GBCA’s new Green Star Buildings rating tool has been launched today. As part of the Nature Expert Reference Panel I’ve had an insider’s view and have been able to contribute to its development. This is a huge milestone for our industry!
About Green Star for Buildings
Launched today, as the first of the new suite of Green Star Future Focus tools, Green Star Buildings sets a clear new requirement that buildings must be net-zero – fully electric, fossil fuel free and 100% powered by renewables – to achieve the highest possible 6 Star rating.
According to the launch information at www.gbca.org.au the GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney said the release of Green Star Buildings marks the start of a new era that will drive the transformation of buildings to net-zero at scale.
“While we currently have a lot of ‘nearly net-zero’ buildings in Australia, there are only a handful of genuine net-zero buildings. Green Star Buildings has been designed with industry and government to ensure net-zero becomes the norm,” Ms Rooney said.
“There is overwhelming support from industry to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings and construction to meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement, prevent assets becoming stranded and, ultimately, put a stop to unsustainable changes to our climate.
“Climate change is a global challenge that manifests itself in very local ways. The bushfires and coronavirus pandemic have shown us that our buildings need to be more resilient to changes in climate and more focused on the health of people.
“Green Star Buildings responds to these challenges in very practical ways introducing, for example, a new filtration requirement to help clean the air that we breathe and reduce the risk of disease spreading.
“It is a timely and necessary response to a rapidly evolving risk environment. Certification under the new tool will set projects apart, enhancing their enduring value through increased resilience.”
The Green Star Buildings rating tool has been in development for some time, with GBCA consulting closely with a broad range of industry and government stakeholders.
The result is a fresh approach to Green Star which translates industry’s ambition into a much higher standard for action geared towards delivering highly efficient buildings, powered by renewables and designed for the future.
Building with Nature
The Nature Expert Reference Panel that Organica was involved with envisioned how Buildings can foster closer relationships with the natural environment, as well as better protecting remnant ecosystems. There are many opportunities in our settlements for regeneration of biodiversity and rewilding, but this will require a deeper understanding of ecology and our role in nature. The Expert Reference Panel also looked at Integrated Water Management and waterway protection.
Nature is one of the seven megatrends underpinning the Green Star Buildings rating tool and as a category it aims to protect, conserve and enhance the planet’s biodiversity. Based on urban ecology mitigation strategies, the objective of this new category is to minimise the impacts of built forms on urban ecosystems and to restore or enhance biodiversity where possible.
The built environment must be a part of delivering world-leading ecological and biodiversity outcomes that create ongoing value for people, places and the natural environment. For the past two years, the GBCA have been involved in delivering ground-breaking reports that aim to significantly change the conversation on nature and the built environment. These GBCA reports can be found here. Further training for the Nature Category can be found here.
About Organica Engineering and Green Star
Relevant OE experience with Sustainability in commercial building design and sustainability strategy development includes:
- Green Star Auditor for over 200 projects for the GBCA including the Manningham Civic Precinct Hub (5 Star Green Star Public Buildings tool), RMIT Building 80 on Swanston St Melbourne (5 Star Green Star Education tool), The Pixel Building in Carlton (6+ Star Green Star Office v3), The ANZ building in the Docklands (6 Star Green Star Office v3), The Sydney Opera house (4 Star Green Star Performance), The Docklands Library (Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star Public Buildings tool), and the University of Queensland’s Education Gateways Building (EDGY) at the Springfield campus in QLD (5 Star Green Star Education tool).
- ESD Engineer for Knox Council to deliver designs to 5 Star Green Star (uncertified) standards for 2 early years hubs in Melbourne in 2016/2017.
- ESD Engineer for the City of Port Phillip in 2016/17 to deliver designs for the new St Kilda Lifesaving Club 5 Star Green Star Public Building tool (Uncertified) and the new Stokehouse (5 Star Green Star with the new Design and As-Built tool).
- Green Star Accredited Professional creating the Green Star submission for a 34 story Old Treasury Building (OTB) office tower development in Perth.
- Green Star Accredited Professional for the Work//Zone building, Pier Street project which comprised the construction of two 5 Star Green Star rated seven storey office towers.
- Green Star Accredited Professional for the Toyota Headquarters Building in WA, which achieved a 5 Star Green Star certification.
- Green Star Accredited Professional for the 7500m2 WALGA building in the Perth CBD.
- ESD Consultant to the Burwood Brickworks site by Fraser’s Property group – the site is aiming to become Melbourne’s first 5 Star Green Star Communities rated development.
- Input into numerous other Green Star Projects such as the Victorian EPA’s 6 star Green Star Office Design project at 200 Victoria St, Melbourne.
- Regularly facilitating the Green Star Accredited Professional Workshops on behalf of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA);
Our focus is helping numerous organisations deliver Greener Buildings, such as the Department of Defence, Sustainability Victoria, the DHS, and Victorian councils such as Brimbank, CoPP, Manningham, Monash, Maroondah, Glen Eira, Darebin, the City of Yarra and Knox.