As in architecture and construction, green building is booming in the interior design sector with increased research into Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) throwing the environmental conditions of interior spaces into focus.
With this in mind, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has launched its new Green Star – Interiors PILOT rating tool to both assist and recognise the interior design industry’s efforts to improve interior environmental conditions.
As a ‘next generation’ initiative evolving from the Green Star – Office Interiors v1.1 rating tool, the new accreditation system will offer to assess even more building types, including hospitals, hotels, schools, shops and office spaces.
According to GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew, the rating tool will encourage green interiors in all interior design fields in a manner that is holistic and of a new, higher caliber.
“Green Star – Interiors will expand the benefits of Green Star certification to new market sectors, drive industry innovation, and set new benchmarks of best practice for sustainable interiors,” she says.
While 100 offices in Australia have already been certified, with 100 more registered for certification under this new rating tool’s predecessor, ISIS Group Australia CEO Michael Barnes says the new rating system will extend green consideration for interior design and offer greater opportunity for green building promotion.
“We expect the new Green Star – Interiors tool will reinforce this view and provide greater opportunity for businesses across a broader range of buildings to enjoy the social, environmental and economic benefits of a Green Star fitout,” he says.
Sponsoring the rating tool, architectural firm HASSELL’s new Sydney studio will be one of the first projects to be accredited under the new system.
“We want our new home to be an exemplar of the latest thinking in sustainability and workplace design,” says HASSELL head of knowledge and sustainability Brett Pollard. “Being involved in piloting the new rating tool will allow us to get to grips with the new tool and apply the lessons learnt to our clients’ projects as well as our own new workplace.”
While the new and improved rating system will guide and encourage green fitout innovation, Madew notes that the most important benefits for those seeking to redefine their spaces under IEQ standards is a higher standard of living.
“The dozens of companies that operate from Green Star-rated office fitouts already understand that a sustainable workplace can boost productivity and act as a powerful recruitment and retention tool,” she says. “We also know that green building principles, when integrated into building interiors in schools, hospitals and retail centres, can deliver massive health and productivity benefits. Green Star – Interiors will help our industry to deliver more productive, more sustainable and healthier indoor environments for a much broader range of people.”
The GBCA is handling all requests for accreditation.