40 Bowen Street is the definition of a new age energy-smart office building.
Awarded a 5 Green Star rating this dynamic property demonstrates the high-quality office space our commercial sector is now asking for.
Name: 40 Bowen Street
What: new build; 10,200 square metres over six levels; one of a pair of new buildings (shared atrium) which completes the landmark mixed-use precinct Bowen Campus adjacent to the Beehive
Where: northern end of Wellington CBD
Tenancy: EY, Fujitsu, Generator, Dentons and Simpson Grierson
Occupancy: approximately 850 people
Owner: Precinct Properties Ltd & PAG
Architect: Tennent Brown Architects
Main contractor: LT McGuinness Limited
GSAP: Patrick Arnold
Project status: design phase completed early 2020; construction July 2020 to October 2022; occupancy post October 2022
Project certification: 5 Green Star - Office Built v3 rating (July)
With its rippling glass façade representing the waters of the historic Waipouri River buried beneath its site, 40 Bowen Street has a strong architectural presence.
Equipped with a steel frame with fluid viscous dampers delivering exceptional resilience and sustainability, large open plan floor plates and ceilings maximising light and views, and centralised heat-pump based HVAC systems - this base building walks the talk of reducing carbon emissions and lowering greenhouse gas impacts.
It also speaks to its owner’s green trajectory in the commercial property sector.
Precinct is a front runner in the push for sustainable commercial building stock, with nine Green Star rated buildings, four Green Star projects in development and Green Star Performance ratings across 15 buildings.
5 Green Star rated 40 Bowen Street also houses smart-tech workspace provider Generator’s 5 Green Star certified interiors fit out across a shared atrium and ground and first floors.
Precinct project director, Michael Sweetman, says the development team is proud to have achieved the two ratings and “our occupiers are very happy with the result.”
“It’s fantastic to deliver a truly sustainable building in line with and confirmed by the NZGBC in this third party assessment,” he says.
“We know our buildings are sustainable and great places to work in - this achievement is just another vote of confidence by the national authority on green buildings that we’re achieving our targets.”
Precinct head of sustainability, Lisa Hinde, says Precinct and Green Star are closely aligned with their shared values in standing behind the high quality and ESG credentials of commercial buildings.
“To combat greenwashing in the industry, aligning and certifying our assets with Green Star provides a transparency of performance our stakeholders are expecting from premium office developments like 40 Bowen Street,” she says.
Lisa says in the last five years a Green Star rated building has shifted from an aspiration or ‘nice to have’ to a ‘must have’.
“We’re proud to be part of a movement that’s saying a Green Star rated asset is now ‘business as usual’ and a minimum expectation on both sides of the equation.”
She says with increased demand from occupiers for office space reflecting ESG policies and growing expectations around decarbonisation, Green Star rated spaces will continue to be in strong demand.
Tennent Brown Architects project lead, Kevin Lux, says the project’s commitment to a Green Star target shaped the building’s design.
“One of the most significant carbon producers of a project is the ongoing operation of the building mechanical system to achieve the required indoor conditions. This heavily informed our selection of performance glazing and window-to-wall ratio to manage heat gain, creating a palate of design elements for us to work with.”
He says the project has had strong commercial drivers but by pushing harder for carbon reduction “in areas of low hanging fruit” a big difference has been made.
“It has been impressive and the outcome is a building with around 50% of the ongoing energy consumption of a standard code-compliant development.”
Kevin says Green Star delivered inspiration to the project.
“Green Star inspired the client and design team to think harder about what we were doing and pushed the thinking downstream to the contractor and subcontractors in terms of site management and education, particularly in waste minimisation and diversion.”
The main contractor LT McGuinness had 250 to 300 workers on site during peak construction and says the project’s Green Star target was elevating.
“Green Star delivered reduced operation costs, more comfortable on-site workspaces for the team, fostered green thinking and led to more efficient and environmentally conscious construction processes,” says project lead, Nick Morris.
Morris says project collaboration is central to Green Star's success in both office construction and interiors.
Project GSAP, Patrick Arnold, says Precinct carried out an LCA calculation and offset the embodied carbon of the building with credits through Toitū to maintain up-front carbon neutrality across the project. This process is in line with Precinct’s World Green Building Council Net Zero Buildings Commitment, of which they are the only New Zealand property owner to affirm.
He says good passive design, energy-efficient systems, water-efficient fittings and the use of sustainable materials have propelled the building’s 5 Green Star result.
Those high-level sustainable credentials resonate with the building’s tenants as Maridol Wood from Fujitsu New Zealand Limited (level 3) explains.
“With us having experienced some big earthquakes here in the past, I truly appreciate the integrity and safety of 40 Bowen Street’s structure.”
“My colleagues and I love the newness of the building, the great wide windows providing significant views of our surroundings, the end-of-trip facilities like the showers and the location being accessible to amenities.”
Green features include:
- re-use of land – formerly a brownfield carpark
- over 90% of construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfill – largely recycled
- utilises cell beams, viscous dampers and low-carbon concrete to provide a strong and resilient structure very efficiently
- minimised carparks
- proximity to mass transport
Technical features include:
- highly tuned façade and mechanical designs deliver a quality interior environmental condition
- outside air is provided at a 50% improvement on NZBC requirements
- Zero ODP refrigerant
- Zero ODP insulants
- no water-based heat rejection.
Innovation points include:
- carbon neutral commitment
- seismic resilience
- online site environmental management tool
Photogrpahy by Jason Mann.