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An investigation into the application of international environmental Greenroads Certification standards to road construction in New Zealand

Greenroads is a USA designed environmental certification system for quantifying sustainable best practices for roadway design and construction. The major objectives of my research were to evaluate the suitability of Greenroads certification for use in New Zealand and compare the potential impacts of Greenroads compliance with the environmental outcomes achieved under the current New Zealand legislation and standards. A further two environmental certification systems, CEEQUAL (Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Awards Scheme based in the UK) and INVEST (VicRoads – Integrated VicRoads Environmental Sustainability Tool managed by VicRoads in Australia) were also evaluated. For the Greenroads certification process to operate in New Zealand it was first necessary to undertake several Pilot Projects so that Greenroads criteria could be adapted to New Zealand conditions. Greenroads offered NZTA the option of undertaking an “A-Lined (pilot) Assessment” for the Te Rapa Bypass Road construction project that was underway in the Waikato region in 2011/12. Information regarding the design and construction of the Te Rapa Bypass was collated and submitted to Greenroads for the A-Lined Assessment. The results of the Greenroads A-Lined Assessment showed that the Te Rapa Bypass, with limited additional work, could have achieved a Greenroads Bronze Certificate. The collated information was also used as a basis to evaluate the CEEQUAL and INVEST systems. It was estimated that the Te Rapa Bypass could have achieved a CEEQUAL “Pass Award” or an INVEST two star rating. However to get any rating from CEEQUAL or INVEST a considerable amount of work would be required on all documentation. Greenroads, INVEST and CEEQUAL assessments show that currently, under the requirements of the New Zealand Resource Management Act (1991) (RMA) and other New Zealand legislation, New Zealand roads are already designed and constructed to a high environmental standard. Of the Greenroads, INVEST and CEEQUAL, certification systems, I consider that Greenroads is the better system for road projects in New Zealand. I recommend that New Zealand should use the Greenroads accreditation system to demonstrate that we meet international environmental standards in road construction. Much of the reporting required for Greenroads accreditation can be developed with, and incorporated into, the RMA consent process.
Type of thesis
Daysh, K. (2013). An investigation into the application of international environmental Greenroads Certification standards to road construction in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Science (MSc)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/8647
University of Waikato
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