Green Star Buildings is coming in December, here’s what you need to know

Atlassian Central, NSW. Atlassian. Targeting a 6 Star Green Star Buildings v1 rating.

28 Oct 2021

Project teams will soon have the chance to use the tool that’s exciting industry – Green Star Buildings, but did you know there’s still time to submit a project using Green Star – Design & As Built? We spoke to Nick Alsop, Senior Manager – Market Engagement, and David Clark, Partner and Director at Cundall, about what you need to know as we transition from Green Star Design & As Built to Green Star Buildings.

Green Star – Design & As Built is being phased out, but there’s still time for you to submit project applications

When we launched Green Star Buildings in 2020, we also announced a transition period. This was a window of time when applicants could register their projects using either Green Star – Design & As Built or Green Star Buildings.

This transition period is coming to an end on 17 December so if you’re intending to use Green Star – Design & Built on an upcoming build you must execute their project's Certification Agreement by this date.

“Green Star – Design & As Built and its earlier versions certified over 950 projects across the nation. These projects share a legacy of being at the forefront of green building in Australia, and with many yet to be completed that legacy will continue to grow. It’s not too late to register with this system, teams have until 17 December.

“From 17 December, projects registered under Green Star – Design & As Built will have 60 days to pay their certification invoice to complete registration. If you know you want to register, we urge you to start your registration as soon as possible,” explained Nick.

There is also an option for Green Star – Design & As Built projects to use some Green Star Buildings credits, or to completely upgrade to the new system. Learn more about these options on our common questions page.

From 18 December, new buildings and major refurbishments seeking Green Star certification will use Green Star Buildings

To better respond to global megatrends and rise to emerging challenges with healthy, resilient buildings, after 17 December all new projects will need to be registered under Green Star Buildings. David Clark says there’s much to look forward to.

“Green Star Buildings has lifted the bar for zero carbon buildings, with a clear pathway for zero carbon energy, fossil fuel free and zero embodied carbon by 2030. It’s the roadmap our industry needs based on existing technologies with room for innovation,” said David.

Professionals working on Green Star projects know that factoring in sustainability early lowers costs and maximises outcomes. The Green Star Buildings submission planner evolves this thinking, helping you embed your ambitions from the time you start designing by mapping out each credit to its delivery stage and linking to the evidence required for submission.

Nick says project teams are also welcome to take up the new Green Star Designed option, a voluntary first stage of certification to give teams pursuing certification extra insight, “This is great if you’d like to check in how you’re project is tracking against the Green Star Buildings criteria and it captures the preparation, design and pre-construction phases, while Green Star Buildings certification covers the whole project up to practical completion.”

Point ratings are changing, with 6 Star Green Star Buildings certification setting a new standard

Industry has been asking for new and innovative ways to alleviate its environmental footprint and we’ve responded by reviewing Green Star in collaboration with industry.

“Green Star Buildings will force us to rethink then boost green building practices around Australia to meet the challenges of this decade. This is why our points system is changing – to reset the aspiration,” said Nick.

All Green Star Buildings are required to meet 10 minimum expectations while the 6 Star Green Star certification goes further, setting a new climate positive pathway that requires projects to be fossil fuel free, highly efficient, powered by renewables and built with low carbon materials.

Over time, this requirement will also apply to registered projects seeking 5- and 4-Star ratings, so all new buildings are climate positive by 2030 however, the climate positive pathway can be used voluntarily for 4 and 5 stars now, allowing teams to respond to the climate challenge sooner and be recognised for it.

Nick adds that a 4 Star certification remains a significant achievement to be celebrated, “With the introduction of minimum expectations - a series of credit requirements all projects must target to achieve certification - there is a more direct pathway to 4 Star certification, and clear expectations for all new buildings achieving a Green Star Buildings rating.”

We’re here to support you through the transition

Green Building Council of Australia is committed to working with you to drive meaningful improvements to Green Star and the built environment, we also know that change can be challenging. We’ve developed a suite of resources to help you transition to Green Star Buildings so you can start to develop projects that are healthier for people and the planet.

We’re digitising our rating tools to improve your Green Star experience and make better use of Green Star data. The first version of Green Star Online serves as the online submission system for Green Star Buildings and includes:

  • Ability to develop a scorecard for Green Star Buildings based on targeted credits;
  • Provision of digital submission forms (replacing submission templates);
  • Ability to upload and manage documentation as required in the submission guidelines;
  • Facilitate the management of project team members, by assigning tasks and milestones;
  • Calculators; and
  • Reporting capabilities through Power BI dashboards.

Head over to our list of common questions to learn more, access technical questions and FAQs. The Green Star team is also here to help, you can reach out by contacting us at

We also invite you to learn more about Green Star Buildings at our upcoming event Transitioning to Green Star Buildings where you can hear from the Green Star team and members of industry, like David Clark, who are already exploring this new era of green building.

“I’m looking forward to discussing how we make buildings fossil fuel free, engage with tenants to take them on the zero carbon journey, and the importance of the supply chain in developing low carbon responsible products,” said David.