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Green Star

What is it and why does it matter?

Read on to find out what Green Star certifications entail and why it's important to contract a qualified and experienced assessor for your project. 

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Our Capability Statement

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Green Star's mission is to assess the sustainable design, construction and operation of buildings, fitouts and entire communities. In a world where climate change is becoming a formidable issue, minimising our carbon footprint and energy consumption has never been more important. However, this doesn't mean that your project has to suffer. In addition to ensuring sustainable design and construction practices, Green Star is also bent on boosting productivity and improving the health and well-being of building occupants through thoughtful design. 

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Green Star's Goal

 

 

Green Star incorporates the use of four (4) assessment tools to provide a detailed assessment of the sustainable capabilities of both buildings and communities. The entire body of Green Star was brought into fruition because although Australia accounts for 0.33% of the world’s population, we have one of the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita (Yu, Wiedmann, Crawford, Tait, 2016.).

Each assessment tool follows the same scoring system. Within each assessment tool you are given the opportunity to achieve one hundred (100) 'core' points and ten (10) 'innovation' points. 

 

See below for the rating brackets:

 

Green Star Overview

 

Pricing and Time Commitments

 

Typically, Green Star assessments begin at the Development Application (DA) stage and continue all the way until the construction phase. As such, the time it takes to complete a Green Star assessment generally correlates with the project timeline. 
As for quoting, it will typically depend on the contract value and the scale of the project.  Our fee proposal are split up into several stages:
  1. Concept Planning  - An elaborate project study and review will be conducted and a sustainable strategy plan will be proposed
  2. Design Documentation - A design review submission will be completed and coordinated with our design team led by our nominated GSAP
  3. Construction Services - A design review regarding the construction services within the site will be completed 
  4. Certification Fees - The finalised report will be submitted to the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for review and approval. 

Prices can vary greatly for each stage of the assessment, so please feel free to submit your plans for an accurate and project-specific fee proposal. 

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GREEN STAR RATING - HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR ASSESSMENT

The building sector highly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Due to growing fear caused by the emergence of climate awareness, more and more companies are being encouraged to take measured to reduce their environmental impact. These modern initiatives have spawned new industry sectors and businesses where individuals are keen to invest in sustainable designs and projects with certification from Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star Ratings.
 
Getting a project Green Star certified might sound daunting, but in this article we will talk about simple methods that can help improve your Green Star rating.

 

Using Non-Toxic Building Materials

Choosing non-toxic building materials does as much good to the tenants of the building as to the environment. For paints, choosing non to low volatile organic compound (VOC) paints is best since it has less gas which means less fumes and smell. Low to non-VOC paints are also less likely to trigger serious health reactions when inhaled.

 

Use Energy Efficient Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Lighting

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LED lights are known to be more energy efficient than traditional lights
 
It is safe to say that more and more households and offices are switching from traditional incandescent lights to LED lights and it is not hard to understand why. Its main energy-saving feature includes using about 60-90% less energy than halogen lights and incandescent lights. Research also shows that LED lights have lower risk of combustion which makes it safer to be lit for longer hours.
 
In terms of environmental impact, compared to mercury vapour lights and fluorescent lights, LEDs do not have mercury content which can be concerning when the bulb/light is at the end of the lifecycle.
 
 

Choosing windows wisely

Windows aid in blocking sunlight, wind, and noise. We have the choice to keep it cheap, but not designing to maximise sunlight exposure will lead to an increase in electricity consumption. This is why more and more businesses are using Suntuitive technology. This technology is designed to reduce carbon footprint by providing natural passive heating through the glass panes. 

 

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In our previous article, we have discussed the energy efficient Suntuitive technology and what sets it apart from single glazed and double glazed windows.

 

Other Methods

There is an increase in demand for indoor and outdoor plants in offices
 
Having an actual green space is also another good energy saving method because it reduces carbon dioxide levels and purifies the air, therefore requiring less power for electric air purifiers. Tropical indoor plants such as Peace Lily makes for a good office decoration that has another purpose— purifying the air. In research conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Peace Lily is known to have air purifying properties since it breaks down and neutralises toxins such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde.
 

