This has been a banner year for green building development. Given the ever-increasing popularity of green building, the current boom that surrounds it and its growing relevance in our society, it makes sense that milestones in green building are quickly being surpassed, as notions that were thought to be ‘ideals’ or simply unfeasible concepts, are now coming to fruition.
Now, two developments have become the first 5 Star Green Star – Public Building-certified buildings as accredited by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).
Affinity Village, developed by Stockland Retirement Living and the Corso, funded by the federal government and the Moreton Bay Regional Council, both fall under the newly developed rating tool, which works towards recognising and encouraging the development of sustainable public buildings.
“The Affinity Village and The Corso projects now have independent proof that they are among Australia’s greenest community centres,” says GBCA chief executive Romily Madew. “Both buildings will deliver energy and water savings, reduce operational costs and improve the health and well-being of occupants.”
Affinity Village, located in Western Australia, offers a retirement living club house and world class library. The Corso is a community centre and office complex in North Lakes, Brisbane North.
Both buildings have been specifically designed to reach the highest standard environmental and quality standards. According to Stockland general manager of development in retirement living Barry Mann, the design and delivery of the Affinity Village emphasises a higher standard of living with high Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ), passive design and a reduction of energy consumption all emphasised.
“In achieving the first Green Star rating for any retirement living building, we have demonstrated our industry leadership and set a new benchmark in sustainability,” he says. “The energy and water initiatives within the community centre will deliver savings of up to $30,000 per year on electricity bills alone, which brings tangible benefits to our residents. We are now working to transfer the knowledge gained from this project to our other projects.”
In the same vein, Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland says the use of 160 solar panels, storm water harvesting, public transport promotion and optimizing natural resources such as lighting has allowed The Corso to achieve this national first certification.
“The Corso will break the mould for regional public buildings in Australia,” Mayor Sutherland says. “I’m over the moon that The Corso at North Lakes has been recognised as one of Australia’s first public buildings to be awarded a 5 Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.”
Madew believes these two flagship developments will be the first of many as green ambitions continue to be brought to life all across the country.
“The Green Star – Public Buildings PILOT rating tool has opened the door to Green Star certification for Australia’s public buildings for the very first time, and both Stockland and Moreton Bay Regional Council now have independent verification of their sustainable, future-proofed assets,” she says.