Reports & publications

Guiding towards sustainable outcomes

We publish a range of work to guide industry towards more sustainable outcomes. Below you will find a selection of reports and publications that GBCA has released; included are thought leadership papers, business cases, reports and guides. Check back to find the latest releases.

Thought leadership & advocacy

Our thought leadership papers are written with industry leaders to guide better outcomes for our built environment. Our advocacy papers include submissions and discussion papers on key areas of government policy. 

Discussion paper
Released: Feb 2024

Social Value in the Built Environment

The paper presents the latest in industry understanding of this critical, but less explored, area – to help stakeholders better understand the myriad of current measurement systems, and act as a launchpad to creating a universal framework.

Discussion paper
Released: Mar 2024

A nature roadmap for the built environment

The Nature roadmap discussion paper evaluates environmental risks and opportunities, explores innovative concepts for nature regeneration, and underscores the collaborative roles required for success. Please provide any feedback by 30th June 2024.

Discussion paper
Released: Jun 2023

From net zero to zero: a discussion paper on grid-interactive efficient buildings

This paper aims to start a conversation on the role of GBCA and its members in understanding the impact of the built environment on a rapidly transforming electricity grid, and vice-versa.

Thought leadership
Released: Jun 2023

Circular economy in South Australia's built environment

The purpose of this Action Plan is to summarise circular economy opportunities in the built environment for South Australia. It outlines key actions and stakeholders that will need to work collaboratively to drive the transition from linear to circular.

Released: Apr 2023

Every building counts 2023 edition

This refreshed guide from 2019, released with the Property Council, sets out 75 policy recommendations which provide a roadmap for our governments to deliver a zero-carbon-ready built environment. 

Thought leadership
Released: Mar 2023

Building with nature 2.0

The second paper in our Building with Nature series, which consolidates the latest science and global trends and views from industry on the role of biodiversity and ecological value in the built environment.

Released: Apr 2022

2022 Federal election platform

Ahead of the federal election in May 2022, GBCA released an election platform which set out our key recommendations to the Australian Government to create a more sustainable built environment, consisting of twelve critical steps across four overarching themes.

Thought leadership
Released: Sept 2021

Resilience in the built environment

This paper considers resilience in a built environment context by providing a breakdown of existing frameworks and their impacts, and providing case studies of what industry and local governments are doing to respond to this megatrend.

Discussion paper
Released: Mar 2021

A circular economy discussion paper

This paper primarily addresses material depletion and embodied materials, and does this through a circular economy - a model of production by which resources consumed are renewable and are made as part of a closed loop of materials.

Government submissions

View our policy submissions

We make submissions to all levels of the Australian government on a range of issues relating to green buildings and sustainable communities. Have a look at our submissions over the years to read the GBCA's comments on various consultations.

Business cases & reports

Our business cases and reports explain the benefits of Green Star with research, case studies and relevant statistics. 

Released: Aug 2023

KPMG Cost-Benefit Analysis Report

KPMG was commissioned to provide this independent Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) to understand the benefits that Green Star Homes would bring to the residential market and those looking to buy a new home.


The business case for Green Star Buildings

Green Star Buildings was the biggest overhaul of the Green Star rating system in over 18 years, designed to ensure the built environment responds to the challenges of the next decade. 


Green Star: a year in focus

This paper is released annually to provide an update on GBCA's achievements, certifications, sustainability trends, tool revisions, the Market Transformation team and our various governance groups.

Business case
Released: Oct 2021

Green Star in focus: energy performance in Green Star buildings

This report provides evidence of the percentage of Green Star certified office buildings that have achieved their modelled energy performance and demonstrates that the performance gap can be reduced to almost zero.

Business case
Released: May 2021

Green Star in focus: the case for sustainable social infrastructure

This report highlights the need for better decision making to manage climate impacts for the buildings and spaces that support our way of life, and calls on governments to lead the way through their purchasing power.

Business case
Released: Aug 2020

Green Star in focus: the case for sustainable industrial buildings

This report underscores that the technology, design, materials and expertise are available now to build more sustainable buildings which will meet investors’ growing demand for future-proofed investments.

