Definitions

Terms and their meaning

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A

Applicant Company

The company wishing to achieve a Green Star rating on the building/fitout/land. This is typically the owner of the building/fitout/land. Also known as the "Applicant".

Applicant Contact

Representative from the Applicant Company who is authorised by the Applicant Company to instruct the GBCA on matters relating to the project, such as:

  • Registration application including the Certification Agreement (including any amendments or novation).
  • Receive and discuss the results of the Round 1 and Round 2 assessments.
  • Nominate and change Applicant Contact and Project Contacts.
  • Provide permission to promote the Green Star registration and certification.
  • Provide photos of the project (once certified).
  • Accessing the pdf certificate (once certified) via the Project Manager Portal.

The Applicant Contact may be the same as the Project Contact.

Area Definition Request

Area definition requests are made when you wish to clarify how a credits should be applied to your project. The process involves the project team submitting a completed Area Definition Template and marked up drawings, and then working with the GBCA to classify each space within the project.

What information should I include?

  • Plan-view schematics; these should be highlighted and marked up in accordance with the space type classification to be used for the applicable credit/s
  • A completed and accurate Area Definition Template.

What should I expect?

At the end of the process, you will be issued with an approved Area Definition Template.

Cost

Area Definitions are $400 (excl. GST) for each request.

Tips

  • Before submitting, review the space type classifications that are defined in the credits and guides.
  • Check the Building Code of Australia Class definitions.
  • Review the Property Council of Australia ‘Method of Measurement’.
  • Where there are similar spaces adjacent to each other, group them together under the same ‘Space ID’ as this will simplify the process of reviewing your submission.
  • To allow for ease of cross referencing, please develop a sequential area ID framework, so that the ID of spaces run along the drawing axis in a sequential manner.

How do I ask this?

Log in to the Green Star Project Manager, and click on “New Request”, select “Request a technical response for my project” and follow the prompts.

Assessment Panel

The independent, third party assessment panel is made up of one or more Certified Assessors. See “Certified Assessor” definition.

Assessment Process

See “New Generation Assessment process” definition.

Assessor Interaction

The Assessor Interaction process has been introduced to the Green Star certification process with the aim of facilitating more productive communication between the third party Green Star Certified Assessors and the project teams engaged to undertake a Green Star submission. Opening up the communication for both the Assessors and the project team will improve the quality of the Green Star assessment experience for all involved. A GBCA representative will always be present at any Assessor Interaction between the Assessor and the project contact (usually the GSAP).

The Assessor Interaction process is an opportunity for a project contact to discuss with the Certified Assessor comments in the results, or project subtlety not easily conveyed with submission documentation, and if the usual processes do not adequately facilitate clarity of documentation requirements for the project team. Please note that the Assessor Interaction is not used in place of a submission. Documentation for assessment must still be provided within the submission.

The Assessor Interaction process may be held one month prior to Round 1, and/or within one month of the Round 1 assessment results having been sent. The opportunity to conduct a meeting at other stages of the certification process may be available at the discretion of the GBCA.

If you would like to discuss setting up a meeting for your project please contact the Sustainability Services contact of your project, or a member of the Sustainability Services team on 02 8239 6200, for more details.

C

Calculator

A calculator is an excel spreadsheet used to complete a required calculation within a credit. Calculators are provided with supplementary guides that are required to be read by projects seeking a Green Star rating. These complement the Submission Guidelines. Some calculators use a Calculator Guide. These guides explain how to use the Calculators. All calculators and calculator guides are available within each Rating Tool section on the GBCA’s website.

Category

Categories are sections with the rating tool that address a holistic range of sustainability impacts. Each category groups a number of issues related to a certain sustainability impact; these are known as ‘credits’.

Credit

A credit addresses an initiative that improves or has the potential to improve a project’s sustainability performance; each of these initiatives is a criterion. Credits are weighted in relation with each other by varying the number of points available. Each credit defines a clear outcome that a project must meet. Where the outcome is verified to have been met, a project will be rewarded with the relevant available points.

Once all credits are assessed, the total number of points achieved is compared against the available points in the rating tool and a certified rating is awarded. The rating describes the sustainability attributes of the project in terms that are widely understood and accepted.

For more information on credits, refer to the Introduction section of the Green Star Submission Guidelines.

Certified Assessors

A Certified Assessor is a person or persons, independent of the GBCA, nominated by the GBCA, knowledgeable and with experience in the green building industry, who has passed the “Green Star Accredited Professional” examination, and having undertaken appropriate and ongoing education. An Assessment Panel consists of Certified Assessor(s) and a GBCA representative. The Certified Assessor(s) will review the entire submission in their own time and meet to discuss the results of their review. A GBCA representative will also be present during each assessment meeting to record the results.

