Green Star for New Buildings
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Shooting for input on Green Star for New Buildings

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has put out a call to industry for feedback on newly proposed changes to its Green Star program – beginning with Green Star for New Buildings.

Over 2,250 projects across Australia have now been certified under Green Star, a program established with the goal of making the built environment more sustainable.

The GBCA says it can’t be complacent, however, and must continue to raise the bar and lift minimum standards.

“The revision to Green Star opens up incredible opportunities to deliver digital solutions that will assist in streaming the certification process and improve the built environment through greater transparency, reporting and benchmarking,” says Stephen Thatcher, GBCA’s Head of Finance and Operations.

These updates, aligned to the GBCA’s future focus, will be the biggest overhaul to the rating system since its 2003 inception.

With the changes, the organisation is introducing four rating tools.

The first of these is Green Star for New Buildings.

“To meet the challenges of the future, we need to be creating buildings that are not only efficient but also zero or even net positive in terms of emissions through onsite and/or offsite renewable energy use,” says Dr. Paul Bannister, F.AIRAH, Energy Consultant for the GBCA’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Expert Reference Panel. “Green Star for New Buildings will provide industry with the guidance it needs to ensure the built environment is on the right path to achieve these demands.”

Under the Green Star for New Buildings banner, the GBCA will set out benchmarks for the design and construction of new builds. It will also set out a pathway for building owners to address carbon emissions.

The five highlighted sections for Green Star for New Buildings are:

  • A new definition of a sustainable building
  • Meeting the Paris Agreement targets
  • Redefining best practice
  • A rating tool for a diverse built environment
  • Showcasing outstanding achievements.

To shape these guidelines, those working and involved in the building services industry are invited to submit their feedback on the Green Star for New Buildings consultation paper and appendix.

The GBCA is also accepting project nominations for its Early Access Program and expressions of interest in organisational partnerships.

Following the consultation phase, Green Star for New Buildings will be set for release in June 2020 with a planned transition period of 18 months.

The other three planned rating tools are Green Star for New Fitouts (TBD); Green Star for New Communities (July 2019 consultation / end 2020 release); and Green Star for Building Operations (Feb 2020 consultation / early 2021 release).

Throughout the feedback process on Green Star for New Buildings (ending June 10), the GBCA will tour the country to provide updates and insights. The first date is Green Building Day Perth on May 16. More events will be announced via the GBCA website.

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