Watercare House Case Study: Anchor tenant scores a NABERSNZ excellent rating for energy use

07 December 2017

Pushkar Kulkarni from Total Utilities completed the site review and NABERSNZ Assessment of Watercare House. Here he provides additional commentary to the original published case study, highlighting the specific benefits of a NABERSNZ tenancy rating.

“A NABERSNZ tenancy rating is an ideal tool for tenants as it shows them how their day to day operations impact their energy performance. It can also determine how well they manage energy and identify the opportunities that may exist to improve energy performance.

In an increasingly competitive market place and businesses look for a point of difference by delivering on their corporate and social responsibility, and think about long term business sustainability, tools like NABERSNZ are a good demonstration of their willingness to “walk the talk”. It reflects where they are now with respect to others and what benefits they can get by improving their NABERSNZ rating. I definitely feel that ratings will become increasingly important in New Zealand.

Equipment directly impacting the tenancy rating of Watercare are: lighting, computers, and client specific plug load etc. They are limited to what they can do with the lighting connections and zoning due to way in which these were originally designed. This has had an impact on the rating. If a NABERSNZ rating was a factor that developers and contractors were informed of during the design/build stage, then there is good chance that the lighting connections and zoning may have been designed differently.

In my opinion the occupancy density, clever use of all areas, and using lighting controls are the main factors that have resulted in a 4-Star NABERSNZ tenancy rating for Watercare. The rating demonstrates it’s a very good start and platform for Watercare to understand where they are at compared to the wider market and examine strategies on how they can improve going forward.”


Scoring a first-rate NABERSNZ 4-star tenancy rating for energy consumption at its office demonstrates an Auckland company’s commitment to the environment.

Auckland water provider Watercare Services Limited is the anchor tenant in an eight-level office block constructed in bustling Newmarket in 2013.

73 Remuera Road is the first Green Star rated commercial property in the district and reflects the growing demand from corporate tenants for green principled, energy smart work spaces.

Watercare occupies three of five office floors in the building.

Key Facts

  • 4-star ‘excellent’ NABERSNZ tenancy rating
  • Energy use certified as 97.6 kWh/year/m2

  • NABERSNZ to be used at other sites

  • Further energy upgrades continue

Big Numbers

  • 2013 – achieves a 5 Green Star Design rating
  • 2015 – achieves a 5 Green Star Built rating
  • 2016 – achieves a 4 star NABERSNZ tenancy rating
  • Energy use certified as 97.6 kWh/year/m2
  • Total energy consumption 738,454 kWh/ year

Building Profile

Location:  73 Remuera Road, Newmarket, Auckland

Owner: Viewmount Orchards Limited

Anchor Tenant: Watercare Services Limited (approximately 300 employees on site on an ordinary day)


  • 5 Green Star Design (Achieved 2013)
  • 5 Green Star Built (Achieved 2015)
  • NZ Property Council Award – Commercial Office Property Best in Category Award 2015
  • NZ Property Council Award – Green Building Property Merit Award 2015

The Anchor Tenant

Watercare is an Auckland Council owned organisation (CCO) providing water and wastewater services to Auckland and its environs. It is committed to the sustainable management of natural resources and energy saving operations. The Auckland Council has two additional NABERSNZ rated premises – the Manukau Civic Building (3 star whole building, 2014) and Orewa Service Centre (3.5 star whole building 2016).


The Building/Facilities Manager

FM Concepts Limited is an Auckland-based commercial property management firm which focuses on medium to large high rise buildings and offers a full range of services including onsite operational management, property consultancy, contract management, health and safety systems and cost management. It has a strong interest in the sustainability of the built environment and energy efficiency. Two commercial buildings in its portfolio are currently undergoing NABERSNZ ratings.


watercare-house-NABERSNZKey Sustainable Features

  • Located within easy walking distance of train and bus networks – encourages sustainable transport options for occupants
  • High-tech building controls and management system with real time monitoring
  • Energy efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC).
  • Double glazed façade
  • LED lighting
  • Well-designed waste collection and recycling area
  • End of trip facilities – gym, cycle park and locker facilities

This property is a brownfield redevelopment – its construction has improved an existing dilapidated area and makes a positive contribution to a sustainable Auckland.


With water being its core business Watercare has the environment and energy issues at the top of its agenda.

While its head office is housed in Green Star rated Watercare House the company’s sustainability manager Roseline Klein says the company wanted to understand its everyday energy performance across the three floors it occupies in the building.

It was the missing ingredient.

We wanted to know where we were at with our energy performance, how well we were doing and where we could improve. We’d heard about NABERSNZ so we did some research online. It’s a great tool, it provides a benchmark and it drives best practice.”

– Watercare Services Limited Sustainability Manager Roseline Klein

NABERSNZ in Action

Watercare Services Limited sustainability manager Roseline Klein says undertaking a NABERSNZ rating over its 7563 square metres of office space has proved to be “a painless process”.

The meterage required for a rating was already in place – 18 meters had been installed in the building during the construction period to aid fine-tuning of systems and utilities.

The company took advantage of the free NABERSNZ feasibility assessment which determines a building’s readiness to get started with a rating.

“It made a big difference for us and took away the humdrum business of counting 644 computers and documenting the configuration of staff plus it set a timetable, provided a checklist and saved us time,” says Roseline.

NABERSNZ assessor Pushkar Kulkarni from Total Utilities says lighting, computers and occupant specific plug load have the biggest impact on a tenancy rating.

He says clever configuration of work spaces, occupancy density and sensory lighting controls have resulted in Watercare’s superb 4 star result.

The Value of NABERSNZ

Watercare says it wants to model water and energy efficiency and its 4-star NABERSNZ tenancy rating shows its credentials.

Sustainability manager Roseline Klein says the rating has been “a great experience” and has pushed the company to look hard at its resources and ensure they are better used.
“It’s spearheaded change. For example we’re now trying to ensure our procurement process is not always about cost but energy efficiency too. We’ve recently retrofitted our gym with water efficient shower heads which use nine litres per minute compared with 12 – they offer a better shower experience and use less water and energy,” she says.
Roseline believes if a NABERSNZ rating was compulsory it would encourage energy awareness and help tackle climate change.
“For example Aucklanders are the lowest users of water because it is charged volumetrically so whether you are sustainably-minded or not your invoice reminds you not to waste, to think of water efficiency. A mandatory energy performance rating would have the same effect for landlords and tenants.”
In Australia a NABERS rating is compulsory for commercial offices over 1,000 square metres while a range of mandatory energy performance ratings exist in Europe.

NABERSNZ assessor Pushkar Kulkarni says as Kiwi businesses increasingly look to deliver on corporate and social responsibility and think about long-term business sustainability a NABERSNZ rating demonstrates a willingness to ‘walk the talk’.
“The NABERSNZ tool is set to become increasingly important in New Zealand.”

A NABERSNZ rating demonstrates a willingness to ‘walk the talk’
– NABERSNZ Assessor Pushkar Kulkarni