Continue reading

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Green Star – Communities

The Green Star – Communities assessment tool aims to improve sustainability and well-being on the neighbourhood, precinct, and community scale. Within this assessment tool you will find thirty-two (32) opportunities to gain ‘core points’ and five (5) more opportunities to gain ‘innovation points’. With the Green Star – Communities assessment tool, it is only possible to receive a four (4), five (5), or six (6) star rating.
 
In the next section, you will find detailed explanations of each ‘core’ and ‘innovation’ credit and how you can earn points with us to gain a 6-star certification.
 
 

Core Credits

1. Green Star Accredited Professional – Points available: 1
    1. This point is awarded for contracting a Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP) to provide advice, support and information related to Green Star principles, structure, timing, and processes, throughout the relevant certification period
 
2. Design Review – Points available: 8
Within this credit lies two (2) criteria which assess the site planning and layout (a), and the urban design (b) of the project.
Each criterion can award up to four (4) points to your total rating.
  1. Site planning and layout - Within this criterion, points are rewarded for the measures taken to conduct a design review process of the site planning and layout
  2. Urban design - Within this criterion, points are rewarded for the measures taken to conduct a design review process of the project’s urban design
 
3. Engagement – Points available: 6
Two (2) criteria make up the six (6) points offered by this credit. These criteria are in place to assess the stakeholder engagement strategy (a) and strategy implementation (b) of the project
 
Each criterion can award up to three (3) points to your total rating.
  1. Stakeholder engagement strategy – Refers to the measures taken to identify all relevant stakeholders and how they will be affected. Furthermore, the steps taken to identify and engage stakeholders who possess the capacity to add value to the project
  2. Strategy implementation – Additional points are rewarded for this criterion in the event that a stakeholder engagement strategy (a) has been implemented and formal monitoring, evaluation and corrective action is being undertaken
 
 
4. Adaptation and Resilience – Points available: 4
Two (2) criteria make up the four (4) points offered by this credit. These criteria are in place to confirm the existence of a project-specific Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP) (a), and if prior to the occupation of any habitable building on the project site, a project-specific Community Resilience Plan (CRP) (b) has been developed.
 
Each criterion can award up to two (2) points to your total rating.
  1. Climate adaptation – Assessing whether a project-specific Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP) has been developed
  2. Community Resilience – Assessing whether a Community Resilience Plan (CRP) has been developed prior to the occupation of any habitable building on the project site
 
 
5. Corporate Responsibility – Points Available: 3
Three (3) criteria make up the three (3) points offered by this credit. These criteria are in place to assess if the project applicant has a corporate responsibility policy (a); undertakes sustainability reporting (core and comprehensive options) (b & c).
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1.  Corporate responsibility - Project applicant possesses a corporate responsibility policy and reports publicly against it annually
  2. Sustainability reporting (core) - Project applicant undertakes sustainability reporting annually in accordance with the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guideline
  3. Sustainability reporting (comprehensive) - Project applicant undertakes sustainability reporting annually in accordance with the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guideline
 
6. Sustainability Awareness – Points available: 2
Two (2) criteria make up the two (2) points offered by this credit. These criteria are in place to assess if the project applicant has developed and distributed a Community Users’ Guide (a) to all project occupants, and if sustainability education facilities (b) have been provided.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating. 
  1. Community Users' Guide - A users' guide must be provided to all project occupants
  2. Sustainability education facilities - These must be provided within the project site
 
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Green Star - Design & As Built

The Green Star – Performance assessment tool aims to improve sustainability and well-being on the neighbourhood, precinct, and community scale. Within this assessment tool you will find thirty-seven (37) opportunities to gain ‘core’ points and five (5) more opportunities to gain ‘innovation’ points.  Based on the amount of points you earn; you will be award with a rating between one (1) and six (6) stars.

Please note that before to use the Green Star – Design & As Built tool, a number of criteria must be met in order to be considered for assessment and certification.
Contact us for more information.

