It is common knowledge in this industry that the green building movement – becoming especially relevant over the past decade – has created an industry boom in green developments. The green sector has changed the way that we design, develop and deliver all new projects in this country, evolving the Australian industry into a business that is increasing gaining a sustainable backbone.
This backbone or foundation, has in large part been enabled by work of this country’s green authority – the Green Building Council of Australia. At the beginning of World Green Building Week, the GBCA has again encouraged this industry to move towards the second stage of the green building movement – one that focuses on an increase of industry standards and focusing not on carbon cutting alone – but developing an industry that produces a built environment that is sustainable.
As a part of their encouragement, the GBCA has revealed that since launching Green Star back in 2003, a massive 500 projects have been certified nationally, drastically transforming the Australian urban landscape.
“In nine short years, Green Star has radically transformed the footprint of our cities,” says GBCA Chief Executive, Romilly Madew. “These 500 building projects equate to eight million square metres of Green Star-certified building space around Australia – from offices to retail centres, and from schools to hospitals.”
“With 500 building projects now under our belt, the emerging leaders in the industry are those companies making a portfolio or precinct-wide commitment to Green Star,” says Madew.
According to Madew, and a number of industry leaders, leadership and determination from both industry and governmental forces have allowed this green sector to reach a mainstream status.
“This transformation has occurred through true market leadership,” says Madew. “Leading by example has pushed our industry from a ‘business as usual’ mentality to the forefront of green building expertise and innovation.
While 500 Green Star projects is an impressive figure, in a built landscape as vast as Australia, the first 500 are truly only the beginning. Madew reveals that already there are more than 500 projects registered, waiting to join the ranks of their certified counterparts. The GBCA Chief Executive reveals that with this kind of leadership and support, from government, industry and societal front, there is no questioning the progress of this industry, how it is sure to evolve and the drastic impact this will have on the country in all of the holistically sustainable aspects: economy, socially and environmentally.
“Around Australia, governments are mandating Green Star for new schools, hospitals and large-scale developments because they know Green Star buildings are healthier, more productive and better long-term assets. Developers are driving higher green benchmarks with each new project they undertake,” says Madew. “Building owners are insisting on Green Star ratings for all new acquisitions because they are more efficient and cost-effective. Tenants are demanding Green Star to reinforce their brands, and attract and retain their most valuable employees. And people are telling us they want to live in a Green Star community.”
“The message is clear: Australia’s Green Star is ascendant,” Madew concludes.