Green Star

Buildings and their construction account for as much as 20% of New Zealand's emissions. We're on a mission to change that.


We know with your help we can transform the way our commercial buildings are designed and built, dramatically

reducing our carbon footprint and improving the health and wellbeing of our people.

To help make it happen we run the internationally recognised Green Star certification.

“Green Star fosters smarter building, more resource efficiency, energy and water savings, lower running costs and a healthy work environment for everyone”

- Tony Moore, Christchurch City Council 

Tūranga, Christchurch City Library

Created by our friends at Green Building Council Australia and adapted for Aotearoa, Green Star is Australasia's largest voluntary and truly holistic sustainability rating system for buildings, fitouts and communities.

Green Star ratings are available for every commercial building type; from schools and hospitals, to office buildings, shopping centres, and industrial warehouses. Homes are covered by our Homestar ratings.


A building or community certified to Green Star has proven it meets best practice sustainable design and build benchmarks. With transparent, robust, and independent assessment we work to combat the risk of 'greenwashing' and distinguish those who are truly doing the mahi.

Taking up a voluntary Green Star certification demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Green Star continues to evolve in collaboration with the industry to ensure it incorporates new thinking, best practice, and meets the needs of the market.


There's a lot to consider when it comes to creating healthy, sustainable spaces. Green Star takes a holistic approach, considering not just direct environmental impacts like materials or water use, but broader transport, indoor environment quality, and management implications of a project.

Certifying with Green Star can help reduce not just your carbon footprint but save you money, create a healthy productive place for people, and build a better future for us all.

Green Star can also be used on large scale community development projects. Green Star - Communities rewards social sustainability initiatives alongside environmental measures to ensure the creation of prosperous, connected, truly liveable neighbourhoods.

How it works

Green Star assesses the important elements of a project's sustainability across key categories. Each category includes benchmark for a lower-carbon, healthy project. Points are awarded for successfully meeting these criteria. The total number of points awarded decides the final Green Star rating.

The Green Star process and fees

Green Star certification is a formal process managed by New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC), during which a building, fitout, or precinct is awarded a rating by an independent, third-party assessor. Green Star is a holistic tool that awards points across various credits to rate a building’s performance and environmental impact. Each tool consists of a number of mandatory minimum requirements and optional credits. 

With all the mandatory minimum requirements being met, you can choose any other combination of credits to reach the points required for the rating you are targeting.

The building needs at least 45 points to achieve a 4 Green Star rating, which is the minimum standard that can be certified and is deemed Good Practice. A 5 Green Star rated building is deemed New Zealand Excellence.  A 6 Green Star building exemplifies world leadership.

Step 1: Engage A Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP)

This is not required but highly encouraged.  You can find a GSAP here

Step 2: Ensure the project fulfills the eligibility requirements

Please go here to verify if your project fulfils the eligibility requirements

Step 3: Register and pay

Registering a project with NZGBC means the technical team is aware of the project and can provide support and guidance. It’s a good idea to register as early as possible.  

Find out more about registering your projects here, and the certification fees here. A discount is available to project developers who are members of the NZGBC. More information about membership can be found here 

Step 4: Design and submission

A Design Review rating helps confirm you are on the right track.  A Built rating is compulsory.  The certification fees cover both levels of assessment.  A Design Review rating will expire two years after the building’s practical completion.

All projects must undertake a Built rating. This is carried out once the project obtains practical completion and confirms that the finished project has been constructed in line with the Green Star rating. To undertake a Built rating, the GSAP gathers the appropriate evidence for each credit then submits the assessment to the NZGBC for Assessment.

Step 5: Assessment

Whatever level of assessment the project is undergoing, it will be assessed (audited) by an independent third party. For both the Design and Built rating a project can go through two rounds of assessment. 

Step 6: Certification

Once the final rating is confirmed by the Assessor, NZGBC notifies the project team and sends certificates and the appropriate logos to be used in marketing and communications.  Please review the brand guidelines for using the logos and how to market the project.  

The right Green Star tool for you

Green Star – Design and As Built

The most commonly used Green Star rating, Design and As Built helps guide the sustainable design and construction of any new commercial build or major refurbishment - from schools and offices, to industrial facilities, shopping centres, hospitals and public buildings.

Green Star – Interiors

Help ensure your interior fitout is done right, Green Star – Interiors is for any type of fitout; offices hotels, schools, retail space - you name it.

Green Star – Communities

Transforming our neighbourhoods into green, prosperous spaces. Green Star Communities helps guide building and urban design at a neighbourhood, precinct, or community scale. 


While Green Star is for new buildings, you can also use it to assess the operational performance of your existing building. Find out more about Green Star - Performance