The Building Excellence Group
Building a Greener Tomorrow: The Story of The Building Excellence Group
Discover how The Building Excellence Group is shaping the future of sustainable construction, blending technological innovation with environmental stewardship and forging lasting partnerships in New Zealand’s green building landscape.
The Building Excellence Group (BXG), established in 2015 and headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand, embodies a forward-thinking approach to modern construction and sustainability. Born out of a rising demand for green buildings and energy efficiency, BXG symbolizes New Zealand’s commitment to sustainable development. The nation’s concerted effort, bolstered by the government, industry, NGOs, and consumers, highlights a unified stride toward a more sustainable future. The undeniable environmental advantages of green buildings are complemented by a range of economic and social benefits that set them apart from conventional structures.
BXG operates as a comprehensive solution provider for clients seeking expertise in various critical sustainable construction and design areas. Its services encompass Building Compliance & Certification, Sustainable Concept Design, Building Performance Optimization, Renewable Energy Consultancy, and Research & Education. This diverse portfolio uniquely positions the company in the market, addressing a broad spectrum of needs in sustainable building and environmental stewardship. BXG’s commitment to these areas advances the field of sustainable construction and contributes significantly to the broader goals of environmental sustainability and responsible corporate practices in New Zealand.
A Visionary Duo: The Genesis of The Building Excellence Group
The Building Excellence Group is the brainchild of two visionaries, Alex Reiche and Sam Dallimore, who brought their unique expertise and passion for green building to the forefront of the industry.
Alex Reiche’s journey began in the UK, where his work with organizations like Groundwork Environmental, The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, and The National Centre for Business and Sustainability honed his skills as an environmental scientist. His expertise in environmentally preferable products and sustainable design practices deepened when he served as a Research and Development coordinator for a multinational architectural firm. This path led him to New Zealand, where he quickly became a leading figure in the Green Building Council and Greenbuild, renowned for his pragmatic approach to sustainable solutions.
Sam Dallimore, co-founder and CEO of BXG, complemented Alex’s experience with his impressive background. A graduate of Otago University, Sam majored in land planning and development and energy studies. Before BXG, he served as an Environmental Assessment Analyst at EnviroSpec, becoming a qualified Homestar Assessor. His rapid ascent in the field is a testament to his dedication and skill, notably in leading Homestar projects ranging from single dwellings to expansive multi-unit developments.
When Alex and Sam joined forces in 2015, they had a clear objective: to guide clients in realizing their green building aspirations, no matter how undefined or ambitious. Their combined expertise and shared vision quickly propelled BXG to prominence. The company, known for its high-quality work, pragmatic approach, and straightforward execution, has grown to a team of 10 full-time staff, buoyed mainly by its sterling reputation in the industry.
The story of BXG is not just about two individuals but about a shared commitment to sustainable building practices and a cleaner, greener future. This dynamic duo’s journey from individual expertise to a collaborative powerhouse illustrates the transformative power of shared vision and dedication to environmental sustainability.
Expanding Horizons: BXG’s Operational Excellence and Evolving Capabilities
The Building Excellence Group has not only set benchmarks in sustainable design and building compliance. Still, its operations have expanded to include significant research collaborations and a response to evolving building code standards. This dynamic expansion reflects BXG’s commitment to staying at the forefront of sustainable building practices.
A key aspect of BXG’s operations involves its partnership with notable research institutions and government agencies. The company has collaborated on leading research projects with BRANZ (Building Research Association of New Zealand) and Kāinga Ora, a significant player in New Zealand’s affordable housing sector. These collaborations aim to explore and enhance housing affordability and its impact on health and well-being, focusing on designing modular prefabricated houses that promise improved affordability and health outcomes.
BXG’s response to the construction boom in New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, is marked by its engagement with Kāinga Ora’s mandate that all social housing achieves a minimum of Homestar 6-star certification. This initiative, aligning with the global green building movement, promises tenants warmer, healthier, and more energy-efficient homes. Kāinga Ora’s commitment to building all new homes to this standard has kept the company busy, with thousands of dwellings scrutinized, assessed, and certified to meet these heightened sustainability and efficiency benchmarks.
