The scales of sustainability can now be applied to law courts, museums and other public buildings

6 October 2010 – The Green Building Council of Australia is seeking a number of public buildings to be part of trials for the new Green Star –Public Building PILOT rating tool released yesterday in Brisbane.

GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said the  tool would support the sustainable planning, design and construction of “high-performance public buildings” such as law courts, museums, art galleries and places of worship.

While more than 270 buildings around Australia had achieved Green Star ratings, up until now public buildings fell outside the scope of Green Star, Ms Madew said.

“This new tool means that industry has access to best practice benchmarks for public buildings, as well as a system of independently-verified certification which clearly demonstrates the sustainability credentials of leading public buildings around Australia,” Ms Madew said.

Ms Madew the new rating tool would be trialled on selected pilot projects and the GBCA was currently seeking expressions of interest from building projects to participate in the pilot process.

Strict eligibility criteria would be applied and guidelines. Details are available on the GBCA
website
.

Inclusions customised for the Green Star –  Public Building PILOT tool are a revised water category, revised materials calculator and methodology for assessing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as an updated management category, Ms Madew said.

Development of the tool was supported by the Queensland Government Department of Public Work, Major Projects Victoria, City of Sydney, Building Management Works –Department of Treasury and Finance(WA), City of Port Phillip and Manningham City Council, Willoughby City Council, Bluescope Buildings, Bovis Lend Lease, Hobson Bay City Council, Sustainability Victoria, City of Onkaparinga, City of Yarra and the Department of Justice Victoria.

Ms Madew said that evidence for green building continued to stack up.

They were cheaper to operate, “routinely consuming around a quarter less energy than the average building and generating around a third less greenhouse gas emissions,” and they increased productivity, and lowered liability and risk.

They were also “more likely to attract grants, subsidies and other Incentives.

“Increasingly, people around the world perceive green buildings as modern, ethical and proactive, –and companies, councils, governments and community organisations associated with green buildings benefit from these perceptions through community pride, satisfaction and well-being,” Ms Madew said.