is working on a programme to reduce carbon emissions across the building sector.

This programme will focus on the:

  • operational energy of a building
  • embodied carbon used in construction and refurbishment.

These changes in the building sector will start from 2021/2022.

Find more information about what you can do now at MBIE – Building for Climate Change.

Construction and demolition waste

Avoiding waste when building saves time, money and reduces your carbon footprint.

Projects over two million dollars need to submit a waste management plan before construction begins.

Construction and demolition waste planning

Find out more: BRANZ - Reducing building material wastes

Funding for high-performance buildings

Wellington City Council offers a 50% remission on development contribution fees.

This is for eligible commercial and mixed-use buildings that achieve a Greenstar 5 rating (section 2.6.5 of the Development contributions policy, page 17).

Contact the Development Contributions Officer at the start of your project to ensure it meets the requirements.

Email: developmentcontributions@wcc.govt.nz