Tech Tools: Green Star Rating


Get green in construction with the lowdown on the Green Star Rating and what it means for the construction industry.

We asked around a few of our mates to see what they thought ‘Green Stars’ might mean. Some of the responses were pretty crazy. Awards for planting trees? Points for picking up litter? Something to do with food?

Well guys, if you’re reading, it’s none of those.

Green Star is ‘an internationally recognised sustainability rating system’, according to the Green Building Council of Australia website, and what that means is it’s a standardised way of telling how sustainable and environmentally friendly (or ‘green’) a building is.

The system has been in play since 2003 and it rates buildings across all stages of the built environment life cycle across nine categories: Management, Indoor Environment Quality, Energy, Transport, Water, Materials, Land Use and Ecology, Emissions, and Innovation.

Essentially, what this means is that, with the help of independent reviewers to keep things fair, the Green Star Rating lets anyone who is interested know exactly how much impact a building has had in construction and will continue to have during its lifetime.

You only get a rating if you get more than four stars (45-59 out of a possible hundred). Four stars means ‘Best Practice’, while five stars (60-74) means ‘Australian Excellence’ and six (75 or more) means ‘World Leadership’, which is a pretty high honour if you ask us.

So what’s the difference between a highly Green Star-rated building? Well, research has found that Green Star-certified buildings produce 62% fewer greenhouse emissions, use 66% less electricity and recycling 96% of their construction waste, compared with much lower rates for non Green Starred buildings.

While these types of buildings can cost more to begin with, the savings are more than evident in the long run, particularly in terms of utilities for residents, which makes them an attractive option for buyers, as well as in terms of their impact on the environment, which makes them an attractive option for future generations.

So there you go. Green stars may not have that much to do with planting trees, but they definitely have a lot to do with looking after the planet. But remember: just because you’re working on a Green Star site, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pick up your rubbish after smoko.