Business case
Released: Mar 2020

Green Star in focus: the business case

The business case for green buildings is crystal clear. Global evidence confirms that green buildings deliver a range of quantitative and qualitative benefits for owners, tenants and investors.

Released: Oct 2008

The Dollars & Sense of Green Buildings

This report outlines changes and how the understanding of ‘green’ has evolved. It also reviews case studies, industry practices, improvements in the rating tools, and knowledge as well as the cost benchmarks, business benefits and economics of green buildings. 


Our roadmaps and guides break down the complexities of sustainable buildings, to give practical steps toward more sustainable outcomes. 

Released: Mar 2024

A practical guide for grid-optimised precincts

This guide is the next step after our 2022 roadmap to decarbonise Australia’s precincts, which set a net zero goal for new precincts by 2030, and existing precincts by 2050. 

NOV 2023

A practical guide for sustainable finance in the Australian real estate sector

This practical guide will help demystify sustainable finance, explaining the various instruments that are currently being used, and why our own property market is such an appropriate place for them to be applied.

OCT 2023

A guide to sustainable home renovations

This practical guide is intended for use by homeowners and building practitioners seeking to improve the sustainable performance of existing residential homes, including as part of additions and alterations.

Released: Jul 2023

Carbon offsets, Last but not later

This framework recommends four related strategies to ensure environmental integrity of an offset program that delivers reliable and durable emission removal, mitigates the risk of greenwash challenges and avoids reputational damage.

Released: Jun 2023

A practical guide to upfront carbon reductions

This guide provides information on reducing upfront carbon emissions in new buildings and major refurbishments. The guide outlines steps to be taken during the design and construction process and offers solutions for common challenges.

Released: Mar 2022

A practical guide to electrification: for existing buildings

This guide outlines the steps involved in retrofitting existing buildings to be all-electric and the types of technologies that can be used today to replace natural gas systems with electric solutions. 

Released: Mar 2022

A practical guide to electrification: for new buildings

This guide outlines the steps involved in delivering an all-electric new building and the types of technologies that can be used today to replace natural gas systems with electric solution.

Released: Apr 2022

Climate positive roadmap for precincts

This roadmap provides a vision for decarbonised precincts. It also sets targets, definitions, actions, advocacy positions and changes to Green Star over the next three decades.

Released: Jul 2021

Embodied carbon & embodied energy in Australia’s buildings

This report compares the 2019 baseline year to a 2050 business-as-usual scenario to show what could happen without deliberate action on embodied carbon and embodied energy in Australia’s buildings.

Released: Jul 2021

Climate positive roadmap for the built environment: for buildings & fitouts

This roadmap advises that by 2030, new buildings and fitouts must have no carbon emissions from their operations and by 2050 or earlier, existing buildings and fitouts must have no carbon emissions from their operations.

Released: Sept 2019

ISCA and GBCA Crosswalk Report

This guide explains how to integrate the Green Star - Design & As Built rating tool for buildings, and Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Design & As Built ratings tool for infrastructure, on urban development projects.

Released: May 2017

Passive House Standard & Green Star – Design & As Built

This document provides assistance for new buildings seeking to obtain a certified Green Star – Design & As Built rating through compliance with the Passive House Standard to simplify the process for projects pursuing both programs.

Released: Apr 2017

Green Star–Design & As Built / Living Building Challenge 3.1

This document provides assistance for new buildings seeking to obtain both a certified Green Star – Design & As Built rating and a Living Building Challenge Certified rating to simplify the process for projects pursuing both programs.

Released: Jan 2017

Green Star & WELL Building Standard: Approaches to buildings or fitouts

Both IWBI and GBCA recognise and value the complementary nature of a holistic environmental and social outcomes at a building level, and to specifically address health and well-being at a personal, and corporate level. 

Green Star Resources
GBCA Account Required

Green Star Submission Guidelines

The Green Star Resources portal is the place for all your Green Star technical resources. GBCA member organisations will have access to the submission guidelines for free, and non-members will be able to purchase these from the Shop.