How To Improve Your Project’s Green Star Rating
Feb 13, 2023
The building sector is an enormous contributor to global carbon emissions, being responsible for up to one-third of the world’s greenhouse gases. Because of this, more and more companies are making the move towards more sustainable building practices. Green Star is an internationally recognised rating system for the design, construction and operation of various projects, including buildings, communities and more.
Under this system, each project is given a rating from 0 to 6 stars. This rating looks at its lifecycle from the earliest design phases to its end of life. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can improve your project’s Green Star rating and best optimise the efficiency of your new building.
Use Eco-friendly Building Materials
By choosing eco-friendly building materials, you’re doing both the environment and your tenants a favour. Not only can they improve indoor air quality and lower exposure to toxins, but they also allow your building to consume up to 40% less energy.
For a building material to be considered eco-friendly, it should meet several of the following criteria:
- Be constructed from recycled materials
- Lowers water, land or air pollution
- Be durable and have a long life expectancy
- Improve your project’s energy efficiency
- Sourced from renewable resources
Some of the most popular eco-friendly building materials include fibreglass, bamboo and earthen materials such as clay and soil. Another option is to use PVC-free fire-resistant conduit pipes, which are made from halogen-free materials and meet all relevant fire safety standards.
LED lights have proven to be much more efficient than traditional lighting, with more and more households and businesses making the switch every day. By using around 60-90% less energy than halogen and incandescent lights, they can greatly reduce your project’s long-term greenhouse gas emissions.
They also have a lower combustion risk, meaning that they’re safer to be left on for extended periods. LED lights also have a much longer lifespan than typical incandescent bulbs. Whereas most incandescent bulbs last around 1,000 hours, LED lights tend to last about 50,000.
Choose Windows Carefully
Windows play an important role in blocking out noise, wind and sunlight. Double or triple-glazed windows will help to best insulate your building, helping to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
This will help you to create a passive building, which is a building that is able to achieve high levels of thermal comfort with minimal artificial heating and cooling. Less reliance on air conditioners and ducted heating systems means much lower running costs, lower energy bills and higher air quality for all those inside.
Indoor and Outdoor Plants
If you’re building a commercial building, having both indoor and outdoor plants is not only great for aesthetic appeal but it can also purify the air and lower carbon dioxide levels. This means less electricity used for electric air purifiers and fewer emissions from your building overall.
Peace Lilies in particular not only make the perfect office decoration but have also been found to have air-purifying powers thanks to their ability to break down and neutralise dangerous toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene and monoxide. While all of us can be affected by exposure to air pollutants, groups such as the very young, very old or those with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases are even more vulnerable to their side effects.
Rain is one of the most important contributors of freshwater, making water management an integral aspect of sustainable building design. Through the implementation of rainwater harvesting, your building can become self-sufficient rather than rely on your local government body for all of your water needs.
Another option is greywater management. Greywater is the water that goes into your building’s drainage systems after it’s been used, perhaps coming from your toilets, sinks or showers. With the right treatment, greywater can be reutilised and turned into non-potable water that can greatly improve your green star rating.