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Will the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games deliver a lasting legacy?

The design and construction of the 2018 Commonwealth Games Village is Australia’s opportunity to build on past triumphs and ensure a lasting legacy for the Gold Coast community, says the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

“The 2018 Games will be Australia’s biggest sporting event this decade.  Long after the crowds disperse and the Games fever fades, the buildings will remain,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.

“Let’s learn from the failings of past Commonwealth Games in other nations – which have left behind nothing more than creaking, under-used infrastructure – and instead create a lasting legacy.”

The tender bid for the design and construction of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Village closes on Friday 17 May 2013.  The Queensland Government’s Economic Development Queensland, which is managing the tender process, states that there will be “a strong focus on achieving high quality urban design and environmental sustainability outcomes”.

Ms Madew says that the Gold Coast must look to some of the high benchmarks set by the Sydney and London Olympics, as well as the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and truly measure the Village’s sustainability outcomes rather than using ‘motherhood statements’ to describe a general intention.

Not only are the Sydney Olympic Games still known as ‘the Green Games’, but 13 years after the Olympic flame was extinguished, the Olympic Village has been successfully integrated into the surrounding community and provides a thriving mix of high-quality and well-designed commercial and residential uses.

Development of Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Village is expected to contribute to the long-term regeneration of the east end of the city, creating a new neighbourhood of low-carbon homes, a BREEAM “Excellent” rating for a 120-bed care home and a decentralised combined heat and power distribution network.

“The Sydney Olympics sparked a movement of innovative design and construction techniques, and it was from this group of forward thinkers that the Green Building Council of Australia and the Australian sustainable building industry emerged,” Ms Madew says.

“We now have the opportunity, through the 2018 Games Village, to show the world our skills in designing, building and managing communities that deliver long-term economic, social and environmental benefits to residents. 

“Rating tools, such as the internationally-recognised Green Star – Communities, can provide guidance and third-party verification to ensure the Commonwealth Games Village meets, or even exceeds, best practice benchmarks in governance, design, liveability, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability. 

- MORE -   A Green Star – Communities rating demonstrates accountability and provides confidence that government funding is being spent appropriately.

“Over the past decade, the host nations of most major sporting events such as the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and World Cup have worked with their local green building councils to ensure their arenas and precincts reach the highest sustainability levels and showcase national leadership and excellence. 

“There is a natural synergy between the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Green Star – Communities and we look forward to working with the Queensland Government to ensure the Commonwealth Games Village provides measureable and lasting economic, social and environmental benefits to the people of the Gold Coast,” Ms Madew concludes.

About Green Star – Communities

Green Star – Communities is an independent, national rating tool developed by the Green Building Council of Australia to drive more sustainable, productive and liveable communities.  Green Star – Communities supports the planning, design and delivery of communities, precincts and neighbourhoods that prioritise environmental sustainability – such as minimising energy and water consumption, and reducing dependence on motor vehicles – alongside broader issues such as economic prosperity, liveability and community health and wellbeing.