 

 

Core Credits

1. Green Star Accredited Professional – Points available: 1
  1. This point is awarded for contracting a Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP) to provide advice, support and information related to Green Star principles, structure, timing, and processes, throughout the relevant certification period

 

2. Commissioning and Tuning – Points available: 4

Within this credit lies five (5) criteria which are designed to ensure that all building services operate to their full potential.

Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating. However, to be eligible for these points you must comply with the ‘Environmental Performance Targets’ as a conditional requirement.

  1. Conditional requirement – Environmental performance targets – Targets of performance must be set for the project
  2. Services and maintainability review – A review of the building services and their maintenance procedures must be conducted
  3. Building commissioning – Pre-commissioning activities must be performed for all nominated building systems
  4. Building systems tuning – Tuning processes must be in place for all nominated building systems
  5. Independent Commissioning Agent (ICA) – An ICA must be contracted to advice, monitor, and verify the procedures set out above

 

3. Adaptation and Resilience – Points available: 2

Within this credit lies one (1) criterion designed to ensure that the project can adapt to changes in climate through design solutions included into the building’s infrastructure.

  1. Implementation of a Climate Adaptation Plan – This plan must be developed and implemented to show that the building can adapt, and address risks posed by changes in climate

 

4. Building Information – Points available: 2

Within this credit lies two (2) criteria which are there to encourage the development and distribution of information regarding operations, maintenance and building use to facility management staff and all occupants of the building.

Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.

  1. Building operations and maintenance information
  2. Building user information

 

5. Commitment to Performance – Points available: 2

Within this credit lies two (2) criteria designed to set targets, and measure and monitor the progress towards those targets.

Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.

  1. Environmental building performance
  2. End of life waste performance

 

6. Metering and Monitoring – Points available: 1

Within this credit lies two (2) criteria which are there to reduce building energy and water consumption, as well as capture and process data collected through an effective metering system.

Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating. However, to be eligible for these points you must comply with the ‘Effective Metering’ criterion as a conditional requirement.

  1. Conditional requirement – Effective metering
  2. Monitoring strategy

 

7. Construction Environmental Management – Points available: 1

Within this credit lies two (2) criteria which are designed to ensure that the project site and its environment is responsibly managed throughout its lifespan.

Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating. However, to be eligible for these points you must comply with the ‘Environmental Management Plan’ criterion as a conditional requirement.

  1. Environmental Management Plan (EMP) – This project-specific plan must be implemented for construction
  2. Formalised Management System (FMS) – This system details a systematic approach to planning, implementing, and auditing during construction

 

Continue reading for 30 more opportunities to gain points towards your 6-star rating

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Green Star – Interiors

The Green Star – Interiors assessment tool aims to improve the wellbeing of the project occupants and energy efficiency of the project as a whole through the transformation of interior fit outs.

Within this assessment tool you will find thirty-one (31) opportunities to gain ‘core’ points and five (5) more opportunities to gain ‘innovation’ points. With the Green Star – Interiors assessment tool, it is only possible to receive a four (4), five (5), or six (6) star rating.
 
In the next section, you will find detailed explanations of each ‘core’ and ‘innovation’ credit and how you can earn points with us to gain a 6-star certification.
 
 

Core Credits

1. Green Star Accredited Professional – Points available: 1
  1. This point is awarded for contracting a Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP) to provide advice, support and information related to Green Star principles, structure, timing, and processes, throughout the relevant certification period.
 
2. Commissioning and Tuning – Points available: 4
Within this credit lies five (5) criteria which are aimed to ensure that environmental performance targets are documented and that all commissioning activities are thoroughly reviewed before commencing.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating. One criterion is a minimum requirement which does not award points but does enable eligibility for points in this credit.
  1. Minimum requirement – Environmental Performance Targets
  2. Services and Maintainability Review
  3. Fit-out Commissioning
  4. Fit-out Systems Tuning
  5. Independent Commissioning Agent

 

3. Fit-out Information – Points available: 2
Within this credit lies two (2) criteria which are aimed to ensure that adequate information has been developed and made available to the relevant personnel.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Fit-out Operations and Maintenance Information – This information must be made available and distributed among relevant personnel
  2. Fit-out User Information - This information must be made available and distributed among relevant personnel

