Innovation in Green Star

The Green Star Innovation category promotes holistic sustainable solutions in the built environment, and assists projects in investing resources into valuable outcomes. This section details additional information applicable to all rating tools.

Innovation in New Generation Green Star Rating Tools

Innovation opportunities are summarised throughout the Submission Guidelines in each of the New Generation rating tools. However, additional information will be provided over time to assist project teams in determining whether an initiative may be claimed within the Innovation category in Green Star. 

An additional guidance document has been developed for Green Star - Design & As Built and Green Star - Interiors. Due to the similarities between these two rating tools, the same guidance should be used. Access this document here.

Project teams are encouraged to contact the GBCA if they have any questions or feedback. 

Innovation Challenges

Innovation Challenges are designed to encourage and direct investment in solutions that address a wide range of social, economic and environmental sustainability issues. Some Innovation Challenges will take the form of new credits, while others will simply identify sustainability issues that additional research and innovation will help to address.

What's New in Innovation Challenges

Based on the rapid uptake of Innovation Challenges to-date and feedback received from project teams, a review of the Innovation Challenges process has recently taken place. In October 2015, the 'Innovation Challenges Handbook' was released to improve the experience of celebrating a project's innovation with Green Star. 

Key changes include:

  • The introduction of four new Innovation Challenges, bringing the total number of Innovation Challenges to 16.
  • Additional guidance around Compliance and Documentation Requirements for existing Innovation Challenges, thereby removing the need for project teams to submit queries to the GBCA in order to target them.

This Handbook is the one-stop-shop for understanding all you need to 'take the Challenge'.

Download the Innovation Challenges Handbook

Ready to take an Innovation Challenge?

The following table provides an overview of the eligibility of rating tools across all Innovation Challenges. Please note, these Innovation Challenges are the same as those contained in the Innovation Challenges Handbook.

Some Innovation Challenges have additional resources associated with them. These resources are also included in the table below.


Green Star Communities

Green Star Design & As Built

Green Star Interiors

Green Star Performance

Additional Resources 

Powered by Renewables


Background Paper

Responsible Carbon Impact


  Background Paper
Carbon Positive – new buildings       Background Paper
Carbon Positive – new fitouts       Background Paper
Carbon Positive – existing buildings       Background Paper

Affordable Housing





Building Air Tightness





Community Benefits



Contractor Education



Contribution to Industry Benchmarking

      Excel Template 

Culture, Heritage and Identity


Energy Metering Integrity


Financial Transparency

Excel Template

High Performance Site Offices



Integrating Healthy Environments


Local Procurement



Marketing Excellence


Occupant Engagement




Reconciliation Action Plan


Social Enterprise for Affordable Housing  


    Information Sheet
Social Return on Investment    


Submission Template

The 'Innovation Challenges Submission Template' must be completed in order to make an Innovation Challenge claim. Please see the 'How to document your Innovation Challenge claim' section in the Innovation Challenges Handbook for additional details.

Download the Innovation Challenges Submission Template

Stats on Innovation Challenges

If you're curious to understand how Innovation Challenges are being used by project teams since their release, take a look at the Innovation Challenges summary report.

Claiming Innovation Challenges in Legacy Projects 

Some Innovation Challenges have been developed into credits in the New Generation Green Star rating tools. In order for Legacy projects to claim these initiatives, the relevant credit from the New Generation rating tool will need to be targeted. Please see the 'Retired Innovation Challenges' section in the Innovation Challenges Handbook for full details.

Innovation within Legacy Green Star rating tools

In September 2013, the Innovation category for all Green Star Legacy rating tools was revamped. New versions of the Innovation credits were introduced, and the number of points were expanded from 5 to 10. Download the revised credits: