Green Star NZ v1.1

Buildings and their construction account for as much as 20% of New Zealand's carbon emissions.

Working alongside others who want healthy, green buildings, we can transform the way our commercial buildings are designed and built, dramatically reducing our carbon footprint and improving people's health and wellbeing.

Green Star continues to evolve in collaboration with the industry, with version 1.1 pulling together the lessons we've learnt, and the feedback we've received from the industry since Green Star Design & As Built NZ and Green Star Interiors NZ were first introduced back in 2019.

Following our most successful consultation ever, and with guidance from the newly formed Green Star Advisory Committee and Expert Reference Panels, version 1.1 strengthens the country's leading sustainable certification for commercial buildings and their fitouts.

It's an important step towards zero carbon buildings, with new mandatory requirements and a bigger emphasis on embodied carbon throughout the design and build phase. As we outline below, it also helps to prepare the New Zealand industry for the transition to the ambitious Green Star Buildings tool developed by the Green Building Council of Australia.

What's new in v1.1?

There are a raft of changes to Green Star including introducing new mandatory minimums to achieve certification, as well as greater emphasis on areas such as embodied carbon, performance and climate adaptation.

  • New mandatory calculations requiring minimum threshholds for upfront carbon emissions reduction.
  • A conditional requirement is added to mandate environmental performance targets, building commissioning and tuning.
  • Every project that would like to seek a rating has to complete a climate change pre-screening checklist.
  • Guidance for Climate Changed Risk Assessment and Adaptation Plan is updated to improve clarity by referencing localized resources and approaches.
  • The Greenhouse Gas Emissions credit has been reframed to align with the recent changes in Building Code. The conditional requirements for 4, 5, and 6 Star ratings start to include fossil fuel limits for 4 and 5 star buildings, and a total fossil fuel ban for 6 Star buildings as an initial step to align the tool with the Paris Agreement.
  • There are now more points available under Life Cycle Impacts, with new criteria set up for upfront carbon emissions and long-term carbon storage. Two pathways set along with detailed guidance and a handy nationally- agreed calculator are provided to standardise the way to calculate the impacts so that buildings can be comparable to each other.
  • More guidance is included in the Potable Water Calculator to help project teams collate New Zealand rainwater data for different locations.
  • Provides updates and clarifications to several other credits including the Sustainable Sites and Responsible Construction Practices credits. ‚Äč

A full breakdown of changes can be found in the new Submission Guidelines and at this webinar here

The future of Green Star: Green Star Buildings

Versions 1.1 provides a stepping stone for our transition to Green Star Buildings - the latest offering from the Green Building Council of Australia. Green Star Buildings is the most ambitious version yet, aimed at meeting future demands on the built environment with aspirational benchmarks for addressing climate action, resource efficiency, and health and wellbeing.

Design and As Built Version 1.1 will help prepare the industry with the additional conditional requirements starting to embed things like commissioning and tuning, and strengthen consideration of upfront carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions

Green Star Buildings takes these a step further, introducing 15 Minimum Expectations that must be achieved by all projects to achieve a Green Star rating. These are aimed at ensuring all Green Star rated buildings meet a basic definition of a green building (energy efficient, water efficient, good healthy spaces, built responsibly, and on sites that are not critical natural areas).

We will be working very closely with the Green Star Advisory Committee and Expert Review Panels to bring Green Star Buildings to New Zealand in 2023. We are looking to consult with the sector and get your feedback on Green Star Buildings in the second half of 2022.