University of Auckland’s B201 building receives highest ever 6 Green Star rating

The University of Auckland’s Social Sciences Building (B201) designed by Jasmax has been awarded 93 points and a 6 Green Star rating by the New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC) – the highest score to be awarded since the inception of the rating, placing B201 in the ‘world leadership’ category.

Due to open in 2024, the 50-year-old structure is an adaptive reuse project that will set a new benchmark for low carbon design and sustainability.

Our architectural team worked with engineers from Beca and the University of Auckland to develop a high-level carbon reduction strategy that has led to replacing the existing concrete cladding with a lightweight system ensuring the structure could be reused, while also rendering the building earthquake-proof for another 50 years. The weight saving also allows for the addition of extra floor area and a spectacular new timber atrium.

Committed to setting industry leading carbon targets in response to the 2019 New Zealand Climate Change Response Amendment Act, our design strategy will reduce both the ongoing operational energy and carbon required by the building but also the embodied carbon in the overall construction, where a bulk of emissions will occur.

Innovative design principles have also been introduced, including ultra-high-performance solar glazing, the naturally ventilated timber atrium, which will provide flexible multi-use teaching spaces for increased utilisation, and timber partitioning throughout.

The project will send less waste to landfill, create less pollution through its construction and operation, and provide healthy, comfortable, and functional spaces for the thousands of students and staff who will occupy the space. The design also focuses on acoustic performance, comfortable lighting, and excellent access to public transport, bike parking, and end-of-trip facilities. The design is predicted to use 75% less water than a standard comparable building. Water will be collected through a rainwater harvesting system while more than a tenth of the building's renewable energy will be generated on site.

Jasmax Principal Chris Scott said: “This certification marks an exciting development in Jasmax’s efforts to meet net zero carbon across new buildings over the next decade. We are commitment to sustainable design, ensuring our projects have longevity and are part of the solution to reducing the impacts of climate change.”