Recently, BXG has also been addressing the new Building Code compliance around H1 thermal and G7 Daylight standards. The H1 Energy Efficiency clause requires efficient energy use, setting physical conditions for building energy performance. This includes adequate thermal resistance and limits on uncontrollable airflow. Meanwhile, the G7 Daylight standard necessitates sufficient natural light for occupied spaces, with specific window dimensions and natural light levels requirements, ensuring occupants’ health and well-being.
BXG’s operations exemplify a holistic approach to sustainable building, from compliance and certification to pioneering research and adapting to new regulations. Its journey reflects an unwavering dedication to pushing the boundaries of green building, with an eye constantly on the evolving landscape of environmental sustainability and housing quality standards.
Technological Innovation in Sustainable Building: The Backbone of BXG’s Expertise
At the heart of The Building Excellence Group’s services lies a keen embrace of technology, which is critical in delivering sustainable building solutions. In the ever-evolving field of green building, technology plays a pivotal role, particularly in green building standards and rating systems. These systems assess and certify buildings based on their environmental impact and performance, from energy and water use to emissions and overall environmental performance. This assessment requires a comprehensive understanding of an integrated design process, ensuring projects are environmentally responsible throughout their life cycle.
Alex Reiche, co-founder of BXG, emphasizes the importance of applying a discerning eye to the results produced by the software and tools used in the company’s operations. While technology facilitates accuracy and efficiency in calculations and compliance, Reiche advocates a balanced approach where software results are combined with “common sense and logic.” This thoughtful approach allows BXG to critically evaluate the outcomes, ensuring they are logical and accurate. This methodology has led to significant discoveries, such as identifying flawed formulas in the assumptions of a major international assessment program, which BXG reported for rectification.
The benefits of embracing technology in green building are manifold. Research indicates that adherence to green building standards and certification systems can substantially reduce energy, carbon, water, and waste, with savings ranging from 30 to 97%. Furthermore, the operation costs of green buildings can decrease by 8-9%, with a corresponding increase in their value. These buildings often experience heightened occupancy rates, rent values, and return on investment, not to mention the enhanced health and productivity benefits for occupants due to better indoor environmental quality.
The company’s approach, intertwining technological proficiency with a human-centric review process, reflects a deep understanding of the complexities involved in sustainable building. Its ability to harness technology while maintaining a critical perspective ensures that its projects meet and exceed the evolving standards of green building. This blend of technology and human insight is crucial in navigating the intricate landscape of sustainable construction, making BXG a notable player in the field.
Strengthening Partnerships and Fostering a Vibrant Corporate Culture: The Building Excellence Group’s Approach
The Building Excellence Group thrives on forging enduring relationships with its clients, which often evolve into long-term partnerships. This phenomenon is not unique to BXG but is symbolic of the sustainable construction industry, where collaborative partnerships are increasingly vital. Companies in this sector are now expected to join forces with diverse entities, including public and private organizations, to address complex environmental and social issues. These partnerships are often akin to intricate joint ventures involving multiple parties, transcending the capabilities of individual companies or even whole industries. They require systemic changes and collaborative efforts spanning jurisdictional boundaries, reflecting sustainability challenges’ interconnected and holistic nature.
The company’s corporate culture is a microcosm of the broader entrepreneurial ethos pervading the green building industry. BXG’s young and dynamic team, with Alex Reiche being the eldest at 42, operates in an environment of equality and close friendship, valuing each member’s contributions equally. This egalitarian approach reflects the industry’s shift towards entrepreneurial thinking, emphasizing action, big thinking, and a positive attitude toward failure. Entrepreneurial thinking in green building involves challenging conventional approaches, embracing innovative solutions, and fostering a culture of “productive failure” that sees setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. BXG and similar organizations aim to spearhead more effective and economically viable sustainable building solutions by encouraging a bias towards action and thinking on a grand scale.
