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What changes were made to the Green Star building standard in 2022? Part: 1

Who are GBCA and what is the Green Star rating system?

GBCA stands for the Green Building Council of Australia, who have been Australia’s leading authority on the sustainable built environment since 2002.

The GBCA was established to lead the sustainable transformation of the built environment, which it does by promoting green building programs, technologies, design practices and operations and by promoting the integration of green building initiatives into mainstream design, construction and operation of buildings.

To achieve these objectives, the GBCA runs the Green Star environmental rating system, education and advocacy efforts in sustainable building practices.

Green Star is Australia’s largest national, voluntary, holistic sustainable building rating system.

What exactly changed in the Green Star rating system in 2022?

As of 18 December 2021, the environmental rating scheme called “Green Star – Design & As Built” was retired and now the new rating scheme called “Green Star Buildings” must be used instead.

These changes bring the Green Star rating system more in line with international practises, especially those advocated by the U.S. and World Green Building Councils.

For any project to be 4, 5 or 6-Green Star certified it must first meet 10 minimum expectations. These expectations are set to ensure all Green Star rated buildings meet a basic definition of a green building, that is a building which is resilient to changes in climate, carbon positive and healthy for the people who use it.

  • protect environmentally significant areas
  • emit less carbon in construction and operations
  • be water efficient
  • have improved air, light, acoustics, and product finishes
  • promote physical activity
  • be built with climate change in mind
  • manage environmental impacts during construction
  • embrace the diversity of our population
  • enable practices that reduce operational waste
  • be verified to work

At this stage only a six-star building is required to be powered by renewable energy and be built with low carbon materials and carbon offsets.  However, by 2023 4-star buildings, and by 2026 5-star buildings, will also need to be carbon neutral in this way.

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Macquarie Bank HQ in Sydney was awarded a 6 GreenStar office design rating

How has the awarding of points changed?

The points rating system has changed due to increasing demand for carbon neutral buildings, including both ongoing energy usage of the building as well as having zero embodied carbon in the materials of constructed buildings.

The more points a building achieves, the high the number of stars it achieves.  A four star building requires 15 points, a 5 star building requires 35 points, and a six-star building requires 55 points.

Green Star Buildings features 8 credits and one leadership challenge that directly impact the supply chain. They aim to drive responsible, healthy, positive, and circular products. They represent more than 25% of the points available in the rating tool, the highest ever dedicated to transforming the supply chain.

Stay in touch until next week, when we dig deeper into the Responsible Products Credits and how they work and are awarded.

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