New approach for building rating tools

Friday, 26 February, 2010

A new agreement between Australia’s two leading environmental rating tools for buildings - Green Star and NABERS - will deliver a more consistent and compatible approach to building rating.

A memorandum of understanding between the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), which manages Green Star, the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) and the NSW Department of
Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW), which administers NABERS, outlines the parties’ commitment to share information on rating tool development, calculators, benchmarks and methodologies to strengthen both rating systems.

Speaking at the opening session of Green Cities 2010 in Melbourne recently, the Chief Executive of the GBCA, Romilly Madew, said: “We are committed to working together to develop a common language for both rating tools and the metrics that underpin them.

“This will deliver greater compatibility between the assessment of building attributes covered by Green Star and performance of key impact areas such as energy, water and waste, which are assessed by NABERS.”

DECCW’s Manager Built Environment, Matthew Clark, said the collaboration will help to close the loop between the design and construction professions and those who ultimately operate and occupy a building.

“This commitment to work together and share knowledge will result in more sustainable outcomes for Australian buildings,” Clark said.

The agreement has already received solid support from industry, with the Chief Executive of the Property Council of Australia, Peter Verwer, commenting: “The marketplace will welcome this strong signal of collaboration.”

The next step is the formation of a working group which will consider, scope and direct specific projects to improve the technical consistency and general compatibility between the tools.

“By linking the design and performance of buildings, we will be able to clearly demonstrate the opportunities to reduce the environmental impacts that exist at different stages of a building’s life cycle,” Madew said.

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