The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) says the significant increase in Green Star certifications in the country demonstrates steadfast commitment to sustainability from various stakeholders. The GBCA certified 218 Green Star projects in 2015, compared to 156 in 2014, showing a 40 per cent increase in year-on-year certifications.

Additionally, 184 projects registered to achieve Green Star ratings over the course of the year, up 52 per cent on the 121 registrations in 2014.

GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew said they have surpassed the magic 1,000-project milestone, and now have 1,020 Green Star certified projects rated. The encouraging increase in certifications has resulted in, for instance, more than 530,000 Australians, representing 4.5 per cent of Australia’s total workforce, working in Green Star-rated offices; 4,400 people living in Green Star-rated apartments; and more than 16,800 students learning in Green Star-certified schools. The Green Star – Communities projects certified this year will one day be home to 80,000 people.

GBCA applauds the efforts of every person, organisation and stakeholder from government members to industry partners that have demonstrated steadfast commitment to sustainability this year.

The GBCA also acknowledges the leadership of a select group of companies in 2015.

Development leadership

For the second year in a row, Frasers Property Australia climbed to the top of the league table in 2015, with 62 Green Star projects registered and 58 projects certified over the course of the year.

According to Madew, Frasers Property certified 983,985 square metres of floor space under the Green Star – Performance rating tool this year, and has certified 1.03 million square metres in total. Frasers Property was also the first company to make a commitment to achieve 5 Star Green Star ratings for all new developments.

Madew says Lendlease also deserves applause for certifying the largest area of Green Star space in 2015. Lendlease certified 1.39 million square metres of Green Star space this year and has a total of 2.24 million square metres of certified space.

Consultancy leadership

Arup Australasia has been the Green Star Accredited Professional on more projects than any other consultant with a total of 11 Green Star certified projects for the year.

Madew says Arup has 65 Green Star projects under its belt, including offices, schools and university buildings, apartments and shopping centres around the country. These include many of Australia’s most talked about green buildings such as One Central Park, voted the world’s best tall building, and Commonwealth Bank Place, which is one of Australia’s greenest office spaces.

Special mention goes to dsquared as the ESD consultant on the first Green Star – Design & As Built office, Palumbo’s 185 Pirie Street in Adelaide.

Government leadership

The South Australian Government takes the lead in 2015, with three Green Star ratings, including a massive 292,000 square metres of Green Star space at the New Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Madew explains that the New Royal Adelaide Hospital is the largest Green Star project certified in 2015, but the South Australian Government’s leadership extends beyond bricks and mortar as it has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050; achieved a Green Star – Communities rating for the Tonsley urban renewal project in Adelaide; and is seeing results on the 5 Star mandate at Bowden.

Other notable government achievements include: Defence Housing Australia achieving the first 6 Star Green Star rating for a residential building for the Prince’s Australian Terraces in Adelaide; Wollongong City Council scoring the first 5 Star Green Star – Performance rating for its Council Administration Building; and the Sydney Opera House bagging a 4 Star Green Star – Performance rating.

Communities leadership

Lendlease was the only organisation to certify two Green Star – Communities projects in 2015: Alkimos Beach in Perth, which achieved the first 6 Star Green Star rating for a community, and Aurora in Victoria.

Stockland takes the crown for the largest certified Green Star – Community: Aura on the Sunshine Coast is the nation’s largest master planned community under single ownership, with 20,000 new homes on the horizon.

State leadership

An analysis of all the states reveals that New South Wales certified the most projects with a total of 70 while Victoria certified 62 projects and Queensland 46 projects. Victoria still has more Green Star projects than any other state, with 292 in all.

Noting that the industry was heading in the right direction, Madew warned against complacency in 2016, while calling upon all stakeholders to share the story of how sustainability can create brand value, encourage innovation, create new revenue streams, secure stakeholder confidence and mitigate risk.