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Green Building Council takes steps to eliminate natural gas in new buildings

The Green Building Council of Australia has completely overhauled its Green Star rating system in a push to eliminate natural gas in buildings.

Buildings must now be net-zero, with fully electric, fossil fuel free and 100 per cent powered by renewables, in order to score the highest possible 6 Star rating

This marks the biggest change in the Green Star rating system in 18 years, and will “drive the transformation of buildings to net-zero at scale”, according to GBCA CEO, Davina Rooney.

“While we currently have a lot of ‘nearly net-zero’ buildings in Australia, there are only a handful of genuine net-zero buildings. Green Star Buildings has been designed with industry and government to ensure net-zero becomes the norm,” Ms Rooney said.

“There is overwhelming support from industry to eliminate carbon emissions from buildings and construction to meet our obligations under the Paris Agreement, prevent assets becoming stranded and, ultimately, put a stop to unsustainable changes to our climate.

“Climate change is a global challenge that manifests itself in very local ways. The bushfires and coronavirus pandemic have shown us that our buildings need to be more resilient to changes in climate and more focused on the health of people.

“Green Star Buildings responds to these challenges in very practical ways introducing, for example, a new filtration requirement to help clean the air that we breathe and reduce the risk of disease spreading.

“It is a timely and necessary response to a rapidly evolving risk environment. Certification under the new tool will set projects apart, enhancing their enduring value through increased resilience,” Ms Rooney said.

“With buildings accounting for one-quarter of Australia’s carbon emissions on average, Green Star Buildings is the rating tool we need to achieve the level of change our nation and our future generations need.”

Tanya Cox, Chair, World Green Building Council, said: “Green Star Buildings will lead all new buildings to net zero carbon emissions – driving net zero to become the norm in Australia sooner than in other countries”.

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