Charting a Sustainable Future: BXG’s Commitment and Vision
The Building Excellence Group extends its commitment to sustainability beyond its business operations, engaging in environmental restoration activities. A notable initiative is its involvement in replanting and removing Gorse from Motuihe Island, a natural reserve off Auckland’s coast. This island, once a farmland, has been transformed into a sanctuary for kiwis, tuatara, geckos, and endangered native birds. The restoration contributes significantly to the island’s ecological balance, reinforcing the native flora and fauna. The company demonstrates a profound respect for the natural environment through such endeavors, aligning its corporate values with tangible green initiatives.
Regarding marketing, the company stands apart through its reliance on word-of-mouth, a powerful testament to its excellent service and enjoyable work environment. This organic marketing approach, driven by the high regard of clients and partners, distinguishes the company in the competitive landscape of green building consultancy. The company’s reputation as a preferred consultant for green compliance matters speaks volumes about its expertise and the quality of its client relationships.
The company is poised to address the emerging challenges in the sustainable construction sector in the markets it addresses. Its focus for the next five years includes building capacity and expertise in operational and embodied carbon accounting. This strategic direction aligns with the sector’s evolving needs, as capital investment in sustainable construction has seen a significant rise, indicating a growing focus on green construction methods and technologies. Global trends in green construction reflect a surge in venture capital investment, emphasizing the importance of low-carbon building practices and technological innovation in this domain.
The company’s forward-thinking approach, encompassing environmental stewardship, strategic marketing, and a keen eye on future trends, positions it uniquely in the sustainable construction industry. Its commitment to green initiatives, client satisfaction, and technological advancements continues to pave the way for a more sustainable future, one building at a time.
AT A GLANCE
The Building Excellence Group
What: A leading sustainable construction and design company specializing in green building compliance, certification, and environmental consultancy.
Where: Auckland, New Zealand
Bank of Queensland is joining the neobanking revolution, announcing it will launch a new digital bank this year under its Virgin Money Australia brand. The bank is launching the app-based bank in partnership with Deloitte Digital and Swiss-based banking software firm Temenos AG. Bank of Queensland currently offers financial products including home loans, superannuation, insurance under the Virgin Money Australia brand, under licence from Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.
“Virgin Money Australia is uniquely positioned to build on our existing relationships with more than 200,000 loyal customers and a home loan portfolio that has quickly grown to more than $3 billion to effectively compete in the Australian market with challenger and incumbent banks alike,” said Greg Boyle, Virgin Money Australia chief executive. “We are at the beginning of an exciting journey as we build an industry-leading digital bank that will be beautifully simple and rewarding.”
Virgin Money will be joining one of a growing number of neobanks that eschew physical branches in favour of app-based services. Up Bank was launched by Melbourne software firm Ferocia in partnership with Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in 2018 and last year Cuscal-backed 86 400, Xinja and Volt Bank launched.
Over 100 Deloitte professionals from across Australia and Europe will be working on Virgin Money Australia’s digital bank, said Deloitte Digital Banking partner Brad Milliken. “This includes the designers and technologists delivering the core banking platform and native mobile apps, the process engineers who are designing and implementing the back office, and our risk and regulatory experts.
Temenos will be providing the software as a service (SaaS) capability for the new bank, and will be rolling existing customers over to its cloud-based banking platform Temenos Transact. Virgin said the Temenos platform would provide it with “a single, upgradeable digital banking platform that will create a simplified digital business model.”
“We’ve seen great momentum in the Australian market from challenger banks to established institutions and we’re excited to continue working with financial institutions to challenge the status quo,” said Temenos chief executive Max Chuard.
(Australian Associated Press: Derek Rose)
AT A GLANCE
Armadale, Western Australia
What: Fast growing city; population approx. 91,700
Where: Suburb of Perth, WA