On the move: An update on Green Star - Railway Stations

The GBCA has been exploring unchartered territory - Green Star for railway stations. Gleaning lessons and insights into how to move forward, Green Star Technical Manager, Taryn Cornell, provides an update.

Earlier this year, the Green Star – Railway Stations public rating tool was released for to assess the sustainable design and construction of railway station buildings and major refurbishment works. Through collaboration with Rail Projects Victoria, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has developed Green Star – Railway Stations as a leading sustainability rating tool to set critical benchmarks for monitoring and measuring the sustainability performance of rail projects against sustainability requirements.

Achieving sustainable outcomes is a critical part of planning, design and delivery of every city shaping project. An integrated approach to sustainability generates long-term benefits which includes better operational efficiency and maintenance requirements, improved project performance, emissions savings and a better experience for commuters.

The development of Green Star – Railway Stations drew on the experiences and lessons learnt from applying Green Star rating tools on Victorian rail stations delivered by Rail Projects Victoria and the Level Crossing Removal Authority, and by the Sydney Metro projects. A consultation process involving policy makers and sustainability professionals delivering rail projects also helped to ensure that the tool is relevant for different jurisdictions and fit-for-purpose.

At its core, Green Star – Railway Stations is a customisation of Green Star – Design & As Built v1.2 and has been prepared for use on above-ground and underground railway stations across Australia. The development of this rating tool removes the requirement for custom Green Star rating tools for individual rail infrastructure projects, and followed the same governance structure as other publically available Green Star rating tools. Credits have had changes made to the scope and application, drawn from the work with above ground railway stations, as well as implementing technical feedback. Green Star – Railway Stations has also incorporated elements of the Green Star – Communities rating tool to reflect the function that a railway station plays in a sustainable community and development.

Credits developed for Green Star – Railway Stations include:

  • Wayfinding – developed to recognise the design of the movement of people;
  • Visual Comfort – modified for both above ground and underground railway stations;
  • Thermal Comfort – modified to focus on the needs and expectations of both staff and patrons;
  • Sustainable Transport – modified to focus on sustainable transportation modes to and from the railway station;
  • Life Cycle Impacts – Asphalt - developed to reduce the impact of asphalt use; and
  • Life Cycle Impacts – Low Maintenance Design – developed to reduce resource use for materials which require high levels of maintenance.
  • Culture, Heritage and Identity – to celebrate the heritage, culture and historical context of projects;
  • Urban Precincts – to ensure site context and urban design have been considered; and
  • Safe Places - to reduce the likelihood of crime through good design.

The Submission Guidelines which provide detailed information on credit aims, criteria and compliance requirements for Green Star – Railway Stations can be found on the GBCA’s website, along with submission templates, a scorecard which provides a scoring tool for projects, calculators and guides, submission checklist, and additional resources.

The Green Building Council is committed to driving better outcomes for major infrastructure projects and Green Star – Railway Stations forms one part of a holistic approach to supporting your organisation’s sustainability goals. To find out more about Green Star – Railway Stations, head here or contact Jamie Wallis, Senior Manager – Market Development, to arrange a briefing for your organisation.