Login Tab

You spoke - we listened: Next generation Green Star credits released for industry comment

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has released the draft credits for the new Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool and is calling on every part of the industry and community to provide feedback.

“This is a major milestone in the evolution of Green Star,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.

Green Star – Design & As Built, a ‘next generation’ Green Star rating tool, will be able to assess the sustainability achievements of most building uses in Australia with the exception of single-unit dwellings, and will cover single- and mixed-use buildings at both the design and construction phases.

“This is the first time we have released an entire suite of draft credits for public comment.  We have also released the set of submission templates that will accompany the rating tool to encourage industry feedback on the benchmarks, credit criteria and documentation requirements,” Ms Madew says.

“Our commitment during the development of Green Star - Design & As Built has been to reduce the cost and compliance of certification and encourage innovation and world leadership in the delivery of buildings that are more sustainable and better for people too,” Ms Madew explains.

“One of the many new approaches we are undertaking is to introduce new options for demonstrating compliance.  Project teams will be able to choose either a ‘deemed to satisfy’ approach or a ‘modelled performance’ approach.  This will enable project teams to customise their Green Star submissions based on budgets and objectives and still demonstrate achievement of sustainable outcomes.”

The credit review process has identified a number of credits that could be removed, and emerging issues that should be rewarded in new or substantially revised credits.  These credits include:

  • Adaptation and Resilience: rewards building solutions that address the impact of extreme weather events.
  • Sustainability Impacts from Transport: two compliance paths are available.  The ‘deemed to satisfy’ approach rewards reduced car parking requirements, improved cyclist facilities, provision of car sharing, walkability, and access by public transport. The ‘modelled performance’ approach compares transport impacts from traffic and increased use of active modes of transport.
  • Reduction of Construction and Demolition Waste: two compliance pathways are available.  Points are awarded when the mass of waste to landfill is below a benchmark; or based on the percentage of total waste diverted from landfill and the percentage of existing structure or façade that has been retained.
  • Material Life Cycle Impacts: enables the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to demonstrate reduced sustainability impacts against established benchmarks.
  • Responsible Sourcing of Construction Materials: recognises the use of building materials that have been sourced responsibly or have Chain of Custody certification. Steel, PVC and timber initiatives are included in this credit. This may be done in combination with an LCA.
  • Product Transparency and Sustainability: recognises products used anywhere in the building, including re-used and recycled products, that have been specified in a transparent and sustainable manner, Environmental Product Declarations and products that have been certified by an independent third party.  The scope of this credit has been substantially expanded to include most products that are used in construction of buildings.
  • Sustainable Sites: incorporates issues previously found in the ‘Land Use and Ecology’ category, including Conditional Requirements, Topsoil, Reuse of Land and Reclaimed Contaminated Land credits.
  • Heat Island Effect Reduction: rewards projects that reduce the impacts of heat island effects in the building’s immediate area.

“We have positive proof that Green Star-certified buildings produce 62 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, use 66 per cent less electricity and consume 51 per cent less water than average Australian buildings.  We also know Green Star buildings are better places for people – boosting productivity, health and wellbeing.  We know Green Star is driving market transformation, and the new Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool will make achieving a Green Star rating easier and cheaper than ever before,” Ms Madew concludes.

The GBCA acknowledges the support of its 2014 Thought Leaders during the Green Star – Design & As Built development process: Australand, BlueScope Steel, Colliers International, Cundall, Grocon, Gyprock, Interface, Leighton Properties, Lend Lease, Mirvac, Norman Disney & Young, Stockland, Wood & Grieve Engineers and WSP.

Download the Green Star – Design & As Built draft credits and scoping paper.

The feedback period is open until 31 July 2014.