Responding to industry demands, the GBCA launched the Green Star rating system for buildings in 2003 to support the property and construction industry to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, drive innovation in sustainable building practices, improve occupant health and productivity and achieve cost savings.
“In nine short years, Green Star has radically transformed the footprint of our cities,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.
“These 500 building projects equate to eight million square metres of Green Star-certified building space around Australia – from offices to retail centres, and from schools to hospitals.
“This transformation has occurred through true market leadership. Leading by example has pushed our industry from a ‘business as usual’ mentality to the forefront of green building expertise and innovation.
“With 500 building projects now under our belt, the emerging leaders in the industry are those companies making a portfolio or precinct-wide commitment to Green Star. There are currently more than 500 projects registered to achieve Green Star ratings in the future,” Ms Madew adds.
The 500th project is Australand Property Group’s Keysborough Spec 1 development in Victoria, which has achieved a 5 Star Green Star – Industrial Design v1 rating. The development comprises two large warehouses and office space inside one 27,000m2 building.
“It’s fitting that Keysborough Spec 1 is the 500th Green Star project, as it demonstrates how market transformation is extending beyond the office sector,” says Australand’s Sustainability Manager, Paolo Bevilacqua.
“For Australand, this Green Star certification gives us assurance that we’re ‘future proofing’ our asset, as well as reducing occupancy costs for our customers. We believe this will give us and our customers a competitive edge in the market as utility costs continue to rise,” Mr Bevilacqua adds.
Romilly Madew adds: “Around Australia, governments are mandating Green Star for new schools, hospitals and large-scale developments because they know Green Star buildings are healthier, more productive and better long-term assets. Developers are driving higher green benchmarks with each new project they undertake. Building owners are insisting on Green Star ratings for all new acquisitions because they are more efficient and cost-effective. Tenants are demanding Green Star to reinforce their brands, and attract and retain their most valuable employees. And people are telling us they want to live in a Green Star community.
“The message is clear: Australia’s Green Star is ascendant,” Ms Madew concludes.
The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) is Australia’s leading authority on green buildings and communities. The GBCA was established in 2002 to develop a sustainable property industry in Australia and drive the adoption of green building practices. The GBCA has more than 850 member companies who work together to support the Council and its activities. The GBCA promotes green building programs, technologies, design practices and processes, and operates Australia’s only national voluntary comprehensive environmental rating system for buildings - Green Star. See: www.gbca.org.au