Green Building Practice in the New Zealand Construction Industry: Drivers and Limitations
Green Star NZ is New Zealand’s primary rating system that determines and assesses how environmentally friendly non-residential buildings are. New Zealand portrays itself as a clean and green nation; however, its uptake of the Green Star NZ assessment tool has been slow. This research examines the current strengths and limitations of the New Zealand green new construction industry using primary data collected and analyzed from semi-structured interviews. The results fundamentally demonstrate a limited understanding of best green building practices and Green Star NZ on behalf of New Zealand’s commercial construction industry. The research identified 12 key limitations mitigating green building in New Zealand’s new construction. Four of these limitations were new ideas presented in the interviews, including supply chain inefficiencies, tools not tailored to New Zealand, unproven commercial feasibility, and lack of short-term benefits. Current contractor drivers were identified as basic operation-based strengths, which include waste segregation/waste management processes, basic resource efficiencies, occupant comfort, and increasing awareness. As New Zealand’s green rating system uptake is still in its infancy, the country can learn from the teething issues of other countries that have progressed in sustainable built environment practices.