Inside Green Star - 3rd Edition, March 2020

05 Mar 2020

Green Star - A year in focus 

Green Star has played a pivotal role in transforming Australia’s built environment since it began as a rating tool in 2003, becoming a key player in improving the places where Australians live, work and play.  

We have now certified almost 2500 buildings, fitouts and communities across Australia. This means: 

  • 725,000 people work in Green Star rated offices 
  • 60,000 people live in Green Star rated homes and apartments 
  • 480,000 people live in Green Star rated communities. 

Green Star: A year in focus is our first annual report measuring the impact of Green Star. Our report highlights some of the standout achievements from 2018-19, measures the value of Green Star, and outlines some of our exciting plans for the future. 

Download the report
Green Star annual report

Improving your Green Star experience

As we discussed in the last Inside Green Star, we’re continually looking at ways to improve your Green Star experience. Here are the latest website improvements:

New Green Star Portal website features 


When viewing individual project records in the Green Star Portal, a couple of changes have been made for ease of navigation: 

  • Reduced navigation headings to just six: Project details, Contact Details, Invoices, Resource files, Submission Portal, Related Requests. The sections previously called Applicant Detail, Contact Details, Project Roles have all been merged into "Contact details". With only 6 headings, it's a lot quicker to navigate.  
  • Headings are "tabbed" rather than having the information all on one page, with anchors to scroll to the necessary sections. This means less scrolling to find the information you want to see. 

Project status tracker:

You can track the progress status of your project through certification. 

Not sure what a status means? Simply hover your mouse over the status and a short explanation will appear.  

Want to see what else we’ve done to improve your Green Star experience? Check out some of the other features we’ve implemented. 

Clarity on general questions and technical questions  

General Question - Ask a General Question about Green Star. These aren’t rating tool or credit specific. 

Technical Question - Ask a Technical Question if you would like to clarify rating tool requirements or propose an alternative approach to Green Star credit requirements (including general Innovation queries and existing Innovation Challenges). Questions which relate to certification outcomes, whether general or project specific must be lodged as a Technical Question. 

To avoid delay in getting responses to your question, please ensure you submit your question correctly. 

Get prompt responses to your questions 

Our Technical Coordinators are bound by our ISO 9001 certification that requires a check and approval step where advice can potentially relate to certification outcomes.  This mean that technical questions cannot be answered over the phone or email. Always send through technical questions online, to avoid delay. If we require any further information or explanation we’ll reach out to you once you’ve submitted your question.  

The best thing about submitting questions online is that you can track the progress of the question, and view the final response too! 

Financial Transparency Disclosure Template has been updated 

The popular Financial Transparency Innovation Challenge has an updated Financial Transparency Disclosure Template featuring:  

  • Improved functionality and user experience of the disclosure template 
  • Summary table of any complete and missing inputs. 
  • Better capture of credit-level data. 

This refresh helps the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) better capture and manage our data, and importantly, provide better insights into the cost of Green Star.  

The Financial Transparency Disclosure Template is available here

Sector specific advice 

If you have sector specific issues where a specific credit or criteria doesn’t quite fit, submit a technical question. Within the technical question we’ll work with you to determine alternative compliance pathways.  

What’s coming up next? 

We are always working to improve your Green Star experience. We're currently working on a one stop resource page to simply access all things rating tool related, so stay tuned!  

Have more suggestions to improve functionality on the GBCA website or Green Star Project Manager? Please let us know by providing feedback online. We’d love to hear from you! 

Apply now to become a Green Star Performance Certified Assessor!

Are you experienced with Green Star Performance and want to be a Certified Assessor? Apply now! Applications for Green Star Performance Assessors are open until end of March. 

View the position description and apply

Future Focus – what's next?

There’s plenty on the horizon for Green Star Future Focus. As we begin 2020, here are the most important things you need to know. 

Draft credits for New Buildings 

Over forty draft credits were released in December for comment – and many of these are game-changers.  

New carbon credits will support the industry’s ambitious zero carbon agenda, while the new Nature category reimagines the Land Use & Ecology category and ups the ante on biodiversity.  

A Resilience category expands the remit beyond climate risks and challenges the industry to consider broader opportunities for infrastructure and communities. 

There’s a lot to take in – but you don’t have to comment on every credit – just those that reflect your expertise, experience or particular passion. 

View all the draft credits here.  The consultation period ends on March 13th. 


To support the draft credits, we’ve provided five webinars to inform you on what we’re proposing.  

Each webinar takes a deep dive into one or two categories by presenting the proposed credits in detail. The webinars provide a great opportunity to understand the evolution of the credits and ask any questions you may have. The following webinars are available:  

  • General overview of Green Star for New Buildings  
  • Responsible and Healthy categories  
  • Resilient and Nature categories  
  • Places and People categories  
  • Positive category  

These webinars are free for GBCA members in our online learning library.

Streamlining Green Star Certification  

With each evolution of Green Star, the GBCA looks for further enhancements to improve the certification experience and drive down documentation costs.  

This consultation paper asks for industry feedback on several ideas, including a digital submission management platform and a pathway for performance verification that will simplify credits from acoustics to lighting to air quality.  

We’re calling for feedback until 13 March 2020. And remember, this isn’t just about improving the certification process for new Green Star rating tools – we’ll also continue to enhance the experience of existing tools. It’s an ongoing evolution. 

Responsible Products Framework 

A new version of Green Star has provided an opportunity to revisit how using responsibly-sourced building products is rewarded in Green Star.  A draft new framework is described in our latest consultation paper.  Key features that are being proposed include: 

  • Products will be rewarded more highly for achieving multiple sustainability outcomes 
  • A wide range of sustainability initiatives are proposed to be recognised 
  • Recognition of different initiatives is based on achievement of a range of sustainability criteria, illustrated in a transparent matrix format 

We need your feedback!  Consultation closes for this paper on 27 March 2020. 

Wrap up  

2020 will be a big year for the Future Focus rating tools. Alongside the release of Green Star for New Buildings later in the year, we’ll also be releasing a consultation paper and draft credits for Green Star for Building Performance, begin stakeholder engagement on Green Star for Fitouts, and progress with Green Star for Communities. Keep a look out on the Future Focus webpage for updates as the year progresses.  

Your fitout guide for Green Star – Design & As Built

The purpose of Green Star – Design & As Built is to deliver an ‘As Built’ rating. It sets criteria for assessment of the building as delivered by the building owner or developer. 

This document aims to create clarity on the following issues related to the scope of fitouts in Green Star – Design & As Built projects: 

  • Defining common terms 
  • Addressing the range of Fitout Scope within a building 
  • Guidance for Credits and Criteria in relation to Fitouts 
  • Documentation Requirements for Cold Shell/Integrated Fitout spaces 
  • How Cold Shell spaces are reflected in the Scorecard 

To find out more, please download the Green Star – Design & As Built Fitout Scope: Guidance for Cold Shell, Warm Shell and Integrated Fitouts