Tony Arnell

1 December 2010 – Monday’s annual general meeting of the Green Building Council of Australia reported that the green building movement was alive and thriving if GBCA numbers were anything to go by.

The AGM was soon followed on Wednesday by the announcement of a revised Green Star “concrete” credit to encourage the use of supplementary cementitious materials and recycled aggregate in concrete.

GBCA chair Tony Arnel said that the council could be very proud of its efforts during the year.

In the calendar year to date there have been 69 new certifications of buildings and 200 new members, taking the total to about 900.

These efforts hand ensured  that Australia’s green building sector “not only survives, but thrives,” Mr Arnel said.

“From a zero base in 2003, we currently have 279 Green Star certified projects around Australia. A further 442 projects are currently registered and 76 are being processed – taking the number of projects aspiring to Green Star ratings to well above 500.”

Mr Arnel said key highlights of 2010 included:

  • Three more Green Star tools for industrial and public buildings, as well as a custom rating process, which will be able to rate buildings outside the scope of other Green Star tools
  • Green Star Communities, which continues to build momentum with a range of industry and government support
  • Education and events – the GBCA delivered more than 180 educational seminars, workshops and master classes around Australia, as well as more than 70 events, to support “green collar” growth, and has now trained more than 18,500 people
  • Continuing Professional Development: this program was launched in July and is now supporting the skills development of more than 4000 people across the industry
  • Green schools –  100 schools are now certified or registered for Green Star, and a Green Schools policy paper has been released. Many state governments are now mandating Green Star for all new school developments, with others referencing Green Star in determining their standards.
  • International: the GBCA continued to expand its role as an active member of the World Green Building Council, and in particular within the Asia Pacific region.

Revised concrete credit
The concrete credit was announced as part of the review of four materials credits in 2009: steel, PVC, timber and concrete. The GBCA said the revised credit had been developed following a 20-month consultation process with a concrete expert reference panel, a review of independent research, and a site tour of Australian cement manufacturing facilities.

Green Star Director, Andrew Aitken said: “The concrete expert reference panel determined that the broad focus of the previous credit was appropriate, but that it could be clarified, as well as improved through the introduction of new criteria to encourage the use of alternative fuels in cement kilns, alternative fine aggregate and non-potable water in concrete.”

He said that the revised concrete credit has also been streamlined through the introduction of templates and a reference case for SCM use.

“The global cement industry is working to reduce its environmental impact, and is developing more sustainable and cost-effective production methods. Use of SCM, alternative fuels, non-potable water and non-virgin aggregate in cement production are key strategies for achieving this aim,” Mr Aitken said.

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