23 January 2012 – The Green Building Council of Australia will recognise products certified against Good Environmental Choice Australia’s hard surfacing standard level A – entitling conforming products to 100 per cent of available Green Star points.

This standard sets an environmental performance benchmark for hard surfacing products such as natural stone, agglomerated stones, concrete paving units, terrazzo tiles, ceramic tiles, clay tiles and glass tiles.

This is the fifth GECA standard to be recognised by the GBCA under their product certification scheme which clarifies best practice benchmarks and establishes expectations for manufacturers and suppliers of fitout products, as well as for product certification schemes that are recognised through Green Star.

Fitout products (such as flooring and loose furniture) that have been certified for their environmental merit by a GBCA-recognised product certification scheme are rewarded in Green Star Material Calculators credits. Schemes are recognised by the GBCA on the basis of their assessment framework for product certification schemes.

GECA partnered with the Australian Stone Advisory Association and the Australian Tile Council to develop and promote the hard surfacing standard.

ASAA chief executive officer, Anthony Stock said, “The annual value of local stone production exceeds $100 million and imports of stone are rising. The combination of ceramic tile imports and local production in 2011 exceeded 42 million square metres, so GBCA recognition of GECA’s hard surface standard is good news for both industry sectors.”

Whilst many exceptional Green Star projects have featured tile or stone, there has been no opportunity to claim Green Star points for use of these products until now.

With the standard being recognised by the GBCA, GECA expects to see hard surface manufacturers opting for GECA certification and broadening the market to include a new range of surfaces available to Green Star projects that are eligible to earn full points.