A month of gamechangers

03 Oct 2023

“Gamechanger” is an overused phrase, but sometimes there’s no other word to describe a shift that changes.

Mirvac’s Heritage Lanes project at 80 Ann Street in Brisbane recently became the first project to gain 6 Star Green Star Buildings certification.

There’s a story behind every certification, but Heritage Lanes’ is a showstopper. Heritage Lanes was already 85% procured when Green Star Buildings was launched in late-2020. Mirvac’s project team embraced the new challenge – despite many people saying it couldn’t be done – and Heritage Lanes is now one of Australia’s smartest and most sustainable office buildings.

In another gamechanger, IKEA Netherlands announced it was discontinuing the sale of gas cooktops from January 2024. “IKEA Netherlands wants to contribute to a more sustainable life at home and the sale of gas hobs does not fit in with that,” an IKEA spokesperson said.

Is one retailer in the Netherlands making the switch to all-electric really a gamechanger? Six years ago, we started to hear all-electric commitments from car manufacturers and look where we are now. We think IKEA’s move is the first sign of the direction of travel.

Two gamechangers are set to shake up the policy space too. On 1 October, New South Wales was the first jurisdiction to adopt new residential energy efficiency standards in the National Construction Code. Industry leaders are lining up in support of the change. Director of Red Cedar Constructions, Trent Clark, recently told us he regularly builds homes to a much higher standard than required by the new Code. “Installing huge air conditioning systems and poor performing windows and doors should be a thing of the past,” Trent said.

The NSW Government also ushered in new sustainability standards with the Sustainable Buildings SEPP on 1 October. This policy applies to a range of building types, and the gamechangers include disclosure of embodied carbon and net zero statements that demonstrate how an asset will operate without fossil fuels by 2035. As the NABERS team notes, the policy elevates expectations for the design and delivery of buildings in NSW, but will also “influence targets, processes, reporting and skills development across the country”.

One more gamechanger is waiting in the wings…

We are excited to launch our Green Star Fitouts consultation paper for industry feedback. We are bringing circular thinking to the centre of the rating tool with a simplified framework that sharpens the focus on design and dematerialisation, health and wellbeing, and an all-electric future.

If there’s one line from the paper that conveys our approach it’s this: “Build less, build well, reuse more and think about the future impact.” Please complete our survey by 3 November to let us know whether our proposed approach to Green Star Fitouts will change the game.