What is Green Star Certification? 

Green Star, established by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) in 2003, is a globally acknowledged rating system responsible for defining the benchmarks for creating healthy, resilient, and environmentally-friendly buildings and spaces.

This is developed in close consultation with industry and government, and continues to evolve. Since Green Star is a Certification Trademark registered by GBCA, the use of the Green Star Trademark and the claim of being Green Star projects are exclusive to those buildings and community projects that have undergone a thorough assessment and certification process by the GBCA. 

Green Star rating tools

In order to qualify for Green Star certification, you must refer to the Green Star rating tool to identify the category that best suits your project. The four Green Star rating tools include:

  • Green Star – Design and As Built – This guides the sustainable design and construction of a range of schools, offices, universities, industrial facilities, public buildings, retail centers and hospitals.
  • Green Star – Interiors – This aims to transform the interior fit outs of everything from offices and hotels to schools and shops.
  • Green Star – Communities – This is focused on improving the sustainability of projects at the neighborhood, precinct or community scale.
  • Green Star – Performance – This supports higher levels of operational efficiency within existing buildings.

Green Star categories

Green Star assesses and rates projects against a range of environmental impact categories. These are: 

Green Star Design & As Built, Green Star – Interiors and Green Star – Performance


This encourages and rewards the adoption of sustainability practices and processes throughout the different phases of a project’s design, construction and ongoing operation.

Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) 

This encourages and rewards the initiatives that enhance the comfort and wellbeing of occupants. This focuses on issues such as air quality, thermal comfort and acoustic comfort.


This rewards projects that are designed and constructed to reduce overall

greenhouse emissions from operations by promoting energy efficiency. 


This focuses on projects that facilitate a reduction on the dependency of private car use as an important means of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to encourage the provision of sustainable forms of transportation.


This rewards initiatives that reduce the consumption of potable water.


This addresses the consumption of resources for the project, by encouraging the selection of low-impact materials.

Land use & ecology

This rewards projects that reduce harm and enhance the quality of local ecologies.


This assesses the environmental impacts of ‘point source’ pollution generated by projects. 


This aims to recognize the implementation of innovative practices, processes and strategies that promote sustainability in the built environment.

Green Star – Communities

Economic prosperity

This initiative acknowledges projects that foster prosperity and productivity by encouraging various aspects such as affordable living and housing, investments in education and skills development, and community capacity building. Additionally, it aims to enhance productivity by capitalizing on emerging opportunities in the digital economy.


The primary objective is to acknowledge the adoption of inventive practices, processes, and strategies that foster sustainability in the construction and development sector.


The goal is to promote and acknowledge developments that foster secure, accessible, and culturally enriched communities. The initiative encourages the cultivation of healthy and active lifestyles while recognizing communities that exhibit exceptional amenity, activity, and inclusivity levels.


The objective is to minimize the ecological impact of urban development by endorsing resource management and efficiency. This is achieved through the promotion of infrastructure, transport, and buildings designed to have reduced ecological footprints. The focus is on mitigating the effects of projects on land, water, and the atmosphere.


The objective is to incentivize and acknowledge developers and projects that exhibit leadership within the sector through the establishment and upkeep of robust governance practices. It advocates for engagement, transparency, and community and industry capacity building. Furthermore, it strives to enhance the resilience of community projects in the face of a changing climate.

Benefits of Green Star Certification

By gaining a Green Star certification, properties and communities can: 

  • Lower operating costs and increase asset value 
  • Use 66% less electricity than average city buildings
  • Use 51% less potable water than if they had been built to meet minimum industry requirements
  • Boost productivity by up to 15% 
  • Produce 62% fewer greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of occupants
  • Reduce risk and ‘future proof’ investments
  • Deliver a competitive edge in a crowded marketplace

The Green Star rating scale

While projects can be awarded with a maximum of six (6) stars, these ratings do vary depending upon the rating tool.

1 Star – Minimum Practice

2 Star – Average Practice

3 Star – Good Practice

4 Star – Best Practice

5 Star – Australian Excellence

6 Star – World Leadership

The Green Star – Performance tool can achieve a rating from 1 to 6 Star, while the Green Star – Design, As Built, Interiors and Communities projects can achieve a Green Star certification of 4 – 6 Star Green Star. 

Steps to obtain Green Star certification


This is the first stage towards obtaining the Green Star certification. In this stage, projects are registered via a simple online process at www.gbca.org.au


As projects are designed, built or operated, your team should compile a range of documentation to demonstrate that your building, fitout or community meets Green Star’s sustainability benchmarks.


This documentation should then be submitted to the GBCA for Green Star assessment.


Green Star submissions will be reviewed by an independent panel of sustainable development experts and an overall score will be assigned.


A Green Star certified rating will be awarded as a third-party verification of a project’s sustainability.

Create healthier built spaces, achieve energy efficiency, contribute to creating a sustainable future, and secure your Green Star certification. 

Spread the love