As part of the exciting Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Green Star 2014 Design & As Built release, Life Cycle Assessment has taken another step forward in establishing itself as a standard component of good design.
The new Life Cycle Impacts credit provides up to 7 points for projects achieving a performance improvement across six environmental impact categories.
While the total number of points has increased the performance requirement has also risen from what was a 100% accumulative improvement to now being 130%. Essentially, there are more points available but designs will have to push harder to get them – ultimately a good outcome for the planet.
While most of the criteria and requirements have remained the same since the draft credit was realised earlier this year, it is great to see it firmly established in the new tool. More details can be found on Page 141 of the Green Star Rating Tool Technical Manual.
“As the circular economy expands, our industry will need to understand how to work with LCA…to drive the next evolution of sustainability,” said Romily Madew, Chief Executive of the GBCA.
Since LCA was first included in Green Star last year with the Innovation Challenge, eTool has been successfully involved with over 12 separate Green Star projects. These have ranged from large office, retail and tertiary education buildings through to retirement villages and supermarkets. Several have already achieved their targeted Five Star Green Star accreditation and with one hitting Six Star.
“GBCA members Cundall and eTool deserve applause for recently working together to earn five Green Star points for a life cycle assessment for the Kings Square buildings in Perth.” (read article here)
All projects have successfully managed to obtain the points targeted through the LCA credit with teams quick to included eTool in additional and upcoming jobs.
More importantly, project teams are finding that by integrating a Life Cycle Design approach they are realising far greater opportunities for improving environmental performance. Furthermore, it has been giving these projects, the consultants working on them and the clients, a world leading edge.
“Life cycle assessment is not a fad, and will increasingly be understood as a smart business decision within a sustainable business model”, said Romily Madew.