Clarification of assessment comments

If, once you receive the results of the assessment, you are unclear as to what to submit for the next round of assessment, you can request clarification of the assessment comments.

What information should I include?

Download and complete the Clarification of assessment comments spreadsheet with the credits that you require clarification on. Note: If you do not need to clarify a comment, do not include this in the spreadsheet.

What should I expect?

At the end of the process, you will be issued with updated results which clarify the assessment comments.

How do I ask this?

Log in to the Green Star Project Manager, and click on “New Request”, select “Request a technical response for my project” and follow the prompts.

Credit-by-Credit Assessment

The Credit-by-Credit Assessment option was added to the Green Star certification process, to allow project teams more flexibility. A Credit-by-Credit Assessment is an optional, fee for service, step that project teams can take in order to achieve more certainty about the likely results of their assessment at any point in the assessment process*.
*Time limits may apply.

The Credit-by-Credit Assessment option is designed to make the certification process more efficient and cost-effective by helping project teams to achieve better certification results. This service will reduce the necessity of project teams to pursue expensive “buffer credits” by giving them a better indication of the likely outcome of a credit claim, prior to the regular rounds of assessment.

Undertaking this optional assessment allows project teams to submit documentation for one or more credits that they intend to claim as part of their Green Star Assessment. Any credit can be submitted however if submitting an Innovation credit for assessment, please consult your Sustainability Services contact as Credit-by-Credit assessment is not appropriate in some situations for the Innovation Category. Individual credits can be submitted at any time throughout the certification process. The outcome of a Credit-by-Credit Assessment will be either:

  • Point(s) to be confirmed indicating that further documentation is required for the credit to be assessed and points awarded; OR
  • Point(s) awarded conditionally indicating that the documentation provided is sufficient for compliance with the credit (in accordance with the Credit Requirements outlined in the relevant Submission Guidelines) and that no further information will be required for the project submission*.
  • Point(s) awarded indicating that post Round 2 a point has been awarded and the final assessment results have been updated accordingly.

*It is important to note that whilst points are conditionally awarded, the eventual allocation of credit points will be subject to a consistency review, undertaken by the Assessment Panel during the standard rounds of Assessment (Round 1 and/or Round 2).

Credit-by-Credit Assessments are subject to administration fees which are in addition to the certification fee. The cost of a Credit-by-Credit Assessment ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 per credit depending on the complexity of the credit to be reviewed.

CBCA after Round 2

The following rules and conditions apply to the CBCA submission submitted after Round 2:

  • The project team must notify the GBCA in writing, within 30 days of receiving Round 2 results, of their intention to submit CBCA, and clearly nominate the credits that will be submitted;
  • No change to design, contract or policy will be reviewed at this time, if they affect the credits already awarded;
  • No overdue documentation (stipulated in the Compliance Requirements to have been generated at a specific past stage of the Project) will be reviewed at this time (i.e. if the documentation were meant to be generated at a previous phase of the project);
  • A flat fee of $1,000 plus GST per credit will apply. The Applicant will be invoiced for the total amount due for the Appeal before the Appeal assessment is undertaken;
  • The project team has 60 days from the date of the invoice to pay for the invoice, and submit their CBCA documentation;
  • To ensure fairness of process, the CBCA will be conducted solely on the information provided by the Applicant, with no additional opportunities for clarification or resubmission;
  • The CBCA submission must be submitted in one package;

The results of the CBCA submission automatically amend the results of the Round 2 assessment and are final.

The CBCA submission will be reviewed by third party Certified Assessor (see Certified Assessor definition), and may not be reviewed by the same Certified Assessors that reviewed the original Round 1 or Round 2 submissions.

Credit-by-Credit Assessment - Example process

More information will be provided to projects as needed. For more information, or to discuss how a Credit-by-Credit Assessment may help you achieve a better certification outcome for your project, or an indicative quote, please contact your Sustainability Services contact.

Credit Interpretation Request (CIR)

A Credit Interpretation Request (CIR) is made when you wish to use an alternative approach to what is specified in a credit. Examples include changes to the compliance requirements, alternative options to the Credit Criteria, recognition of new standards, or a request to have a credit be made ‘Not Applicable’.

What information should I include?

  • An outline of why the project cannot meet the Credit Criteria or Compliance Requirements as outlined in the credit
  • A clear and concise explanation of what the proposed alternative is and how it meets the Aim of Credit
  • Relevant documentation. e.g. drawings, plans, supporting documents.

What should I expect?

Your request will be either approved, with or without additional conditions, or declined. Conditions may include additional documents at the submission stage, or ensuring the alternative request is reflected in other credits. The response to declined queries will outline the reasons why the proposal was not accepted and where possible, options going forward.

Cost

CIRs are $400 (excl. GST) for each request.

