Buildings

Design and construction of new buildings

Green Star Buildings is Australia’s leading rating tool for new buildings and major refurbishments.

Green Star Buildings sets out the criteria that must be met to deliver healthy, resilient, and positive places for people and nature. It aims to meet current and future demands on the built environment with aspirational benchmarks for addressing the key issues of the next decade: Climate action, resource efficiency, and health and wellbeing.

Current rating tool: Green Star Buildings v1

Released: 29/10/20

The five things you need to know about Green Star Buildings

The rating tool has five key features:  

  1. delivers a new definition of a sustainable building
  2. meets the Paris Agreement
  3. responds to sustainability megatrends 
  4. creates clear expectations for new buildings
  5. delivers opportunities for supply chain transformation

There is much more to learn about Green Star Buildings, including

  • how to achieve 4, 5, and 6 star ratings
  • how to promote your Green Star rating

We encourage you to come to our courses or read through the Submission Guidelines.

1.   Delivers a new definition of a sustainable building 

There are eight categories representing the issues that will define the next decade of the built environment. 

Responsible

Recognises activities that ensure the building is designed, procured, built and handed over in a responsible manner.

Healthy

Promotes actions and solutions that improve the physical and mental health of occupants.

Resilient

Encourages solutions that address the capacity of the building to bounce back from short-term shocks and long-term stresses.

Positive

Encourages a positive contribution to key environmental issues of carbon, water and the impact of materials.

Places

Supports the creation of safe, enjoyable, integrated and comfortable places.

People

Encourages solutions that address the social health of the community.

Nature

Encourages active connections between people and nature and rewards creating biodiverse green spaces in cities.

Leadership

Recognises projects that set a strategic direction, build a vision for industry or enhance the industry’s capacity to innovate.

2.   Meets the Paris Agreement  

Green Star Buildings aims to drive all buildings to be net zero carbon in operations by considering both operational and embodied carbon emissions. Its goal is to ensure Australia can deliver all new buildings to be net zero carbon in operations from 2030 onwards.  

3.   Responds to sustainability megatrends 

Green Star Buildings has been built to consider the impacts against the key megatrends of the next decade, and to ensure it responds to the strategic goals of governments, tenants, investors, developers and building owners.

4.   Creates clear expectations for new buildings 

There are 10 Minimum Expectations that must be achieved by all projects to achieve a Green Star rating. The Minimum Expectations aim to ensure all Green Star rated buildings meet a basic definition of a green building (energy efficient, water efficient, good healthy spaces, built responsibly, and on sites that are not critical natural areas). 

These expectations will assist anyone in understanding what a Green Star rated building looks like no matter what. 

In addition, 6 Star rated buildings must be designed to be fossil fuel free, highly efficient buildings, powered by renewables, and built with low carbon materials, as per the Net Zero Carbon in Operations path. This expectation also applies to other star ratings over time.  

5.   Drives opportunities for supply chain transformation 

Green Star Buildings aims to create market demand for innovative, responsible, and low carbon products. It does this by: 

  • introducing a new method for assessing products and materials that rewards products that have lower environmental impact, are transparent, respect human rights, and are lower in carbon content. 
  • creating a driver for low carbon products by introducing a requirement that must be met by all buildings to reduce their embodied carbon to achieve a rating.  

The Green Star rating scale

The Green Star rating scale has been revamped to better communicate our intent of rewarding improvements beyond the requirements of our construction code in areas like health and wellbeing.

Legal compliance

The building is compliant with legislation.

4 Star Green Star

A 4 Star rated building is a Best Practice environmental performer. It builds on the minimum expectations to deliver a building that is either net zero carbon in operations or a higher performer in energy, water, and health related issues.

5 Star Green Star

A 5 Star rated building demonstrates Australian Excellence by being a high environmental performer that addresses social issues relevant to the building owner.

6 Star Green Star

A 6 Star rated building showcases
World Leadership. It has been built to be highly efficient building fully powered by renewables that addresses a significant number of environmental and social issues and contributes to the community.

Green Star Designed Assessment  and Green Star Buildings Certified rating

Green Star Buildings awards a Certified rating once the building has been built. An optional Designed assessment helps you promote your progress towards a rating to your tenants, future occupants, or other stakeholders.

Green Star Designed

is an optional assessment representing a pre-certification that the building’s design is on track to achieve a Green Star rating when assessed after construction.

Green Star Certified

is an independent verification that results in a certified rating that demonstrates that the building’s design and construction has achieved a specific Green Star rating.

More information is available in our Marketing Rules and Style Guide For Green Star projects.