The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has announced two major pieces of news relating to its Green Star program, including a new rating system that will apply to churches, courthouses and other public buildings.
The GBCA’s Green Star building rating program is under constant development. The two latest major updates are: (1) the creation of a new Green Star rating system specifically for public buildings, and (2) the rapid progress in formulating a new Green Star rating system for entire communities.
The Green Star rating system began in 2003 as a tool for rating offices, but it has since expanded to include tools for rating hospitals, schools, shopping centres and even industrial sheds.
GBCA chief executive, Romilly Madew, says that while more than 270 buildings around Australia have achieved Green Star ratings, up until now public buildings have fallen outside the Green Star scope. In order to address this shortcoming, the GBCA has released its new pilot rating tool to support the sustainable
planning, design and construction of high-performance public buildings. The Green Star – Public Building PILOT rating tool will relate to public buildings such as law courts, museums, art galleries, as well as places of worship.
“This new tool means that industry has access to best practice benchmarks for public buildings, as well as a system of independently verified certification, which clearly demonstrates the sustainability credentials of leading public buildings around Australia,” Madew says.
The new Green Star – Public Building PILOT rating tool will soon be trialled on a handful of specially selected pilot projects and the GBCA is currently seeking expressions of interest from building projects to participate in the pilot process. There are strict eligibility criteria, which can be downloaded from the GBCA website.
The Green Star – Public Building PILOT tool is based on existing Green Star tools, with some customisation and new content, including a revised water category, revised materials calculator and methodology for assessing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as an updated management category.
In separate news, the GBCA and Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will see both organisations work together on the development and delivery of a Green Star Communities rating tool. Madew says the MoU is particularly momentous, as best practice planning is vital for delivering communities that are liveable, sustainable and adaptable.
The Green Star Communities project is being led by the GBCA in conjunction with partner VicUrban, and supported by principal project sponsor, Rock Development Group, together with other sponsors Grocon, Brisbane City Council, Barangaroo Delivery Authority, Lend Lease, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Brookfield Multiplex, Aurecon, The University of Melbourne, Stockland, Sustainability Victoria, City of Sydney, Mirvac and BlueScope Steel. In additon, every government land organisation in Australia has agreed to the MoU.