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Industry Update November 2015

Stay informed on the green building world!

Welcome to the online version of our newsletter.

Green Building Council  updates including new materials framework.      NZGBC

Green Star has been a successful building rating system for more than seven years, but in those seven years immense progress has been made in improving the environmental impact of construction. To ensure that the rating tool is up to date, the New Zealand Green Building Council developed a new and revised Framework. The NZGBC reviewed four key categories: Innovation, Energy, Water and Materials.

New materials framework:

The changes to the materials framework is intended to bring more consistency on how NZGBC assesses materials, and more flexibility is now offered within the Timber, Concrete and Steel credits. These changes are resulting in a reduced number of credits which means the points in this category have a higher overall weighting in the Green Star Tool.

Below we enumerated the most important changes of the framework.

  • Timber, Concrete and Steel have all undergone significant reviews that reflect changes in the industry and direct projects towards the next step to reduce environmental impact.
  • NZGBC has merged all other materials together in the Sustainable Products category and aligned the compliance requirements for these products.
  • Products and materials that have the potential to impact on indoor air quality are now all recognised in one credit: Low Emitting Materials
  • Innovation guidance has been introduced to explain how projects can exceed the benchmarks, and to encourage project teams to go beyond the credit criteria.
  • Two Innovation Challenges have been created: one that rewards products and materials that produce Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), and one to reward project teams that carry out a life-cycle assessment of a project.

Seminar 22 October 2015

Last month EnviroSpec organized a Products and Materials seminar for suppliers. In this seminar we discussed and explained the changes and improvements on the Green Star Material framework. 

To view the abbreviated edit of the seminar click here.

 

For more information about the new V3 materials framework, and to discuss how this affects your product please email contact@envirospec.co.nz or call 09 889 2190

 

Certified projects

Over the years EnviroSpec already had several success stories in the industry. Below we gave you a summary of the projects and businesses we worked with.

fuji xerox

Fuji Xerox, as leader in the field of imaging, printing and office solutions engaged the BXG to provide a strategic review of the sustainable opportunities that could be implemented during its move to 2 new premises - One warehouse and office near the airport and the new head office building in Grafton. The work provided a complete mapping of all green building rating programmes available, as well as solar initiatives and a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for the Client. The main outcomes will be a focus on energy and water efficiency, with the opportunity to work towards complete Carbon Zero certification as part of a continuous improvement programme.

 metlifecare

Metlifecare is a leader in the provision of quality, innovative and sustainable solutions for the lifestyle and care needs of older people. As part of their Corporate Social Responsibility objectives, Metlifecare identified good synergies and opportunities to ensure their residential living units are aligned with Homestar principles. The BXG has been working in partnership with Metlifecare to help align and certify a number of their new aged-care villages and centres, ensuring it is first in the Country to successfully achieve Homestar certification on its projects. 

matakana green

A leading development and the vision of a Dutch land owner, Matakana Green is a great example of what can be achieved when people really set their minds to it. A residential development of 36 individual lots, each house is required to achieve a high environmental performance of 7 star Homestar or more, as well as having Solar PV and rainwater harvesting. The BXG is working exclusively with the directorship and Matakana Green to help deliver this vision in practice, and is acting Homestar Assessor for the entire development.

 fletcher living

Fletcher Residential (FRL) are one of the largest residential standalone, terraced housing and apartment developers in the country. FRL engaged the BXG to provide Homestar Assessor services on their latest residential development in the 3 Kings Special Housing Area. The BXG has helped FRL to achieve the required 6 Homestar Design Rating and are still working with FRL to translate this into a 6 Homestar Built Rating once construction is completed.

 

Advanced Tech Article

plant power


Plant Power: Dutch company harvests electricity from living plants to power streetlights, Wi-Fi, and cell phones

A Dutch company developed technology to harness electricity from living plants. The electricity that they collect is used to power cell-phone charges, WI-FI hotspots and over 300 LED streetlights in the Netherlands. The company Plant-e debuted its project in one year ago in November 2014.

Plant-e's new plant power could be the next revolution in clean energy. Many researchers are looking for other ways to generate clean electricity, and this idea is similar. Plant-e's founders came up with the idea from photosynthesis. Harvesting energy from growing plants has evolved enormously since middle school science fair projects featuring clock run by potatoes. The principle of plant powered electricity is more or less the same but the approach of harnessing the energy is radically different. With this approach it does not require damaging the plant in order to harness its energy and the amount of electricity is actually substantial.

The hope is that this technology will someday be used to provide power in poor areas of the world. If they can find a way to use this technology in a cost-effective way, it could mean that this clean energy could bring electricity to people who have never had it, which is nearly 25 percent of the world's population.  Click here to read the entire article.

 

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