Deep retrofits of commercial buildings make good sense My first Greenstar project showed massive carbon savings

26 December 2023 by Jason Quinn


The deep retrofit at 80 Willis Street, Wellington is featured in a just-released NZ Green Building Council publication, A practical guide to upfront carbon reductions. This is a project dear to my heart, as I worked on it years ago as the Green Star professional. This was the very first NZGBC project to submit carbon modelling using LCA Quick from BRANZ. BRANZ staff were a great help—cheers Brian! We all agreed to release the report on the building as a template to help other projects make their Green Star submissions.

Our client, McKee-Fehl Constructors, wanted to know for sure if they were doing the right thing. The firm’s standard approach was to deeply retrofit buildings rather than demo buildings and start over. It felt like the right approach, but it was still epic once we had the numbers in front of us, showing we’d achieved a 75% reduction in upfront carbon versus a reference building.

Note this guide is for commercial buildings—Green Star—not the residential Homestar version. 

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