Asteron Centre in Wellington wins top accolade for energy saving

Asteron Centre

Asteron Centre, Wellington, New Zealand

29 July 2014 - Two years carefully monitoring energy use has paid off for the Asteron Centre in central Wellington, which is only the second building in New Zealand to be awarded a prestigious rating for its efforts.

After halving its energy consumption, the Asteron Centre has earned a 5.5 Star base building energy rating from NABERSNZ for reducing its base building energy use annually to just 46 kW/hours per square metre. Crown Building Performance Specification requirements for tenancy’s they occupy generally vary between 105 and 120 kW/hours per square metre.

NABERSNZ is a performance-based rating system that measures an existing New Zealand commercial office building’s energy performance during operation.

Based on the successful National Australian
Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), NABERSNZ is a voluntary tool that measures an organisation’s actual energy use against factors such as building occupancy, number of computers and rentable area. Comparing this against other similar buildings and climate conditions provides
a rating on a 6-star scale, which the organisation can use to understand, and then improve, their energy performance.

The Asteron Centre’s drastic saving was achieved with the assistance of lead mechanical engineer, Marcus Welby, of Aurecon.

“The Asteron Centre was completed in 2010 and had been designed to ensure it was environmentally sustainable. It already had a 5 Green Star office design rating, but the owners felt there was potential to make further savings. We monitored the building five days a week to look at what changes could be made. Effectively, it’s about getting the best out of the millions and millions of dollars worth of the very complex equipment that has been installed,” Welby said.

The architects for Wellington’s largest single office building at 49,000m2, the 12-level Asteron Centre were Warren and Mahoney with all engineering consultancy services provided by Aurecon.

Asteron Centre has a wide spectrum of energy saving features, including rainwater harvesting, automatic dimming lighting when sufficient daylight is available, heat recovery chillers, high performance glazing, hot water pre-heating from chiller waste heat, chilled beams and heat pump hot water cylinders.

Housing more than 2700 workers, the Asteron Centre is owned by Grant Corleison and Mark Dunajtschik who are currently developing the Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre opposite Te Papa.

“This award is great news for our tenants. The drastic savings we’ve achieved ultimately benefit the tenants who pay for their own consumption while we pay for the common areas. The lower we can get the energy consumption, the better it is for landlord and tenant,” Corleison said.

“We’re delighted with the work the engineers did on this.”

Aurecon will also be working with the developers on the proposed Hilton Hotel project.

The only other New Zealand building to achieve the NABERS rating is Meridian Energy, also in the capital.

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