Building to bounce back

29 Apr 2020

How do we stay the course on climate change? It’s a question we must continue to ask ourselves, because the coronavirus curve isn’t the only one we need to flatten.

The short-term effects of COVID-19 have brought us clearer skies and less pollution. But it will take a sustained reduction in emissions to make a long-term impact on carbon dioxide levels.

COVID-19 has shown how rapidly human behaviour can adapt and how radically we can reshape our policies when faced with an existential crisis. 

As our thoughts as a nation now turn to recovery, we can use our fiscal firepower to invest in infrastructure that rebuilds our economy today and while delivering liveability and sustainability dividends for decades.

We are taking this message to governments around Australia in the months ahead. We already have a practical plan for buildings. Every Building Counts, launched late last year in collaboration with the Property Council, outlines the steps that all tiers of government can take to drive down emissions while creating up to 80,000-job years of employment across the economy. 

Now, the GBCA has released Building to Bounce Back, a policy paper that outlines how governments can maximise the record-breaking infrastructure investment ahead. As the business cases roll in, we need governments to take a broad view of the assets, and to select projects that are resilient to climate change impacts and support our transition to net zero.

We’ve been buoyed to hear from many of our members that their net-zero commitments remain on track. To support your amazing work, we will be hosting Green Building Day Online on Tuesday 16 June. This one-day conference will help you drive change through Green Star despite the disruptions and understand how Green Star is evolving to meet the challenges of the next decade.

As Green Star evolves, we continue to look for ways to enhance the experience for project teams. We listen and learn from what you tell us – which is why it’s so important that you share your feedback through our annual Green Star Satisfaction Survey.

Last year, you helped us identify three areas where we could improve: technical clarity, submission experience and digital systems. In response, we’ve released new guides, reports and have plans for releasing website updates and digital platforms in FY20-21.

As Green Star’s influence expands, projects become more complex – and so do the technical queries. We are working hard to give project teams certainty and are very proud to report that response times to Green Star queries have reduced by one third as a result of recent improvements.

Isolation often leads to introspection. Many of us now have the time and space to rethink the systems and structures that we’ve accepted as normal, and to reimagine our collective future as we rebuild our economy.

At the GBCA, we are always rethinking these systems and structures – whether that’s Green Star or the policy platforms we use to persuade governments. While COVID-19 has changed the rhythm of our work in 2020, our urgency and commitment to action remain.