GBCA raises the bar with net zero carbon buildings

GBCA net zero carbon buildings

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) will evolve its Green Star system in consultation with industry as part of an ambitious plan to promote action on carbon emissions.

In line with a 1.5°C target in the Paris Agreement, any building seeking to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating will be required to achieve net zero, making low energy buildings powered by renewables among the highest of honors in sustainable building.

The new requirement is a highlight of the GBCA’s proposed ‘future-focused’ rating system.

Building on Green Star’s success, Green Star for New Buildings goes beyond the traditional definition of green buildings to deliver a new vision for what our buildings can be: healthy, resilient and positive places for people and nature, built responsibly and showcasing leadership.

GBCA’s Head of Market Transformation, Jorge Chapa, said the Green Star rating system had transformed Australia’s built environment with the certification of more than 2,250 projects across the country since its introduction in 2003.

“Now, in consultation with industry, we want to build on this success and deliver the next generation of aspirational targets to ensure Australia’s built environment stays at the forefront of sustainability,” Mr Chapa said.

“The next critical decade needs ambitious actions.”

Green Star for New Buildings aims to promote ambitious action on carbon emissions with a drive towards net zero carbon and carbon positive buildings.

“In order to ensure our ratings continue to recognise Australia’s most sustainable developments, we want to introduce a new set of categories and credits that better reflect industry’s ambitions, and what it can achieve,” Mr Chapa said.

“We also want to continue to deliver an accessible entry point, so through Green Star for New Buildings we are proposing to maintain our existing entry-level standards for a best practice Green Star building while taking steps to make the process of achieving this outcome less complicated.

“As technologies transform how we build, we believe a Green Star rating will become more important to assure the delivery of what should be even more achievable sustainable outcomes on the ground.”

Mr Chapa said other changes proposed include additional opportunities to promote exceptional achievement in performance, as well as sector specific credits to recognise issues relevant to particular building types.

“We know our world-leading Australian industry can continue to rise to these challenges.”

The consultation paper for Green Star for New Buildings reflects twelve months of preliminary consultation with industry and stakeholders across the country.

Ten expert panels have provided valuable feedback with over 130+ participants.

General Manager Sustainability at Stockland and incoming GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney, said the consultation for Future Focus was exemplary, and is excited for the future iteration of Green Star.

“Green Star has been rethought from the ground up to deliver a relevant, accessible, and more valuable rating tool,” Ms Rooney said.

The consultation period is open until June 10, 2019. Find our more here.

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