New standards to drive the next wave of sustainability in buildings have been unveiled for public consultation as part of an evolution of the world-leading Green Star rating system.

The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) yesterday released draft credits against its latest rating tool, Green Star for New Buildings, establishing detailed requirements to redefine sustainability for new buildings and major refurbishments.

GBCA head of market transformation, Jorge Chapa, said the changes to the rating tools represented a step-change.

“We’ve strengthened existing certification requirements, established new benchmarks for carbon emissions, and created a broader, more ambitious and holistic approach to sustainability in buildings," Chapa said.

 “The product of an exhaustive consultation process, the proposed credits reflect industry demand for Green Star to continue to drive innovation and leadership across the supply chain while also responding to the increasing momentum created by global and market drivers for change."

From climate change resilience, to health and well-being, from diversity and inclusion to nature and biodiversity, Green Star for New Buildings builds on nearly two decades of world leadership across Australia to reset sustainability for buildings in the 21st century.

Observing the critical role of Green Star in helping to deliver a low emissions future, Chapa said the proposed approach translated GBCA's long-term commitment to net zero buildings into action.

With the application of Green Star for New Buildings, any building awarded a 6 Star Green Star rating will have zero operational carbon emissions. 5 Star Green Star buildings will be net zero ready, and 4 Star Green Star buildings will provide a new entry point for sustainable buildings, demanding 10 per cent less upfront and operational emissions than current National Construction Code 2019 requirements.

“The ambition of these draft credits is a reflection of the ambition sought by all our members across industry and government, and throughout the broader supply chain from finance through to product manufacturers and professional services,” he said.

“Today we are introducing eight categories to more accessibly define a building’s sustainability.

“These categories will deliver healthy, resilient and positive places for people and nature, built responsibly by leaders. This vision in fact defines our categories. This is what we have heard we all want from all our buildings – whether through the use of materials, or in construction and operation.”

Within these categories there are a number of draft credits that all buildings seeking a Green Star rating are expected to comply with: these are proposed as new minimum expectations for every Green Star-rated building.

Chapa said with this announcement, the GBCA was establishing clearer minimum expectations for what should constitute a sustainable building for the next generation.

“We are also making it easier to deliver a Green Star building through simpler documentation, certification and increasing digitalisation,” Chapa said.

“The GBCA thanks our members, across industry and government, for their incredible support in the delivery of this next iteration of Green Star. With over a year of consultation, more than 100 written submissions, and countless workshops and reviews, we are thrilled with the collaboration that continues to drive sustainability through Green Star.” 

Feedback is invited until the end of February 2020, visit


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