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Stakeholder feedback requested: Two revised Green Star credits

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is committed to continuous improvement of the Green Star environmental rating tools for buildings.

After significant research and industry consultation, the GBCA has developed two revised credits:

  • EMI-5 - 'Stormwater'
  • TRA-4 - 'Commuting Mass Transport'.

These revised credits have been included in the Green Star - Industrial v1 tool, which was released in May 2010.

We are now seeking feedback from industry to determine whether these credits should be integrated into other Green Star tools. It is proposed that the revised credits are included in the following existing tools:

  • Green Star - Office v3
  • Green Star - Office Interiors v1.1
  • Green Star - Retail Centre v1
  • Green Star - Multi Unit Residential v1
  • Green Star - Healthcare v1
  • Green Star - Education v1

Current projects registered under the above tools would be able to use the old or the revised credits. Any project registered after the revised credits are released would be required to use the revised credits.

It is proposed that the revised credits will not be integrated into the Green Star Office v2 rating tool, as all office projects must now register under the Green Star Office v3 rating tool.

Your feedback is welcomed on the proposal to include these credits in the Green Star tools detailed above; you can find details of the credits below. Please send your comments to greenstar@gbca.org.au. The stakeholder comment period is open until 31 July 2010.

Details of proposed revised credits

EMI-5 - 'Stormwater' credit

It is proposed that this credit will replace the 'Watercourse Pollution' credit. The major benefits of the 'Stormwater' credit, and its improvements over the 'Watercourse Pollution' credit, are:

  • New benchmarks: Green Star aims to recognise projects that develop stormwater solutions that utilise the most innovative products and scientifically advanced methodologies available. The benchmarks set by the credit now reflect a balance between best practice and what can be achieved by those at the leading edge of industry.
  • Recognition of stormwater as a resource: The 'Stormwater' credit embraces and encourages the application of approaches currently used at the forefront of the stormwater management industry, notably those of 'Water Sensitive Urban Design' (WSUD). These approaches manage stormwater not simply as a waste product, but also as a resource. The credit recognises the environmental benefits of either treating stormwater pollutant loads prior to discharge, or for using the stormwater on site, or a combination of both.
  • Reduced documentation requirements: Commercial developments are often required to conduct stormwater modelling to meet regulated requirements. The compliance requirements of the 'Stormwater' credit now allow evidence resulting from either the application of a modelling program (e.g. MUSIC), or a manual calculation method, to be provided in the Green Star submission.

Review the new 'Stormwater' credit.

TRA-4 - 'Commuting Mass Transport'

The Commuting Mass Transport Calculator determines the number of Green Star points achieved in the Tra-4 Commuting Mass Transport credit. Points are awarded based on the number and frequency of transport routes, as well as the distance from the building to the station or stop. Currently, the same criteria apply to all locations Features of the revised Commuting Mass Transport calculator include:

  • New benchmarks: The benchmarks in the revised calculator are based on population density at the location of the building. It is clear that population density is an important factor when determining the quality of mass transport systems.. For example, a good mass transport system in the Sydney CBD requires more services than a good mass transport system in a smaller, less densely populated town such as Bendigo in Victoria. This difference is accommodated by the mechanism that allows the benchmarks to change depending on population density. It should be noted that the benchmarks will not be increased in any location and the existing postcodes that are deemed to satisfy the credit criteria will remain as in previous tools.
  • Reduced documentation requirements: A simplified method of collecting timetable documentation has been developed. The timetable for the transport stops near the building can be used instead of the timetable for each individual transport service, as was previously required. All routes servicing a particular stop should be listed on the timetable for the stop. The amount of paperwork is estimated to be reduced to 10 per cent, compared to the previous requirement.
  • Consistent peak periods for all Green Star tools: Frequency of transport services is assessed for peak periods. The times of the peak periods currently vary slightly among the Green Star rating tools. It is proposed that the frequency of transport services should be assessed for the same peak periods in all current Green Star tools. The peak periods are used as a representative sample to assess the overall frequency of transport services.

For further detail please refer to:
Green Star Commuting Mass Transport Calculator

Green Star Commuting Mass Transport Calculator Guide