A PHILLIPS Fox practitioner is the first lawyer in New Zealand to become a Green Star accredited professional of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
James Hassall, a senior lawyer in Phillips Fox’s infrastructure, environmental, and resource management team, is one of five Green Building Council accredited professionals in New Zealand. There are over 500 accredited professionals in Australia. ‘Green Star’ is a rating system for buildings similar to the energy star system used for appliances.
“Sustainability in the built environment is becoming a commercial driver for property owners and developers,” Hassall said.
“Increasingly, buildings that achieve high rents are those with lower energy and water costs, lower greenhouse gas emission profiles, and improved indoor environment quality.”
Hassall said new sustainable building standards are being introduced via the Building Code, and increasingly legislation and regulations are being introduced to drive sustainable outcomes.
Learning from the established Australian system has given a greater understanding of these issues in New Zealand. The New Zealand Green Building Council is working with the Government and the private sector on green building practices, and which rating system to adopt.
Five other Phillips Fox partners have taken the GBCA course and will soon sit their accreditation examinations.