Tips

  • Make sure that your request leads you to achieving the Aim of Credit and Credit Criteria. Credit Interpretation Requests are rarely declined for reasonable requests. When they are declined, it is due to the request not being equivalent, or compliant, with the Aim of Credit and Credit Criteria.
  • Responses to CIRs do not constitute as an assessment of your project.
  • Be clear and concise, and only provide relevant information and documents.

How do I ask this?

Log in to the Green Star Project Manager, and click on “New Request”, select “Request a technical response for my project” and follow the prompts.

E

Eligibility Query

An Eligibility Query is a query that is submitted to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) when a project team wishes to clarify whether a project meets any of the Green Star Eligibility Criteria.

What information should I include?

  • Relevant documentation i.e. marked up drawings, plans, supporting documents.
  • Specific details of which aspect of the Green Star Eligibility Criteria your query relates to.

What should I expect?

Your request will be approved, with or without additional conditions, or declined. Conditions may include either additional documents at the submission stage, or making sure the alternative request is reflected in other credits. The response to declined queries will outline the reasons why the proposal was not accepted and where possible, options going forward. If your project is deemed ineligible you can appeal, click here for more information on the appeal process.

Cost

Eligibility Queries are free of charge.

Tips

  • Before submitting, read the Green Star Eligibility Criteria.
  • Familiarise yourself with the NCC (National Construction Code) Class requirements for the relevant rating tool.
  • Identify whether any of the buildings have shared services.
  • Upload drawings, plans and relevant documents to assist in reviewing the Eligibility Query.
  • Be clear and concise.

How do I ask this?

Log in to the Green Star Project Manager, and click on “New Request”, select “Request a technical response for my project” and follow the prompts.

L

Licensing/Licence Agreement

An agreement between GBCA, the Applicant Company (see definition) and another party, to allow the other party use of the Green Star Trade Mark in relation to the project, and in line with the Trade Mark Rules as outlined on the GBCA website.

N


New Generation Assessment process (aka Staged Assessment Process)

The staged assessment process applies to all projects seeking a Green Star Certified rating. This is the process in which the assessment of credits is undertaken. We’ve simplified and improved the assessment process for New Generation Rating Tools to make it more efficient, more effective and to help achieve better outcomes.

There are two methods of assessment used in the certification process:
Core assessment: Information provided in the Submission Template is reviewed for compliance.
Comprehensive assessment: Information provided in the Submission Template as well as supporting documentation is assessed for compliance.


This diagram outlines the stages at which each method of assessment is used.

Once assessed, Criteria claimed will either be:

  • Awarded.
  • Awarded – minor non-compliance: Insignificant errors identified within the submission, and the points are still awarded.
  • Not Awarded – major non-compliance: Significant errors identified within the submission, and the points cannot be awarded.

Novation Agreement

An agreement between the GBCA, former Applicant company (see Applicant Company definition), and new Applicant company, while a project is undergoing certification. E.g. used in situations of change in ownership of the project. the new Applicant company “takes the shoes” of the former Applicant company.

P

Portfolio Certification

Green Star – Performance is designed to work with building portfolios and those managed centrally on a campus. The portfolio certification service is a cost-effective method to achieve reporting requirements and includes:

  • A tailored fee
  • Custom certification agreement
  • Technical workshop with the GBCA to assist with project planning and strategy
  • Portfolio Supplement document to assist project teams using the Green Star – Performance certification process.
  • Portfolio Submission Templates and Calculators to efficiently accept information on multiple buildings.

For more information on Green Star – Performance Portfolio Certification, download the Portfolio Certification Process Guide or contact a member of the Sustainability Services team on 02 8239 6200 for more details.

Project Contact

Representative(s) from the project team who are authorised by the Applicant Company (either through the Applicant Contact or otherwise) to instruct the GBCA on matters relating to the project, such as:

  • Registration application including the Certification Agreement (including any amendments or novation).
  • Receive and discuss the results of the Round 1 and Round 2 assessments.
  • Nominate and change Applicant Contact and Project Contacts (and any such change to be notified to the Applicant Contact).
  • Day to day dealings with the GBCA.
  • Ask queries, CIR’s and Technical Clarifications.
  • Distribute the CPD points (once certified).

Each project is confidential and the Applicant Contact and Project Contacts are the only representatives whom the GBCA can communicate with in relation to the project.

Project contract value

The project contract value is defined as the dollar value required to complete the works for the entire project, including site works. The following may be excluded when determining total contract value:

  • Demolition works.
  • Consultants, design fees, project management fees.
  • Works outside the site area.
  • Buildings or areas within the site that are not being assessed for purposes of Green Star.

Where a number of amenities or services are shared between stages in a larger development, the GBCA expects that the cost apportioned to the rated stage is equivalent to the use that the stage will have of these facilities.

