BRIEF – 21 February 2010 –
The Green Building Council of Australia has released the draft of a revised Green Star Steel credit that aims to “drive best practice steel production and fabrication and encourage dematerialisation of steel instructural applications in Australia.”

The revised Steel credit was released on Friday for a four week public comment period, following a 12-month review. The revision is part of a wider review of four of the GBCA’s Green Star Materials category credits – Timber, PVC, Concrete and Steel.  The
results of the Timber and PVC credits have already been released, with the results from the Concrete review to be released later this year.

GBCA chief executive of the GBCA Romilly Madew said Australia’s steel industry was already recycling at world’s best practice rates.

In a media statement she added:
“An estimated 2.8 million tonnes of steel is available for recycling in Australia each year.  In the 2007-2008 financial year, 299,681 tonnes of this total was disposed of in landfill, while 2.54 million tonnes was recovered for recycling.

“A series of Steel Expert Reference Panel meetings, site visits, discussions with key stakeholders and examination of international studies found that current recycling rates from construction and industrial sources is close to 90 per cent.

“With that in mind, the Steel Expert Reference Panel concluded that a revised credit was required to remove the focus on high percentages of recycled steel content in new steel products, and instead encourage best practice steel production and fabrication and dematerialised efficiencies.

“Green Star has included a ‘Steel’ credit since its inception in 2003, which encouraged the use of structural steel that contained a high percentage of recycled content.  The Green Star ‘Steel’ credit was included in the first Green Star rating tool, Green Star – Office Design v1, and has featured in all subsequent tools.

“Under the revised credit, up to two points will be awarded where at least 95 per cent of the total structural steel and reinforcing steel by mass is sourced from steel making facilities that not only have a currently valid ISO 14001 Environmental Management System in place, and are members of the World Steel Association’s Climate Action Programme, but which meet other key best practice criteria.”

OneSteel executive general manager, technology safety & services Leo Selleck said: “OneSteel is highly supportive of sustainable construction and believes that steel has an important role to play in the growing green building industry in Australia. We are pleased this revised Green Star steel credit encourages more sustainable practices not only in steel production and but also in its use throughout the steel construction value chain from steelmaking to design and fabrication.”

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