Existing buildings reaching for the green stars

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The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is developing a new Green Star rating tool to assess the operational performance of existing buildings.

"Green Star will soon address the 95 per cent of the market that isn't brand new, with Green Star - Performance being developed to assess the full range of existing buildings in the market, regardless of building type," says the GBCA's Green Star Director, Andrew Aitken.

"Tools such as the National Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) already address buildings in operation. However, our stakeholders have told us there are significant gaps in that market," Mr Aitken explains.

Green Star - Performance will address this gap by covering all nine Green Star environmental impact categories - management, transport, indoor environment quality, land use and ecology, emissions, materials and innovation - in addition to energy and water covered by NABERS.

Green Star - Performance will also consider the combined impact of the various sustainability categories and deliver one single Green Star rating.

"We will continue to work closely with NABERS to ensure there is no duplication of measurements or benchmarks where widely-accepted market practices exist, such as NABERS Energy and NABERS Water in the commercial office market," Mr Aitken says.

Green Star-specific credits will be developed to address operational environmental impacts not addressed by other tools.

The Green Star - Performance assessment methodology will enable building owners to gain a holistic assessment of the operational performance of their buildings, regardless of whether they have previously achieved a Green Star Design or As Built rating.

"The tool will also help us to compare Green Star designed buildings with non-Green Star designed buildings in operation, providing a better understanding of holistic sustainability performance in the market," Mr Aitken says.

The GBCA formed a Stakeholder Reference Group in July 2010 to provide advice and recommendations. The Green Building Council of Australia has since released a scoping paper and is currently seeking industry feedback.

Download the Green Star - Performance scoping paper.

"Our goal is to make Green Star even more accessible, so that it appeals not only to professionals 'reaching for the stars' to deliver world-class building projects, but also to everyone who wants to improve their buildings' performance," Mr Aitken concludes.

Read more about Green Star - Performance.