28 August 2013 — As part of its Green Star 2014 program, the Green Building Council of Australia has announced new credits available for life cycle assessment.
Up to eight points can be claimed under the updated Innovation category, with the maximum points in the category being raised from five to 10.
The life cycle analysis points fall under the new “Innovation Challenges” initiative, which GBCA says will “encourage and direct investment in solutions that address a wide range of social, economic and environmental sustainability issues”.
Six points can be claimed for “Lifecycle Assessment: Material Lifecycle Impacts”, with the credit aiming to reduce the environmental impact of the materials and products used in buildings throughout the projected usable life in comparison to a typical building.
“This Innovation Challenge aims to encourage project teams to perform lifecycle assessments of their buildings, and to demonstrate that their project performs better in most impact categories without any negative tradeoffs,” a GBCA document said.
Two additional points can be claimed for “Environmental Product Declarations”, which aims to increase the availability of building or fitout products with publicly available environmental product declarations by increasing their use in Green Star projects.
LCA consultants and software providers eTool said it was a game changer for the industry in Australia.
“This is a fantastic development for the green building industry, the owners/occupants of the buildings and ultimately the environment,” said eTool co-founder Alex Bruce.
“Whole of building LCA provides a brilliant platform to understand the total ecological footprint of a building, facilitate ease of comparison against alternative designs and ultimately find ways to improve the final outcome of the project.”
The new credits will be available from 15 September.