Green Star required for government-buildings
Green Star and electrification requirements will now be required for government-owned buildings as part of the federal government’s Net Zero in Government Operations Strategy.
The strategy will help the Commonwealth to fulfil its commitment to achieving a net zero Australian public service by 2030 which includes preferencing all-electric buildings for new office leases and achieving Green Star for future office buildings purchased or constructed for the Commonwealth.
Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) chief executive officer Davina Rooney says the federal government has delivered an ambitious strategy using Green Star, NABERS and Infrastructure Sustainability Council ratings as well as electrification requirements to set a clear approach to drive down emissions in buildings.
“It’s fabulous to see our work in developing climate-positive pathways for buildings has been adopted by the Australian Government,” Davina Rooney says.
“It shows a clear commitment from our government to drive down emissions at scale and it sends a message to the market that net zero in operations is the new norm.”
From July 2026, the Commonwealth is mandating that any office space acquired, constructed or committed to under pre-commitment agreements with a value exceeding $15 million must obtain a minimum four-star Green Star certification.
This certification must also align with the Climate Positive Pathway outlined by the GBCA. While a four-star Green Star rating is the baseline requirement under this strategy, wherever possible, five or six-star Green Star ratings are encouraged to showcase leadership in sustainability.
Commencing from July 2024, all electric buildings must be prioritised for office leasing. From 1 July 2026, any contracts for the purchase or construction of office space by or for the Commonwealth must prioritise all-electric infrastructure where feasible. This commitment extends to building heating, cooling, and water heating systems, excluding backup generation, pending the 2026-27 review.
By 1 January 2040, Commonwealth entities are urged to exclusively lease or own office spaces that adhere to all-electric standards, solidifying their commitment to a sustainable and carbon-neutral future.
By 1 January 2030, 100% of Commonwealth electricity must be renewable.
The Green Building Council of Australia congratulates the Australian Government on its game-changing approach to sustainability and looks forward to collaborating closely to achieve these ambitious goals.