Australian Government announces Green Star requirements for buildings

28 Nov 2023

The Australian Government today announced new Green Star and electrification requirements for government owned buildings as part of its Net Zero in Government Operations Strategy.

The strategy will help the Commonwealth to fulfil its commitment to achieving a net zero Australian public service by 2030 which includes preferencing all-electric buildings for new office leases and achieving Green Star for future office buildings purchased or constructed for the Commonwealth.

GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney, said the Australian Government has delivered an ambitious strategy using Green Star, NABERS, and Infrastructure Sustainability Council ratings, as well as electrification requirements to set a clear approach to drive down emissions in buildings.

“It’s fabulous to see our work in developing climate positive pathways for buildings has been adopted by the Australian Government,” Ms Rooney said.

“It shows a clear commitment from our government to drive down emissions at scale and it sends a message to the market that net zero in operations is the new norm.”

The strategy uses rating tools from NABERS, the Infrastructure Sustainability Council and GBCA’s Green Star to set a range of ambitious new minimum standards.

Green Star ratings

From July 2026, the Commonwealth is mandating that any office space acquired, constructed, or committed to under precommitment agreements with a value exceeding $15 million must obtain a minimum 4 Star Green Star certification. This certification must also align with the Climate Positive Pathway outlined by the Green Building Council of Australia. While a 4 Star Green Star rating is the baseline requirement under this strategy, wherever possible, 5 or 6 Star Green Star ratings are encouraged to showcase leadership in sustainability.


  • Commencing from July 2024, all electric buildings must be prioritised for office leasing.
  • From July 1, 2026, any contracts for the purchase or construction of office space by or for the Commonwealth must prioritise all-electric infrastructure where feasible. This commitment extends to building heating, cooling, and water heating systems, excluding backup generation, pending the 2026-27 review.
  • By January 1, 2040, Commonwealth entities are urged to exclusively lease or own office spaces that adhere to all-electric standards, solidifying their commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.
  • By 1 January 2030 100% of Commonwealth electricity must be renewable.

The Green Building Council of Australia congratulates the Australian Government on its game changing approach to sustainability and looks forward to collaborating closely to achieve these ambitious goals.