As building is increasing in Australia there is an ever growing demand for green rating systems. Green rating systems is the total system that rewards points for environmentally responsible and friendly construction, design and systems. The green rating system in reference to building construction evaluates a range of factors including, choice of materials and location, water usage and emissions, energy efficiency and energy efficiency.
Energy efficient design strategies include a large range of traditional building construction fundamentals. These fundamentals include, building envelope design, lighting, control systems, HVAC, building envelope design, mechanical systems and much more. Green design budgets must make sure that they do not forget about these elements in order to add the term "green technologies" to their design otherwise it may have a smaller impact on the main goal which is overall energy performance.
Green rating systems vary in their description depending on their several environmental qualities, their means for assigning points, and their certification process. These rating systems have fluctuating minimum requirement, certification process and costs, relationships to building codes and certifier training requirements.
Systems currently in use which assess the environmental performance of residential buildings:
National Australian Built Environment rating System NABERS:
NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes. When NABERS first launched it was launched as the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) in 1998. It was originally developed as an energy efficiency rating tool for office buildings. NABERS can measure energy, water, waste, and indoor environment.
This is measured by verified performance information such as bills that is then converted to an easy to comprehend star rating scale, which varies from one through to six. A six star rating means that the performance of the building is at the upper echelon of the green building design practises. And a one star rating means that the performance of the building does not meet environmentally friendly principals or criteria. This means that buildings with better ratings will consume less energy than buildings with poor ratings.
NABERS is used to help building owners across Australia benchmark the greenhouse performance. Consumption of electricity, gas, fuels and other energy sources that relate to greenhouse gas emissions has been taken into account in NABERS energy. NABERS has helped property owners and managers for over ten years to improve their building reputation, sustainability performance and increasing and gaining financial benefits.
The rating takes into account, the hours of its use, the level of services it provides, the energy sources it uses, the climatic conditions in which the building operates and its size and occupancy.
NABERS guarantees that your building is equally compared to its competitors. This data is then compared to NABERS benchmark data and then a star rating showing your performance compared to competitors is then calculated. This then shows you what is working well and what is not so that improvements can be made.http://www.ourgreenoffice.com/images/NABERS_%20ENERGY_5%20starsCMYK.jpg
Australian Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme (ABGR)
The AGBR scheme is used by Green Star Rating system for the calculation of energy assessment. The AGBR is a computer software tool. This computer software tool allows building to measure their impact on the environment through the manufacture of greenhouse gases
The ABGR scheme benchmarks a buildings performance on a rating of one to five, with one meaning it has the worst greenhouse performance and five meaning it has the best. The scheme not only helps building owners and tenants to gain a competitive advantage it also helps promote their greenhouse performance.
The star rating is resultant from the amount of energy, such as, coal, gas, oil and electricity a building or tenancy consumes each year. The ratings show how efficient and well the building is designed, as well as the reflection of how well the building is managed. The benchmark provides a comparison with greenhouse performance of other buildings.
Green star rating system is a national environmental rating tool that has been developed by The Green Building Council of Australia. The tool rates a building through its management, health, well-being, pollution and so on.
The Green Star's main purpose is to assist the building industry in its shift over to sustainable development. The rating system integrates nine built rating tools that include the following aspects:
Management- Sustainable development principles through design, construction, operation etc.
Indoor Environment Quality-Emphasises on environmental impact and performance through HVAC system, lighting, comfort pollutants and occupants.
Energy-Aims to reduce greenhouse emissions from building operations by addressing energy demand reduction, efficiency and much more.
Transport-Rewards reduction of demand for individual cars.
Water- Addresses of water through design of building services, water reuse and substituting with other water options.
Materials- Targets resource consumption through the selection of materials and initiatives of recycling. It is essential that proper materials are used which will assist in the biggest energy channel, being thermal mass.
Land use and ecology- Discouraging degradation and encouraging restoration of flora and fauna by addressing a projects impact on its immediate ecosystem. Some of the types of emissions included in the Green Star rating tools include stormwater runoff from increased hard surfaces, light pollution, and increased damage to the ozone layer.
Emissions- Targets pollution from buildings and services to the, local ecosystem, watercourse and atmosphere.
Innovation-Rewards marketplace innovation that fosters the industry's change to sustainable building.
The green star rating system was developed for property industry in order to:
Set a standard of measurement for green buildings
Establish a common language
Promite intergrated, whole building design
Recognise environmental eladership
Raise awarenss of green building benefits
Identify building life cycle impacts.
Six categories used by Green Star rating tools in order to asses building level developments are:
Green Star rating tools use stars in order to rate performance, from one star through to six. 4 Star Green Star Certified Rating means best practice, 5 Star Green Star Certified Rating shows Australian excellence and 6 Star Green Certified rating signifies world leadership. The growth of Green Rating tools in Australia has shown to be strong and positive in accordance to the number of projects and the number of tools available.
Figure 1.1. 1 Star - 6 Star rating system table:
Green Star Rating
45 - 59
60 - 74