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New Green Star rulings to slash certification costs

Improvements to the Green Star rating tools operated by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) have the potential to slash the cost of Green Star certification by as much as $50,000.

As the property and construction industry matures and evolves, the Green Star rating tools must change at the same speed in order to encourage best practice outcomes. Changes and updates to existing rating tools are known as ‘rulings’ and help keep tools relevant. The GBCA has released a package of new rulings to simplify documentation and cut costs of Green Star certification.

According to the GBCA’s Executive Director – Green Star Technical Development and Operations, Jorge Chapa, the new rulings are part of the Green Star 2014 program created to streamline the rating tools and the certification process. 

“These rulings provide alternative methods for showing compliance and reduce documentation and modelling of building performance,” Mr Chapa says.

“We gathered feedback from the industry about the expense associated with credits that require complex modelling, particularly the 'Daylight', 'Thermal Comfort' and 'Air Change Effectiveness’ credits.

“New rulings for these three credits provide alternative methods of compliance, and are estimated to save projects between $36,000 and $50,000,” Mr Chapa explains.



Estimated cost of compliance using modelling*

Estimated cost of compliance using new ruling*

Air Change Effectiveness $30,000 No more than $1,000
Thermal Comfort $5,000 - $16,000 No more than $1,000
Daylight $5,000 - $8,000 No more than $2,000


$40,000 - $54,000 $4,000


$36,000 - $50,000

*Estimates are based on research and interviews with regular Green Star users

A further six rulings will enable credits to be automatically awarded when a Green Star Design-certified project moves to the As Built phase. These rulings are estimated to save project teams up to $4,650 in documentation costs.


Estimated cost saving

Eco-1 Topsoil $150 - $450
Eco-2 Reuse of Land $150 - $900
Eco-3 Reclaimed Contaminated Land $150 - $900
Mat-2 Building Reuse $150 - $900
Tra-4 Commuting Mass Transport $150 - $600
Wat-6 Potable Water Use in Laboratories $150 - $900


$900 - $4,650

*Estimates are based on research and interviews with regular Green Star users

A further ten rulings reduce the documentation that is required to demonstrate compliance with Green Star credits, which the GBCA expects will save up to $6,000, depending on the size and complexity of the project.

“The GBCA is committed to ensuring that Green Star delivers consistent and cost-effective results, is intuitive and interactive and requires less time and effort when it comes to documentation,” Mr Chapa says.

“The new rulings complement a range of projects, such as taking Green Star online, developing easy-to-use submission templates and transforming the Innovation category, and we’re working hard to ensure Green Star continues to evolve and improve,” Mr Chapa concludes.

Download the revised Rulings OR download the summary.