24 July 2012 – Green Star does not have a life cycle assessment of materials in its rating tool but that could be about to change with the Green Building Council of Australia  seeking feedback until mid August on a methodology to rate the environmental impact of typical building components.

Currently, the Green Star Materials category does not require projects to evaluate the impact of materials using LCA; but instead contains specific criteria that address opportunities for reduced environmental impact in the majority of materials used in building construction, including concrete, steel, timber and PVC, and also reward the use of recycled and re-used materials.

A discussion paper, Life Cycle Assessment in Green Star says it is believed that introducing LCA to the Green Star Materials category could deliver better environmental outcomes, continue to help in the transformation of the Australian materials industry and allow greater transparency, consistency and cost effectiveness.

The 24-page paper category considers issues such as: environmental impacts, the need to set system boundaries, assessment model, benchmarks for awarding points, appropriate data inventories, qualifications for  practitioners undertaking LCAs on behalf of project applicants, manufacturers, and suppliers of building materials.

“In this way, the selection of materials or products that are determined to have a low impact in comparison to the reference case will be recognised and rewarded, while those recognised as having a high impact will be discouraged,” the paper says.

Details and feedback through tool.development@gbca.org.au or at www.gbca.org.au

See the discussion paper at https://www.gbca.org.au/uploads/3/34051/LCA_Assessment_in_Green_Star_Discussion_paper.pdf