'Market leading' energy rating for AUT

08 Jun, 2020
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WO Building on the city campus has recently been awarded 5 out of 6 stars for the NABERSNZ Energy Rating putting it amongst some of the most energy efficient buildings in New Zealand.

A NABERSNZ certified rating gives a star rating of 0 to 6 that clearly shows a building’s energy performance compared to others. It is valid for one year and 5 stars is rated as ‘market leading performance’.

In 2015 AUT purchased WO Building and set about the tough task of reducing the building’s wasteful energy consumption.

“We aim for all or our buildings to run efficiently,” says Warren Smith, from the Energy Conservation Team in Estates Group. “WO was a big job for us but important because it represented a large chunk of the city campus’ energy consumption and therefore a large portion of the electricity bill.”

Thinsulate film was added to WO’s north and east facing windows to cut down solar heat gain and LED lighting was installed - all to reduce air-conditioning load. Energy efficient chillers and new HVAC control systems have been installed and the building management system (BMS) is constantly tweaked so that air conditioning is only on when people are in the building. The BMS automatically monitors all HVAC systems and alerts the Facilities Management Team of developing equipment failures so they can be repaired before there is a loss of air-conditioning or energy wastage.

In 2016 WO's energy consumption was 1,639,000 kilo Watt hours. Every year this has decreased with it now being at 1,092,000kWh in 2019. The annual energy cost for WO in 2016 was $247,796 versus $166,008 in 2019 representing a reduction of 33% and a saving of around 53 tonnes of C02 emissions.

EECA Chief Executive, Andrew Caseley congratulated the AUT team on the NABERSNZ rating. "This is an exemplary rating, particularly for an existing building, when we are still seeing new builds with higher energy intensity. It's great to see AUT's leadership."

The AUT Energy Conservation Team is aiming for 6 stars and not just for WO Building. “It’s not just about saving money”, Smith says, “it’s also about reducing our carbon footprint and remaining committed to our sustainability goals and principles.”

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