Auckland’s newest high-rise tower – The Deloitte Centre – is currently under construction at 80 Queen Street and is the city’s first five star Green Star NZ commercial office block and one of only two certified five star buildings in New Zealand. Jane Henley, CEO of the New Zealand Green Building Council says “These projects have now set the bar for new commercial office space”.
When people think of ‘Green Building’, rarely would they associate demolition contractors with the same cause. However, Jane and a growing number of the Council’s members understand how demolition, recycling and the use of recycled materials can contribute points towards the Councils Green Star NZ rating – a national standard that aims to reduce the environmental impact of buildings both during construction and throughout the building’s operational life time.
Brookfield Multiplex chose Ward Group as demolition contractor for this pilot project – taking into account their proven ability to recycle large volumes of waste. “Demolition jobs of this size can produce more waste than most contractors can deal with” says Mike Schultze, Safety and Environment Manager at Brookfield Multiplex.
Recycling a minimum of 75% of waste by weight is a key criterion for Green Star credits and is the minimum required to qualify for points. Ward Group achieved an impressive 96% – though it wasn’t easy. Both organisations needed to think creatively and pro-actively seek new markets for some of the site’s salvaged materials.
Mike Schultze and Brookfield Multiplex Environmental Officer & ESD Coordinator – Dean Raynel worked together to develop and implement the necessary checks and balances ensuring that project waste material was accurately measured and recorded both on and off-site. An audit of the Ward Group recovery yards was conducted and new systems were implemented specifically to ensure traceability for Green Star reporting. As a pilot project for the new national rating system, there was a lot of learning and unexplored territory for both Ward and Brookfield Multiplex to traverse.
As the former location of the BNZ Head Office and the Jean Batten heritage building, the 10-month demolition project presented many challenges during its course. Effective and highly disciplined site management was a critical success factor of the project.
The Ward Group team were constrained by size of the site and many consent conditions, including noise and road traffic. Public interface and safety were paramount concerns when planning every stage. Mike believes Ward Group managed these challenges well, even modifying equipment and work methods to operate within set limitations.
Demolishing, recovering, storing, transporting and recycling waste material on and off-site was made more productive because of Ward’s integrated business units. Having the specialist expertise and equipment to plan and manage these tasks as a coordinated group means saving transport costs and reducing congestion on roads and motorways.
For Ward, controlling the entire process in-house ensures critical deadlines are achieved. This project was completed on time – to the very day set two years prior.
The fact that the heritage façade of the historic Jean Batten Building has remained in place and intact during the excavation of four levels below and demolition of seven above ground (with the eighth being lifted off) is quite remarkable and a testament to the capability of the Ward team. The need to recover and preserve original features of the Jean Batten building added another dimension to the job. Salvaged heritage items have been photographed, catalogued and stored, ready for incorporation in the new building.
The heritage status of the Jean Batten building and the Green Star NZ design accreditation of the new Deloitte Centre have made the demolition and construction an interesting case model in terms of sustainability – a mix of old design elements and new building principles.
Brookfield Multiplex have been involved with the New Zealand Green Building Council since its formation and are integrating Environmentally Sustainable Design principles into projects as a matter of course. With the Waste Minimisation Bill pending, Mike Schultze thinks it’s only a matter of time before other organisations will follow in their footsteps.
With around 20 buildings now in the process of applying for Green Stars – the future certainly looks bright.