Romilly Madew

14 June 2012 – The Green Building Council of Australia today (Thursday) launched its Green Star – Communities rating tool.

Council chief executive Romilly Madew said the initiative was one of the world’s first rating tools designed to encourage more sustainable, productive and liveable communities.

“Green Star – Communities will support the planning, design and delivery of communities, precincts and neighbourhoods that prioritise environmental sustainability – such as minimising energy and water consumption, and reducing dependence on motor vehicles – alongside broader issues such as economic prosperity, liveability and community health and wellbeing,” Ms Madew said.

The council brought together industry and government to create the rating tool, which will benchmark community developments against six categories.

Each category has a number of points available which are then added up to deliver a four, five or six star rating.

The categories and their possible points are:

  • Governance – 21
  • Design – 11
  • Liveability – 23
  • Economic Prosperity – 19
  • Environment – 26
  • Innovation – 10

Highest possible point score is110.

Each category is broken down even further for assessment. For example, Liveability has a total possible score of 23 points derived from:

  • Access to Amenities – 2
  • Community Development – 5
  • Healthy and Active Living – 5
  • Access to Fresh Food – 2
  • Safe Places – 2
  • Culture, Heritage and Identity – 3
  • Accessibility and Adaptability – 4

A 4-Star rating is awarded for 45+ points, a 5-Star rating for 60+ points and a 6-Star rating for 75+ points.

To gain a Green Star – Communities rating participants must register their project, prepare a submission and be successful over two assessments. They then receive a licence to use the Green Star – Communities certification trade mark for up to five years. To retain certification, projects must be recertified within five years of initial certification.

To be eligible projects must contain a minimum of four buildings of any building structure type (Class 1–9) in accordance with the Building Code of Australia, feature a clearly distinct project boundary and a plan of development with an “owner” of the plan or planning process, achieve a minimum of 15, 25 or 35 per cent of all points in each of the five categories if seeking a 4, 5 or 6-Star rating respectively, achieve a minimum total of 45 points and achieve re-certification within five years of the initial certification or any subsequent re-certification.

Principal sponsor Rock Development Group’s Maria Efkarpidis said the assessment tool was an important step for the Australian building and construction industry.

“It follows global trends that consider the sustainability of entire communities and precincts from the beginning to the end of the development process,” she said.

“This tool will set the standard for building genuinely green communities.”

Details are available on the GBCA website