21 May 2014 — The Green Building Council of Australia is seeking feedback on newly released draft credits for its Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool.
“This is the first time we have released an entire suite of draft credits for public comment,” GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said. “We have also released the set of submission templates that will accompany the rating tool to encourage industry feedback on the benchmarks, credit criteria and documentation requirements.”
The credit review process has identified a number of credits that could be removed. It has also flagged emerging issues that should be rewarded in new or revised credits. These credits include:
- Adaptation and Resilience: rewards building solutions that address the impact of extreme weather events.
- Sustainability Impacts from Transport: two compliance paths are available – the “deemed to satisfy” approach rewards reduced car parking requirements, improved cyclist facilities, provision of car sharing, walkability, and access by public transport, while the “modelled performance” approach compares transport impacts from traffic and increased use of active modes of transport
- Reduction of Construction and Demolition Waste: two compliance pathways are available – points are awarded when the mass of waste to landfill is below a benchmark, or based on the percentage of total waste diverted from landfill and the percentage of existing structure or façade that has been retained.
- Material Life Cycle Impacts: enables the use of life cycle assessment to demonstrate reduced sustainability impacts against established benchmarks
- Responsible Sourcing of Construction Materials: recognises the use of building materials that have been sourced responsibly or have Chain of Custody certification. Steel, PVC and timber initiatives are included in this credit. This may be done in combination with an LCA.
- Product Transparency and Sustainability: recognises products used anywhere in the building, including re-used and recycled products, that have been specified in a transparent and sustainable manner, Environmental Product Declarations and products that have been certified by an independent third party. The scope of this credit has been substantially expanded to include most products that are used in construction of buildings.
- Sustainable Sites: incorporates issues previously found in the “Land Use and Ecology” category, including conditional requirements, topsoil, reuse of land and reclaimed contaminated land credits
- Heat Island Effect Reduction: rewards projects that reduce the impacts of heat island effects in the building’s immediate area
New tool a new direction for Green Star
The new Design & As Built tool is a step change for Green Star, with the one tool being able to assess sustainability in all building types bar single-unit dwellings at both the design and construction stage, rather than the multitude of tools under the current system.
The new tool will also incorporate deemed to satisfy provisions on some credits to reduce compliance costs.
“This is a major milestone in the evolution of Green Star,” Ms Madew said.
“Our commitment during the development of Green Star – Design & As Built has been to reduce the cost and compliance of certification and encourage innovation and world leadership in the delivery of buildings that are more sustainable and better for people too.
“One of the many new approaches we are undertaking is to introduce new options for demonstrating compliance. Project teams will be able to choose either a ‘deemed to satisfy’ approach or a ‘modelled performance’ approach. This will enable project teams to customise their Green Star submissions based on budgets and objectives and still demonstrate achievement of sustainable outcomes.”
The feedback period is open until 31 July 2014.