22 November 2012 — The Green Building Council celebrated its 10th birthday this month with an inspiring history of its life so far and the appointment of a new chair, Daniel Grollo.

Mr Grollo, who heads Australia’s largest private developer and builder Grocon, is a leading figure in the property industry and an enthusiastic supporter of the green building movement.

He was flagged in July to take over from former chair Tony Arnel who will remain as a director.

GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew announced the appointment as the GBCA celebrated a decade in which it has transformed the property industry with broadscale awareness of sustainable development and a revolution in thinking about the kind of outcomes that are possible.

Its history of the movement,  A decade of green building, published in PDF format, is a tribute to the inspired leaders and the many enthusiastic supporters from all areas of the property industry who have helped shape a revolution in one of the toughest and most important industries in the country.

Toughest, because the industry is so steeped in tradition, and characterised by huge lead times and massive (conservative) capital investment. And important, because it ultimately reaches into the life of every person in the country.

Madew said while compiling the short history, the council had asked some of the industry’s most influential people to share their favourite memories of the last 10 years as the GBCA and the industry evolved.

“One of the most inspiring responses came from the GBCA’s co-founder, Ché Wall,” Madew said.

“He told us the story of how the Council got off the ground. Ché and Maria Atkinson, armed with nothing but a good idea and a slideshow on a laptop, went to see Australand’s then managing director Brendan Crotty.

Mr Wall said the pair were “quite nervous walking into the room, thinking ‘how are we going to sell this concept?’.”

But Crotty just told them his company was in.

More support then came from HASSELL’S chairman Ken Maher and Daniel Grollo.

Ms Madew said those around the first board meeting in 2002, and companies which offered support, included:

  • Ché Wall, Lincolne Scott
  • Brendan Crotty, Australand (chair)
  • Craig Heaton, ING Real Estate
  • Peter Verwer, Property Council of Australia
  • Ken Maher, HASSELL
  • Maria Atkinson (executive director)
  • Sue Holliday, Department of Planning NSW
  • Richard Sebo, RMIT
  • Tony Arnel, Building Commission Victoria
  • Michael Scrafton, Department of Defence
  • Michael Barnes, ISIS
  • Chris Waggett, Principal Real Estate Investors
  • Daniel Grollo, Grocon

A decade of green building gives us a chance to reflect on our achievements, and celebrate our successes. It is also a chance for us to recalibrate our vision for Australia’s built environment.

“In 10 years, we’ve gone from a great idea on a laptop to one of the world’s most influential green building councils – one that is truly transforming Australia’s buildings, communities and cities. Imagine what’s possible in the next decade.”