Who will this affect?
The responsibility for getting the rating lies with either the agency as tenant, or the landlord, or both, depending on the leased area and proportion of the overall building size. “Mandated agencies” covers an extensive range of government bodies from the Ministries to ACC.
To retain their tenants, building owners and landlords will need to be proactive and get ratings well before the expiry of leases so that the current building performance is known and they have time to improve if necessary to achieve the 4-star minimum. Where the responsibility lies with the Agency, again they should be proactive and get ratings early so that they are well informed when considering whether to renew leases.
Graham Gilleberg, WSP Senior Sustainability Consultant thinks the government is taking a good step forward in starting the momentum going towards awareness around the zero-carbon trajectory, but warns:
“The majority of New Zealand office buildings are likely to fall short of a 4-star rating. The requirement for ratings and the need to achieve the minimum star rating means that there is much to do and forward planning is essential to reduce the cost and effort in bringing buildings up to standard.”
Of course, there could also be disruption and significant cost in moving to new office space if this is not possible or the landlord chooses not to. He advises:
- Assessing which of your tenancies will require ratings, which type of rating, and who will take the lead in getting the rating
- If the rating doesn’t achieve 4 stars, identifying opportunities for improving workplace practices to save energy and working with your landlord to identify steps to take to improve energy efficiency in building features, plant and equipment
- Assessing existing metering arrangements and in many cases working with your landlord to improve/ adapt them to NABERS requirements to ensure appropriate energy coverage is included in the rating and therefore an accurate rating
- Ensuring your new build projects include a requirement to be “NABERS ready”, ie designed to achieve a 5 star rating after the first year of occupation
- Ongoing re-ratings (either yearly or every three years)
“The experience in Australia where NABERS ratings has been a requirement for all buildings over 1000m2 for some time is that energy efficiency has increased significantly, reduced outgoings, and the market has responded well with higher building values, reduced vacancy, and reduced incentives to secure tenancies, whilst at the same time making a significant contribution towards the reducing carbon emissions”.