 

4. Commitment to Performance – Points available: 3
Within this credit lies three (3) criteria which are aimed at ensuring that material use is maximised and made efficient for the entire lifespan of the project.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Environmental Fit-Out Performance – Set targets for environmental performance and review them regularly
  2. End of Life Waste Performance – Set targets which minimise end of life construction waste
  3. Ongoing Procurement – Develop a Sustainable Procurement Guide

 

5. Metering and Monitoring – Points available: 1
Within his credit lies two (2) criteria which if implemented, will provide an accurate means of monitoring energy and water consumption; and capturing it into data which can be clearly presented and reviewed.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Metering – Metering provided to monitor energy and water consumption
  2. Monitoring System – This system should be capable of capturing and processing the data observed by the metering system

 

Continue reading for 26 more opportunities to gain points towards your 6-star rating

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Certified Energy's Capability Statement

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Green Star Performance

The Green Star – Performance assessment tool aims to improve sustainability and well-being on the neighbourhood, precinct, and community scale. Within this assessment tool you will find thirty-five (35) opportunities to gain ‘core’ points and five (5) more opportunities to gain ‘innovation’ points. In total there are one hundred (100) ‘core points’ and ten (10) ‘innovation points’ which total to one hundred and ten (110) points. Based on the amount of points you earn; you will be award with a rating between one (1) and six (6) stars.
 
Please note that before to use the Green Star – Performance tool, a number of criteria must be met in order to be considered for assessment and certification.
 
Contact us for more information.
 
 

Core Credits

1. Green Star Accredited Professional – Points available: 1
  1. This point is awarded for contracting a Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP) to provide advice, support and information related to Green Star principles, structure, timing, and processes, throughout the relevant certification period.

 
2. Building Information – Points available: 2
Within this credit lies two (2) criteria which are there to encourage the development and distribution of information regarding operations, maintenance and building use to facility management staff and all occupants of the building.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Operations and maintenance information
  2. Occupant and user information
 
3. Metering and Monitoring – Points available: 2
Within this credit lies two (2) criteria designed to meter the building’s energy and water consumption and then capture that information to process it for thorough analysis.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Metering – Monitoring building’s energy and water consumption
  2. Monitoring systems – Capturing and processing the information gathered through metering

 

4. Tuning and Commissioning – Points available: 2
Within this credit lies two (2) criteria designed to ensure that building systems are tuned for performance and that commissioning practices follow best practice.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Comprehensive tuning process
  2. Commissioning and recommissioning

 

5. Environmental Management – Points available: 3
Within this credit lies three (3) criteria designed to ensure that the environment is responsibly managed through the development and implementation of thorough action plans and systems.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Environmental Management Plan (EMP) – Addresses the operational impact of the facility
  2. Formalised Management System – The EMP is implemented and regularly reviewed during the performance period
  3. Third-party certification of Management System – The Formalised Management System criterion is achieved and is then reviewed by an independent third-party
 
6. Green Cleaning – Points available: 3
Within this credit lies three (3) criteria designed to ensure that green cleaning policies are developed and implemented into all applicable areas.
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating.
  1. Green Cleaning Policy (GCP) – Cleaning services are delivered in accordance with a developed green cleaning policy
  2. Green Cleaning Implementation – Points are awarded for developing and implementing a GCP
  3. Best practice green cleaning implementation – All the above criteria are achieved and regularly reviewed in accordance with the developed GCP
 
7. Commitment to Performance – Points available: 4
Within this credit lies three (3) criteria designed to set performance targets and increase the likelihood of achieving those targets and thus, maximise environmental performance.
 
Each criterion can award up to one (1) point to your total rating, except for ‘Environmental Building Performance’ which can award up to two (2) points.
  1. Environmental Building Performance – Targets are set, and the results are measured for environmental performance
  2. End of Life Waste Performance – Targets are set, and the results are measured in order to minimise waste
  3. Best Practice Procedures for Indoor Environment 

 

 

Continue reading for 28 more opportunities to gain points towards your 6-star rating.

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