Transitioning to Green Star buildings: common questions

21 Oct 2021

In October 2020 we launched Green Star Buildings, our new rating tool for the design and construction of new buildings and major refurbishments. Green Star Buildings ensures the built environment delivers healthy, resilient and positive places for people and nature, whilst also responding to global megatrends and emerging challenges. 

At the time of launch we announced a transition period: whereby applicants could register projects using either Green Star – Design & As Built, or Green Star Buildings. This transition period ends on 17 December 2021 and applicants will then no longer be able to begin registering their projects under Green Star – Design & As Built.

What do I need to know? 

  • Projects intending to certify under Green Star – Design & As Built must execute their project's Certification Agreement by 17 December 2021, as part of the registration process.
  • From 17 December, projects will have 60 days to pay their certification invoice to complete registration using Green Star - Design & As Built. 
  • Projects who do not meet these requirements may not be able to be registered to Green Star – Design & As Built.

To avoid missing the cut-off date we recommend you begin registration as soon as possible, to ensure you can pay the invoice in time.

What applies during the transition period? 

Up to the 17 December 2021: 

  • You can register a building under Green Star Buildings or Green Star – Design & As Built.
  • You can choose to upgrade your project’s Green Star – Design & As Built registration to Green Star Buildings for free, however you will need to execute a new Certification Agreement specifically tailored for Green Star Buildings projects, reflecting significant changes to the certification process and trademarks. It will also require additional eligibility requirements are met (for example the minimum expectations in Green Star Buildings).
  • You cannot move from Green Star Buildings to Green Star – Design & As Built. 

Certifying to Green Star – Design & As Built but seeking to use some Green Star Buildings credits?

  • During the transition period, project teams with buildings registered under Green Star – Design & As Built may wish to substitute credits from Green Star Buildings. There are many reasons to do this, from making use of more current credits and solutions to deliver better buildings, to preparing for a future uptake of Green Star Buildings.
  • For guidance on how to use credits from Green Star Buildings on projects registered under any version of Green Star – Design & As Built, see the document Green Star Buildings Guidance on credit substitutions for Green Star  Design & As Built in our Green Star resources portal.
  • Please note that not all credits are eligible for substitution and that this guidance does not apply to projects wishing to upgrade rating tools entirely (see below).
  • Reach out to your Technical Coordinator for further assistance if you choose to pursue any of these pathways.

Considering transitioning from Design & As Built v1.3 to Green Star Buildings Certification?

To assist project teams develop their Green Star Buildings strategy, we have developed the following resources that can be downloaded from the Green Star resources portal:

The Green Star - Design & As Built to Green Star Buildings Gap Analysis tool helps you compare the credit criterion of an existing (or speculative) Green Star – Design & As Built project against the relative credits under Green Star Buildings. This tool can determine how the project would track if it was upgrade and help you align your Green Star – Design & As Built strategy with Green Star Buildings. Once the project has been benchmarked against both Green Star – Design & As Built and Green Star Buildings, the gap analysis tool can be used to develop a strategy of minimum expectations and points to target to achieve the desired rating. The Gap Analysis tool also provides a high level, one-page mapping of targeted credits to the corresponding implementation stages in Green Star Buildings (found within the Submission Guidelines). 

The Green Star Buildings Submission planner has functionality to select the credits targeted, corresponding performance level, and insert comments. The planner now includes extra guidance on requirements for the Climate Positive Pathway and helps you map the anticipated Climate Positive Pathway to follow.

The Green Star – Design & As Built Greenhouse Gas Emissions calculator now includes a section under the 15E Modelled Pathway that compares modelling results achieved under this Pathway with the new Energy Use and Energy Source credits.

What else do I need to know?

  • Registration is completed and formalised once the Certification Agreement has been executed, and certification fee has been received by GBCA.
  • There are rules in the Certification Agreement as to how long you can take from registration to certification, in most cases, this period is three years. 

If you believe you can’t meet these deadlines with your current or upcoming registration, please contact us at

We are incredibly excited about the future of Green Star. More information is on its way on Green Star Buildings. In the meantime, should you need anything or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time.