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Goodbye big tin sheds of yesterday: GBCA launches Green Star Industrial tool

A new Green Star rating tool for industrial facilities has been released to support the sustainable planning, design and construction of high-performance industrial buildings.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has today released the Green Star - Industrial v1 tool, after a two year development period involving an extensive stakeholder feedback and a pilot phase.

"The days of industrial facilities being nothing more than big tin sheds on concrete slabs are gone," says the GBCA's Green Star Executive Director, Robin Mellon.

"Industrial facilities can be intelligent buildings. This doesn't necessarily mean investing in high-tech solutions, but rather applying common sense principles of good passive design. Just like other green buildings in the office, retail, education and residential sectors, green industrial facilities can save occupants and owners millions of dollars across the industry in reduced energy and water costs alone," Mr Mellon says.

The rating tool assesses the environmental attributes of new and refurbished industrial buildings in every state across Australia. The industrial base building and its services are assessed under the Green Star - Industrial v1 rating tool; fitouts and industrial processes are not included in the assessment.

The Green Star - Industrial v1 rating tool includes two sector specific credits called 'Noise Pollution' and 'Small Occupied Spaces'. A number of credits have been significantly improved and are featured in this rating tool for the first time; these include a revised version of the watercourse pollution credit called 'Stormwater' and the revised Materials credits for 'PVC', 'Timber' and 'Steel'.

The Transport credit for public transport has also been revised to accommodate regional differences in transportation needs, and the methodology for assessing greenhouse gas emissions is now based on the energy efficiency requirements in section J of the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Refinements to the calculators and credits have already received positive feedback from industry.

"This new Green Star tool will help the industrial sector to catch up to other sectors that have taken an early lead in green building. Most companies and the people within them want to do the right thing, but often don't know where to start. The Green Star Industrial tool can provide useful guidance and help Australia to become a world leader in green industrial facilities," says BlueScope Buildings' National Business Development Manager, Carmelo San Gil.

When TradeCoast Central opens its new industrial facility at Lot 12 in Brisbane's Eagle Farm, not only will its employees benefit from a cleaner, greener work place, but the local community and the environment will too.

Lot 12 TradeCoast Central became the first certified Green Star industrial facility in Australia when it achieved a 4 Star Green Star - Industrial PILOT rating in April 2010.

"Being involved in the Green Star - Industrial PILOT has been a challenging but rewarding experience; our consultants and contractors have learnt a lot and the support from the occupier has been overwhelming. We hope the introduction of the Green Star - Industrial v1 rating tool will see more new projects within the estate become formally certified," says TradeCoast Central's Project Director, Cassie Eivers.

ESD Consultant on the project, John Moynihan from Ecolateral, said: "The industrial building sector is an area where substantial savings can be made in terms of energy, greenhouse gas and water savings. At the same time, industrial buildings usually house a number of diverse functions under the one roof, making it challenging to track environmental performance. The Green Star - Industrial v1 tool provides clarity and guidance during the design phase of industrial buildings to ensure owners and operators get a good mix of economic and environmental outcomes."

"The new Green Star - Industrial v1 tool will deliver a single third party certification that the market can understand and trust, and that developers can use to demonstrate their industrial developments' green credentials," Robin Mellon concludes.

The Green Star - Industrial v1 tool can be freely downloaded for self-assessment and online registration is open. Read more, including a fact sheet and business case.