Green Building News — 08 August 2013

The evidence is undeniable and is available in black and white in a ground-breaking research report  that demonstrates that Green Star-rated buildings emit around a third of the greenhouse gas emissions, use a third of the electricity and half of the water of an average building.

A recent report released by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), entitled The Value of Green Star: A decade of environmental benefits analyses data from 428 Green Star-certified buildings and fitouts and compares it to the ‘average’ Australian building and minimum practice benchmarks. The report examines and quantifies the overall impact of Green Star on greenhouse gas emissions, operational energy and water consumption, and construction and demolition waste for the first time.

Findings to be shared at Global Green Building Convention
Voted as one of Australia’s top 100 ‘women of influence’ in 2012 and CEO of the Australian Green Building Council, Romilly Madew will be presenting the findings of this leading-edge report at the 2013 Green Building Council Convention taking place at the CTICC from the 16th to the 18th of October.

Findings far exceeded most optimistic expectations and include:

  • On average, Green Star-certified buildings produce 62 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions and use 66 per cent less electricity than average buildings.
  • The cumulative greenhouse gas savings from the Green Star-rated buildings surveyed, when compared to the average, totals 625,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. That’s equivalent to taking 172,000 cars off our roads.
  • Green Star buildings use 51 per cent less potable water than average buildings. That saving – which amounts to 3,300,000 kilolitres of potable water a year – is enough to service 18,000 households or fill 1,320 Olympic swimming pools.
  • In total, 37,600 truckloads of construction and demolition waste from Green Star-rated projects – 564,000 tonnes – have been diverted from landfill due to good waste management practices.

“This is the first time we’ve quantified Green Star’s overall impact on Australia’s built environment. This new report complements the large number of case studies and substantial anecdotal evidence of Green Star’s transformative effect on sustainability at the individual building level,” explains Madew.

Findings validate future for Green Star SA rated buildings

The green building movement is rapidly gaining traction in South Africa as developers and progressive businesses increasingly embrace sustainable building practices with just under 40 building certifications achieved locally.

Says Frank Berkeley, Managing Executive of Nedbank Corporate Property Finance, “Nedbank’s extensive involvement in the area of green building in South Africa has afforded us a keen insight into the economic benefits that can be unlocked by incorporating energy efficiency and other environmentally beneficial elements into any building. While a like-for-like comparison of a green and non-green building of similar proportions shows that incorporating effective environmental considerations could raise the overall cost by around 10%, our experience is that this cost does not take long to recoup, particularly given the rapidly increasing cost of utilities in this country.   We look forward to the findings of the Australian report and its significance in respect to the learnings that can be applied in South Africa.”

The CEO of the Green Building Council SA, Brian Wilkinson adds: “Our Green Star SA rating tools are based on the Australian Green Star rating system but adapted to the South African context.  We have no doubt that when we reach a similar milestone in South Africa and have the volume of certified building stock that warrants this type of research, we can anticipate the same greenhouse gas emissions reductions, operational energy and water consumption savings, and construction and demolition waste reduction.”

What to expect at this year’s Global Green Building Convention
Romilly Madew will be presenting alongside a stellar line-up of speakers from around the world as part of an engaging programme which has been designed to both challenge and shift paradigms – enriched by a world-class exhibition – created to encourage business to business opportunity, stimulate the green economy and inspire both our global network local and international colleagues.

Source: GBCSA

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