Green Star - Performance Business Case
The Business Case for Green Building Operations
Buildings are the single largest contributor to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, using 40 per cent of global energy and generating around 30 per cent of the carbon emissions. In Australia, commercial and residential buildings alone contribute 23 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
It’s no stretch to see that our buildings need to be part of the solution to climate change. Of course, a building’s impact is not limited to its energy consumption. Commuting patterns of occupants, the use and consumption of goods and materials, waste production and water use are all ways in which buildings can adversely affect our planet and its resources.
Consider this: of Australia’s 21 million square metres of existing office stock, 81 per cent is over ten years of age, equalling more than 17.5 million square metres.
And that’s just office buildings! Australia also has around 9,500 schools and universities, 1,300 hospitals, 1,300 shopping centres, as well as countless square metres of other buildings such as libraries, law courts, town halls and industrial facilities. The vast majority of these buildings perform well below our current best practice environmental benchmarks.
Measurement is the first step towards better environmental management of our buildings. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is currently developing the Green Star – Performance rating tool to assess the ongoing operational performance of buildings across many building types.
So, why should building owners, operators and occupants seek Green Star – Performance certification?
This document aims to answer this question, by providing information about green building operations from Australia and overseas. It also provides an overview of the Green Star – Performance rating tool, which in the near future will be available to buildings in Australia. This new rating tool is currently under development and it is likely to ve available as a PILOT in 2013.
 United Nations Environment Programme, Sustainable Buildings and Climate Initiative. 2009. Buildings and Climate Change: Summary for decision-makers.
 Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council. 2010, The Second Plank Update, June 2010, accessed 23 January 2012.
 Davis Langdon. 2009, Retrogreening Offices in Australia, accessed 23 January 2012.
Acting Manager - Green Star Development
Green Building Council of Australia
Phone: 02 8239 6220