Neighbourhoods and community

Green Star – Communities assesses the planning, design and construction of large scale development projects at a precinct, neighbourhood and/or community scale. It provides a rigorous and holistic rating across five impact categories.

The current version of the rating tool is: Green Star – Communities v1.1. This was released on 13/09/2016.

The five categories and credits 


Aims to encourage and recognise developers and projects that demonstrate leadership within the sector, by establishing and maintaining strong governance practices. The category promotes engagement, transparency, as well as community and industry capacity building. It also seeks to ensure that community projects are resilient to a changing climate.


Aims to encourage and recognise developments that deliver safe, accessible and culturally rich communities. The category encourages the development of healthy and active lifestyles, and rewards communities that have a high level of amenity, activity, and inclusiveness.

Economic prosperity

Aims to encourage and recognise projects that promote prosperity and productivity. The category encourages affordable living and housing, investment in education and skills development, and community capacity building. This category also promotes greater productivity through emerging opportunities in the digital economy.


Aims to reduce the impact of urban development on ecosystems. It encourages resource management and efficiency by promoting infrastructure, transport, and buildings, with reduced ecological footprints. The Environment category seeks to reduce the impacts of projects on land, water, and the atmosphere.


Aims to recognise the implementation of innovative practices, processes and strategies that promote sustainability in the built environment.

Innovation Challenges are designed to encourage and direct investment in solutions that address a wide range of social, economic and environmental sustainability issues. Some Innovation Challenges take the form of new credits, while others simply identify sustainability issues that additional research and innovation will help to address.

Change log

We are constantly working to improve and refine Green Star – Communities in response to industry feedback and project queries. The change log provides a record of the revisions made with each release of the rating tool. (Updated 13/09/2016)

Green Star Communities Summary of changes from v1.0 to v1.1
Changes from PILOT to v1

Submission Guidelines

The Submission Guidelines provide detailed information on credit aims, criteria and compliance requirements and additional guidance, background information and resources. It is the main source of information on the technical requirements for projects pursuing Green Star certification.

Access the Submission Guidelines

The Submission Guidelines are available at our online shop. The guidelines are free to download for all members and available for purchase to non-members. (Updated on 13/09/2016, for Green Star – Communities v1.1 release)


The scorecard is an interactive Excel spreadsheet that must be used by projects seeking Green Star certification. The scorecard provides a scoring tool for projects to keep track of their Green Star points claims. The scorecard is also used by the GBCA to provide the results of assessment.

(Updated on 13/09/2016)

Download the scorecard

Submission Templates

For all credits targeted, the project team must complete the credit's Submission Template. It specifies the information and narrative required to confirm that the project complies with the Compliance Requirements of the Credit Criteria. In the Submission Template projects are also required to provide details of the evidence included in the project's submission to justify the claims made in the Submission Template. Projects must submit these Submission Templates provided and are not permitted to use an alternative document.

Submission Templates are provided in MS Word format. Please note there are no automated or 'smart' features embedded within the Submission Templates. Project teams are to fill in and edit the Submission Templates to suit their responses within the shaded areas indicated within each Submission Template. Feedback on these templates are welcomed.

Click the link below to download the zip file containing all Submission Templates for the Green Star - Communities Rating Tool (Version 1.1). The credits with revisions that affect these Initial Certification Submission Templates will be updated within the coming weeks.

N.B. Recertification Submission Templates – Please note that separate recertification Submission Templates have not yet been developed. The GBCA will be working with project teams over the coming months to collaborate on the Submission Templates and how they should evolve.


A Green Star – Communities calculator has been developed to determine the number of points awarded for the Ecological Value credit. Download the calculator:

CalculatorLatest update
Ecological Value Calculator05/11/2015


Submission checklist

A completed and signed submission requirements checklist must be submitted by all projects teams during Round 1 and Round 2 submissions.

Project inception checklist

The purpose of the project inception checklist is to ensure that project teams embed the principles of the Green Star – Communities rating tool into the early project planning activities.

Download submission checklist Download project inception checklist

Previous versions

For all projects registered under a previous version of Green Star – Communities, log on to your Green Star Project Manager to download all supporting resources required to complete your submission.

Green Star – CommunitiesRelease date
Version 1.007/08/2015
PILOT Version 0.201/02/2015
PILOT Version 0.111/05/2014
PILOT Version 0.014/06/2012

While Green Star – Communities will continue to be updated, projects are recertified with the version of the rating tool under which they registered their initial certification unless they specifically choose to upgrade to the most up-to-date version. As such, project teams are not subject to clarifications or amendments made as part of later revisions.

Credit and credit criteria substitution

All projects are encouraged to use the latest version of the rating tool. Project teams are allowed to use the credits and credit criteria from any new version of the rating tool released after the project’s registration date.

The following documents detail the process required for projects substituting credits or credit criteria from newer versions of the Green Star – Communities rating tool.

Upgrading to the current version of the Green Star rating tool

If a project is registered under a previous version of the Green Star – Communities rating tool, the applicant may choose to formally update the version of the rating tool (e.g. move from version 0.0, 0.1, 0.2, v1.0 to version 1.1), to achieve the project's certification. For additional details on this process, please contact the Sustainability Services team.

The certification process

There are five simple steps to achieve certification:

  1. Register your project online.
  2. Get technical support.
  3. Compile your submission documentation.
  4. Submit documentation for assessment.
  5. Green Star certified rating achieved!


Register your project
Register your project

Cross Claim from Green Star – Communities to Green Star – Design & As Built

The Cross Claim approach has been developed for circumstances where there are buildings located within the boundary of a Green Star – Communities project seeking to be assessed under the Green Star – Design & As Built rating tool.

The approach recognizes that there are commonalities in the sustainability attributes that have been certified at a site wide level that are applicable at a building level. Where these commonalities apply the Cross Claim approach is intended to help streamline a buildings’ Green Star – Design & As Built certification.

The results of a Green Star – Communities assessment are applicable to all buildings located within the boundary of the related Green Star – Communities project.

The development of a Cross Claim Certification Technical Amendment document for your projects is a three stage process.

Download Cross Claim Approach: Green Star – Communities and Green Star – Design & As Built

It you would like to develop a Cross Claim Certification Technical Amendment document for your project please contact the Sustainability Services Team.

Need more information?

Contact our Green Star team

Green Building Council of Australia

+61 2 8239 6200

Email us