Green Star



Green Star is a comprehensive, voluntary environmental rating system which rates a building against nine environmental criteria. These are:

  • environmental management;
  • indoor environment quality;
  • energy efficiency;
  • transport;
  • water;
  • materials of construction;
  • land use and ecology;
  • greenhouse emissions; and
  • innovation.

Green Star is a change agent tool, designed to bring about a mind shift in building design and construction at the premium end of the market.

The Green Star ratings are determined by the accumulation of points in each of the nine categories. Each Green Star tool is based upon a detailed technical manual which stipulates the design and performance features necessary for point accrual in each of the categories. Points are weighted by category and, together with the addition of any innovation credits, provides the final score.

There are four eligibility criteria for a project being assessed for a Green Star rating. These are:

  • space use;
  • spatial differentiation;
  • conditional requirements; and
  • timing of certification.


The Green Star rating tools



Green Star rates a building both at its design stage and after construction. Green Star includes the following tools applicable to the following building classes:

  • Green Star Office (version 3) (which combines the technical manuals for Office Design and Office As Built into a single application, to streamline compliance requirements for projects undertaking both ratings);
  • Green Star Office Design (version 2);
  • Green Star Office As Built (version 2);
  • Green Star Office Interiors (version 1.1);
  • Green Star Retail Centre (version 1);
  • Green Star Education (version 1);
  • Green Star Healthcare (version 1);
  • Green Star Industrial (version 1);
  • Green Star Multi Unit Residential (version 1);
  • Green Star Public Building (version 1);
  • Green Star Interiors (which is a pilot tool);
  • Green Star Communities (which is a pilot tool); and
  • Green Star Custom (which is a development service where clients work together with GBCA to develop a Green Star tool specific to their sector or project).

The proposed Green Star Performance rating tool which is under development will measure and monitor the environmental impacts of buildings and assist building owners, operators and occupants to take practical action to improve operational performance. It is anticipated that a pilot rating tool will be launched in October 2013.

As change agents, the rating tools will evolve by the release of new versions, raising the standard necessary to achieve a rating. This is one of the significant risks to be addressed in transactional documentation.


Ratings will be awarded under rating tools that are still pilot versions.

The 'design' tools assess the environmental attributes of the prospective development based upon the design documentation submitted at about 80 per cent design completion. The design tool relies upon computer modelling of the energy performance of the building design, using the design brief, specifications and design drawings and computer simulation. The 'as built' tools assess the environmental attributes of the completed development at a time within 24 months after practical completion. The materials submitted for assessment by the 'as built' tool include final data sheets and as built drawings.


How are ratings calculated?



Ratings are determined by the accumulation of points in each of the nine categories and then weighted by category. The weightings vary on a state by state basis, depending upon local circumstances. Weighted category scores are then added together to create a category total. Innovation credits, if any, are added to the category total before issue of a total score. An example of a project scorecard taken from the GBCA's Accredited Professional Training Course is given below:

Points available
Points achieved
Category score
Weighting
Weighted score
Management
12
12
100%
10%
10.0
Indoor environment quality
27
14
51.9%
20%
10.4
Energy
24
17
70.8%
25%
17.8
Transport
11
6
54.5%
10%
5.45
Water
13
10
76.9%
12%
9.2
Materials
20
8
40.0%
10%
4.0
Land use & ecology
8
3
37.5%
8%
3.0
Emissions
14
5
35.7%
5%
1.78
Category total
129
75
61.63
Innovation credits
1
TOTAL SCORE
63.0

The score of 63 points equates to a '5 star' Green Star office design rating. A score of:

  • 45 to 59 equates to a 4 Star rating, or best practice;
  • 60 to 74 equates to a 5 Star rating, or Australian excellence; and
  • 75 or above equates to a 6 Star rating, or world leadership.


How to obtain a Green Star rating and certification



The right to promote the Green Star rating relies upon formal certification by the GBCA.

The certification process involves the registration of the project, submission of material that justifies credit accumulation and the assessment by a panel of certified assessors appointed by the GBCA.

The time of registration of a project is critical, as it will determine which version of the relevant tool is used in the certification process. Contract terms should precisely specify the particular tool version and the significance of the date of registration of the project should be noted.

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