S

Scale of Green Star Ratings

Green Star rating tools reward sustainability outcomes and encourage moving beyond standard practice.
This means that Green Star - Design, As Built, Interiors and Communities projects can achieve a Green Star certification of 4 to 6 Star Green Star. Buildings assessed using the Green Star - performance rating tool can achieve a Green Star rating from 1 - 6 Star Green Star.

Scale of green star ratings diagram

Staged Assessment process

See "New Generation assessment process" definition.

Submission Template

For all credits, the project team must submit a Submission Template summarising the steps taken to ensure compliance with the credit criteria. The Submission Template is the principal method by which the project team communicates with the Certified Assessors. It prompts project teams for the information and narrative required to confirm that the project complies with the Credit Criteria. The Submission Template will ask project teams to justify their claims with evidence that must be included in their submission. For more information on the Submission Templates refer to the introduction section of the Submission Guidelines, and view the Submission Template on the GBCA website.

Sustainability Services contact

A GBCA representative from the Sustainability Services team, who assists throughout the certification process of the project. There is one or two Sustainability Services contact allocated specifically to each registered project. They are the main point of call to the Applicant Contact and Project Contacts. If the allocated Sustainability Services contacts are not available, please contactanyone in the Sustainability Services team is available in respect to project certification.

T

Technical Clarification (TC)

Technical Clarifications (TCs) are made when you wish for further clarification on an item within the credit, or if you would simply like to confirm that your interpretation is correct.

What information should I include?

  • Quotes, page numbers and references to the Submission Guidelines.
  • A clear explanation of what you would like clarified.

What should I expect?

Responses to TCs typically include:

  • Confirmation of your interpretation, or an explanation if your interpretation is not correct.
  • Clarification or answer to your question.
  • Explanation of the requirements in the Submission Guidelines and what the project team needs to do.

Cost

Technical Clarifications are $100 (excl. GST) each.

Tips

  • Before submitting a TC, make sure you have carefully read the relevant credit in the Submission Guidelines.
  • Make sure you have a clear question.
  • Explain how you have interpreted the issue.
  • Be clear and concise.

How do I ask this?

Log in to the Green Star Project Manager, and click on “New Request”, select “Request a technical response for my project” and follow the prompts.

V

Volume Certification

Volume Certification is a customised service to certify a group of projects that share similar features. Volume Certification enables common elements to be certified once and then replicated on future projects to achieve a Green Star rating.

Volume Certification allows organisations to assess common elements of their project design once, and then replicate on individual project sites. This reduces costs, future proofs your assets, and provides you with the independent verification for which Green Star is internationally recognised.

Read the Volume Certification Process Guide to help you understand more about the process and find out if Volume certification is right for your project:

Download the guide here.

Volume Certification provides projects with a range of benefits, including:

Lower submission costs per projectLower registration fees per projectIncreased technical supportVerified sustainability outcomes
Lower turnaround time per submissionsAchieve formal certification earlierBased on internal processesIncreased marketing opportunities

For more information contact, the Green Star Development team on 02 8239 6291 or greenstar@gbca.org.au

Y

Yearly reviews for Green Star - Performance

In order to maintain your building’s Green Star – Performance certified rating, the project team must submit greenhouse gas and potable water performance data at 12 and 24 months intervals following the end of the certified building’s Performance Period.

Yearly Reviews

Performance Period

A 12 month ‘Performance Period’ is the period of time for which your project team gathers and collates auditable data about the operational performance of your building and for the period for which your building is assessed.

Once your building’s performance period is complete, your team has 90 days to submit your documentation. Like other Green Star rating tools, there are two rounds of assessment available to help you demonstrate your building’s performance.Where a second round of assessment occurs, your team must submit your building’s Round 2 documentation no more than 90 days following receipt of your Round 1 assessment results.

12 and 24 month performance check-ups

A Green Star – Performance Rating is valid for a period of three years upon Certification and may change due to the ongoing performance of the building.

In order to maintain your building’s Green Star – Performance certified rating, the project team must submit greenhouse gas and potable water performance data at 12 and 24 months intervals following the end of the certified building’s performance period.

These simple checks are submitted to the GBCA and help to demonstrate that the building is operating at the level at which it was certified, and that the applicant is undertaking appropriate monitoring for key performance indicators and impact categories.

Recertification

Throughout your building’s three year certification period, your team will monitor your building’s performance and where necessary implement improvements to operational procedures. As your certification period comes to an end, your team can resubmit data for all credits as part of a new certification process and achieve a new Green Star – Performance rating. Your building’s Green Star rating may increase, decrease, or stay the same, depending on any operational improvement initiatives or works you may have undertaken since your last rating was achieved.

For more information refer to your projects certification agreement, or contact the Sustainability Services team on 02 8239 6200 or greenstar@gbca.org.au