Eligibility for Green Star certification is based on the Green Star rating tool and the project undertaking certification. Any new or existing building, new fitout, or master-planned precinct can achieve a Green Star rating using our internationally-recognised certification system.
If you have checked the eligibility criteria and you're still unsure whether your project is eligible, request online for an eligibility ruling.
Registration does not guarantee assessment; no project will be assessed if it is deemed ineligible against the eligibility criteria current at the time of registration. We reserve the right to deny eligibility to any project that is deemed to compromise the Green Star brand, and to revise these criteria to better achieve the goals of the Green Star rating tools.
Please note: The eligibility criteria on this web page should be viewed as the most current eligibility requirements for all tools. If at registration these differ from the submission guidelines, the criteria below should be used.
All buildings aiming to achieve a Green Star Buildings certified rating are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
Green Star Buildings rates most building types that are new buildings or major refurbishments. In principle:
The Green Star Buildings rating tool has been designed to rate the whole building under a single certification, regardless of the types of uses within it. The credit structure and inclusion of mixed-use pathways facilitates this. Similarly, only distinct projects are eligible for assessment and a rating cannot be sought for project components. This is because excluding portions of the building could be misleading and a risk to the Green Star brand; particularly given the introduction of minimum expectations and the Climate Positive Pathway strategy that is being implemented incrementally between now and 2030 and outlines a clear pathway to decarbonisation.
Note: there may be situations where a building has a distinct rating boundary even if it is co-located or connected with another building that is not seeking certification. In these instances, speak to the Market Engagement team as the distinct boundary must be reviewed and approved by the GBCA through an eligibility request.
Note: all non-standard approaches are granted by exception only and must be reviewed by GBCA through an eligibility request:
Projects can register for certification at any time prior to practical completion. Projects can register after practical completion, though applicants should note the deadline below.
All projects registered for Green Star Buildings must achieve a Certified rating within two years from practical completion of the project. The Certified rating is awarded after practical completion. Registered projects have the option of undergoing a Designed assessment as an interim step towards certification. The Designed assessment has to be done prior to practical completion.
The key deadlines within the Climate Positive Pathway strategy applies to the date of registration. Registration is defined as once the certification agreement has been executed and the certification fee has been paid. For example, all projects targeting 5 star that finalise registration from 2023 onwards must meet the requirements of the Climate Positive Pathway regardless of whether the process is commenced in 2022.
A project seeking certification must meet the Minimum Expectations set out in the Green Star Buildings rating tool. The Minimum Expectations are an expanded list of credits that must be met for the building to be certified.
The project must achieve at least the minimum number of points required for a 4 Star rating.
All homes product ranges and completed homes seeking a Green Star Homes Designed rating or Certified rating must meet the following criteria
The home must be a Class 1a home delivered by a volume home builder:
A Volume Home Builder is defined as: A volume home builder is known by other terms such as project home builder. These terms refer to these key attributes :
The GBCA reserves the right to deny a Green Star Certified rating to a home that has been built on a lot or part of a broader development such as a subdivision or master planned development, where ecologically sensitive species or communities have had to be cleared for the development to occur, or are impacted in other ways on the site or its immediate surrounds. Where a volume home builder suspects this may be the case, we ask that they submit a Technical Question to confirm eligibility.
A sensitive site is one that contains: old growth forest; prime agricultural land; wetland listed as being of ‘High National Importance’ (unless Wetland Protected Measures are in place); or a site impacting ‘Matters of National Significance’ under the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).
Homes built on previously development land (for example a knock down-rebuild) automatically achieve this eligibility criterion.
Green Star Designed Assessment
The Green Star Design assessment for the product line must be maintained through a maximum of three-yearly reviews to ensure it continues to meet the requirements of The Standard. It may be revoked if it no longer meets the Standard’s requirements. A Designed rating must be achieved within three years of registration.
As Built Certified
Submissions for an As Built certified rating can be lodged after practical completion. To make an as-built submission, a ‘Design’ assessment must be undertaken. Green Star Certified ratings must be achieved within 12 months of practical completion. They do not expire.
If the above occurs within the three years of validity, the builder must contact the GBCA to review and reassess the design.
All credits in the Green Star Homes Standard must be targeted and achieved for a rating to be provided.
All communities, precincts and developments aiming to achieve a Green Star – Communities certified rating are subject to the following eligibility criteria.
To meet the space use eligibility criterion, a project’s plan for development must include the development of any size and mixture of Class 1-9 structures (except Class 4), as classified under the National Construction Code (NCC).
There are no size requirements imposed for Green Star – Communities project eligibility. Instead the rating tool is designed to be used by projects when the majority of the following points apply:
To meet the timing of certification criteria:
To receive a certified rating, the project must:
The project must be clearly distinct. This may be a structure plan, master plan, neighbourhood plan, renewal plan or similar. This means the project must have a clear study area boundary that is subject to a ‘plan of development’. This plan and/or planning process must be managed by a government entity and/or private sector or community owned development entity.
Further requirements are set out in the certification agreement.
Please note the above eligibility criteria apply, however GBCA and New Zealand Green Building Council have developed additional guidance for projects based in New Zealand, regarding Credit 28 (Sustainable Sites), and clarification of Prime Agricultural Land.
All buildings aiming to achieve a Green Star – Performance certified rating are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
All building types can be rated using Green Star – Performance, with the exception of single detached dwellings (single houses).
The building must be a complete, permanent structure.
