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New tool for green ratings

IN keeping with the property industry’s growing awareness of all things sustainable, The Green Building Council launched its ‘green star’ rating tool for commercial office buildings last week at the Property Council of Australia’s Sustainable Development seminar.

Executive director Maria Atkinson of The Green Building Council, a national not-for-profit property industry initiative, said the rating tool would deliver real benefits by setting a common definition of ‘green’ across a comprehensive set of environmental criteria so that a green building could be easily understood, measured and promoted.

“Sustainable buildings are the way of the future and the green star rating tool is uniquely placed to drive the change to an environmentally sustainable Australian property industry,” she said.

According to figures from the Green Building Council a 10,000sq m commercial building can save 30 per cent in water use and 30 per cent in energy by building green, translating to a cost saving of $40,000 on energy each year.

Ms Atkinson said the national rating tool meant buildings would be judged by the same rating matrix whether they were located in Western Australia or Queensland.

“Green star is national, it’s industry-owned, it addresses a comprehensive range of environmental criteria, it’s accessible, and last but not least, it positions Australia to be a world leader in green buildings,” Ms Atkinson said.

The council’s first rating tool is for the design-phase of commercial buildings. Other rating tools to be released in the future will rate office fit-outs, operational performance of existing buildings and other building types such as industrial, residential and retail.

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