30 Nov 2022
As 2022 draws to a close, we will look back on it as a year of transition, of opportunities for the future and one when we celebrated 12 months of industry stepping up to the net zero challenge. For a snapshot of these achievements and the year that was for Green Star, we spoke to Nick Alsop, our Senior Manager Market Engagement.
In 2022 we redefined sustainable buildings, by closing registrations for Green Star Design & As Built as we continue to transition to the updated tool for new builds, Green Star Buildings. Designed to meet current and future demands of the built environment, Green Star Buildings sets a new benchmark for decarbonised buildings, with a clear pathway for fossil fuel free, zero carbon energy and embodied carbon buildings by 2030.
Nick says he’s excited how industry has embraced Green Star Buildings since it was launched in 2020. “This is testament to an industry that knows that if we stand a chance of decarbonising the built environment, the benchmark must be high. It’s a benchmark that industry is willing to stand up and reach, and we have seen a steady increase in new registrations over the last 12 months,” said Nick.
At the end of FY 2021-2022 Green Star Buildings had received 30 registrations, a figure that we’re proud to share has more than doubled in the six months since.
Industry had long asked for a sustainability rating system for the residential sector so it too could participate in the race to net zero. Consumers have also been calling for homes that are healthy, ready to respond to the elements, reduce emissions and reduce energy bills, so Nick says it came with little surprise that in its first year of operation, Green Star Homes went ahead in leaps and bounds.
“Green Star Homes has been adopted by industry at a pace that’s been very exciting to see. This year we awarded the first Green Star Homes certification, and it was quickly followed up by others, including a display home. Some of the early users of the tool are embracing it in their future projects, including a commitment to certify over 260 homes in a single development. We can’t wait to see Green Star Homes makes an impact in 2023,” said Nick.
Nick adds that the support GBCA gives to projects pursuing Green Star Homes has boosted its success, “We work closely to support teams on their Green Star journey, from registration right through to how projects are marketed. This success is a result of the work we’ve done to boost awareness of our brand and offerings, so when someone wants to build a sustainable home, they ask for Green Star.”
To create impact at scale, rating tools like Green Star need to work hand in hand with green finance to drive uptake of climate ready buildings and homes, for both investors and consumers. In late 2021 we were thrilled when Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) announced that Green Star Buildings and Green Star Homes were compliant with green bonds certification.
“The CBI announcement was the push green finance needed, and soon after local banks joined in. This year we saw Commonwealth Bank of Australia launch their Green Home offer, Bank Australia recognised Green Star Homes in their Eco Plus Clean Energy Home Loan, and National Australia Bank launched a discounted interest rate for Green Star Homes, meaning healthy homes that contribute to decarbonisation are within reach of more Australians,” said Nick
In a year that saw an increase in certifications in community buildings (12%, up from 4% last year), it’s no surprise that this year Nick’s top projects are the work of local governments.
“Greater Shepparton City Council’s Shepparton Art Museum in Victoria shows that beautiful, sustainable exhibition and community spaces can be a standout feature in regional art galleries and museums. These types of buildings have very specific indoor spaces to ensure exhibits and collections are displayed appropriately and are well looked after. So it is wonderful to see the project team delivering on such strong sustainability credentials,” shared Nick.
Next on Nick’s list is in Parramatta, “I applaud City of Parramatta Council for PHIVE, at Parramatta Square which serves a diverse community within a dense area. PHIVE is a new cultural precinct that will be home to the local library and creative spaces and is an opportunity for council to bring their net zero ambitions to life through electrification, showing what’s possible today. It received a 6 Star Design Review rating in December 2021, meaning it is on track for Green Star certification when the build is complete,” said Nick.