Buildings that have achieved Green Star – As Built certification can submit documentation for assessment 18 months after achieving an occupancy certificate. The building must have operated under normal conditions for at least the last 12 months of that 18 month operating period.
All other eligible buildings can submit documentation for assessment 36 months after receiving an occupancy certificate. The building must have operated under normal conditions for at least the last 12 months of that 36 month operating period.
In order to reach a 4 Star Green Star ‘Best Practice’ level of certification or higher, a project team must demonstrate improvements upon the following credit benchmarks:
All buildings must be spatially differentiated and clearly distinct. Buildings in their entirety can be assessed.
Buildings should have a reasonable site boundary that includes all contiguous land associated and that supports the building’s typical operations.
Individual tenancies are not eligible for assessment under Green Star – Performance at this time.
A building requires at least one full time equivalent occupying the space during the ‘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.
The performance period is 12 consecutive months from which data will be drawn for Green Star – Performance certification. The beginning of the performance period can be no more than 12 months prior to registration.
All Green Star – Performance registered premises must comply with all Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety Laws.
All Green Star – Performance registered projects must commit to sharing their building energy and water usage data with us.
Further requirements are set out in the certification agreement.
All buildings aiming to achieve a Green Star – Interiors rating are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
Green Star – Interiors rates building fitouts. The majority of fitout types are eligible to be rated including mixed use developments comprising of more than one of the following National Construction Code (NCC) space use classifications: NCC Class 3, 5, 6, 8, 9a, 9b, 9c.
Submissions for a Green Star – Interiors certification can be lodged following practical completion of the project. The certified rating will only be awarded within 24 months of practical completion.
A project seeking certification must meet the conditional requirement criterion outlined in the 'Greenhouse Gas Emissions' credit. A project will not be eligible for a Green Star certified rating unless the benchmarks in this conditional requirement have been met.
Project certification must apply to an area/site that is clearly distinct. Project components are not eligible. Shared building services or amenities such as waste rooms or bicycle facilities do not affect the building’s eligibility. Sub-tenancies are considered part of the fitout and cannot be excluded from the rating.
Projects must comply with all legal requirements in respect of their project (e.g. NCC requirements or Occupational Health & Safety requirements).
Further requirements are set out in the certification agreement.
This tool is superseded by Green Star Buildings but still open for registration until 17 December, 2021.
All buildings aiming to achieve a Green Star – Design & As Built certified rating are subject to the following eligibility criteria:
Green Star – Design & As Built is intended to rate new buildings and major refurbishments. The majority of building types are eligible to be rated including mixed use developments comprising of more than one National Construction Code (NCC) space use classification. Parking garages (NCC Class 7a and 10) are ineligible to achieve a Green Star – Design & As Built certified rating.
All projects registered for Green Star – Design & As Built must seek an As Built certified rating. Project teams also have the option of seeking a Design Review certified rating. The Design Review certified rating is not a stand alone certification, rather it is as an interim step towards the As Built certification.
Design Review certified rating
Submissions for a Design Review certified rating can be lodged early in the design process and as soon as the required evidence is available. This is possible to be lodged at the time of the design brief or design development period.
As Built certified rating
Submissions for an As Built certified rating can be lodged following the project reaching practical completion.
Certain timeframes and thresholds must be adhered to in order for a project to achieve a certified rating. The following milestones are mandatory for all projects, and if any are not met a project's certified rating will either expire or will be cancelled.
Green Star – Design & As Built has two conditional requirements. To achieve a certified rating the benchmarks in the following conditional requirements in these two credits must be met:
1. Greenhouse gas emissions
2. Sustainable sites
For further information refer to the Submission Guidelines. A project will not be eligible for a Green Star certified rating unless both of these conditional requirements have been met.
To provide a meaningful result and send a clear message to the market, Green Star Design & As Built rates the whole building, regardless of the types of uses within it. Only distinct projects are eligible for assessment; project components are not eligible.
Green Star Certification typically covers a single building. If applicants wish to have more than one building covered in the single certification, approval must be granted from the GBCA through an eligibility request.
Shared building services (such as Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning plant or water treatment) or amenities (such as waste rooms or bicycle facilities) do not affect the building's eligibility for Green Star assessment.
Generally speaking, Green Star Certification must apply to the whole structure (as viewed above ground).
Where towers are joined by an above ground podium, it is all considered as a single structure, and should be covered in one certification. Where buildings share a common basement below ground, they are considered two structures and will need their own ratings (unless an approach is agreed upon by the GBCA through an eligibility request before registration).
There are situations where buildings do have a distinct boundary even if they share a space with another building. Buildings that have a combination of separate entrances, distinct titles, and addresses can be rated if they can be easily distinguished from another part of a building (for example, a new office tower that is built on air rights on top of a shopping centre). Project teams are encouraged to contact the GBCA prior to registration for more information in these situations.
Green Star – Design & As Built delivers a rating that reflects the building as delivered by the building owner or developer. Where the building is tenanted, Green Star – Design & As Built expects the building owner/developer rather than the tenant to deliver solutions within the lettable area of the building that meets the Green Star credit criteria. Awarding credits for a base building cannot depend wholly on a tenant to be responsible for delivering outcomes. In other words, if the tenant is introducing changes to the building after the building has been finished, these changes cannot affect the building’s rating.
Further requirements are set out in the certification agreement. It is the responsibility of the applicant to comply with all legal requirements in respect of their project (e.g. NCC requirements or Occupational Health & Safety requirements).