Here's what you need to know about changes to Green Star for Communities 

29 Jul 2019

GBCA Senior Manager - Market Engagement, Nick Alsop, explores how the evolution of sustainable precinct development in Australia will be driven by the Green Star for Communities tool, through the Future Focus program.

Green Star for Communities will aim to answer a simple question: How do we deliver sustainable precincts that are desirable, address the fundamental issues of our time, and will be delivered responsibly?

GBCA has embarked on its Future Focus program: reimagining our Green Star rating tools, in response to the pressing sustainability issues facing the future of our built environment. Within that context, we are examining how GBCA can continue to drive sustainable communities and precincts. Since its first release in 2012, Green Star – Communities has facilitated leadership on a diverse range of projects. We now have 44 certified projects, including greenfield masterplans, three university campuses, two airports, suburban brownfield sites and large scale urban renewal areas. Early users of the tool are now preparing for recertification, ensuring the aspirations from initial certification are delivered and built on as those projects continue.

Green Star – Communities featured five categories representing the areas of concern from a high-level master planning perspective. These were developed following a rich and well understood set of principles that industry created as part of the Green Star – Communities national framework. This industry focused framework served well to develop the concepts in the rating tool and put them into practice, delivering substantially better precincts throughout Australia.

The new Green Star for Communities proposes to build on this framework. In terms of scope, it features a similar set of issues, with a few notable additions. In terms of language, we are proposing to follow the format mapped out in the Green Star Future Focus program, containing relevant amendments to account for the opportunities at the precinct scale. This language is also designed with the end user in mind. It’s easier to understand, has a positive outlook, and will help a broader cross-section of the community to connect with Green Star’s objectives - be that residents, landlords, visitors, students or workers.

You will also see a stronger expectation on delivering low carbon outcomes on all projects, and a stronger relationship between precinct sustainability and building sustainability outcomes.

We will be inviting your feedback on all of these changes to ensure Green Star for Communities continues to deliver world leading precincts across Australia, supporting more productive, liveable communities. We will also be seeking your view on how to provide more efficient, regular and useful pathways to certification, and recertification as we review the process that sits behind the tool.

So keep an eye out for the release of the Green Star for Communities discussion paper in September, as well as workshops that we will be running to pull together the diverse array of disciplines involved in driving sustainable precinct development in Australia.