What is Green Star?
Green Star is an internationally recognised rating system to evaluate and rate the environmental impact of everything that is built-up be it buildings or entire communities. The rating system was started by the Green Building Council of Australia in 2003. It is a completely voluntary rating system.
The Green Star rating assigns building, communities, interiors a rating of between 1 to 6 stars. A minimum rating of 4 stars is required to show that the building follows best environmental practices. A rating of 5 stars means that the building has achieved Australian excellence in its environmental practices while a rating of 6 stars denotes that the building is a global leader in this field.
Why Green Star Rating?
Do building in Australia really need to go in for the Green Star rating? After all, it is a voluntary system. Why devote the time, effort and money to put the systems required to get a rating in place?
As a business owner, it would seem to make more sense to finish the construction and interiors work as fast as possible and start using the premises so as to start earning a return from the investment made into the property.
The Green Star rating makes immense sense for your business as well as for this planet for a lot of reasons. Consider this. The Australian built up sector is the largest contributor to greenhouses gas emissions. It consumes one-third of the country’s water and contributes to 40 percent of the waste generated.
By adopting the standards required by the Green Star rating, building and communities are reducing their environmental impact and doing their bit to leave a greener world for tomorrow.
Alongside this, they are also creating employment opportunities and improving the health and well-being of communities and neighbourhoods.
Benefits for Owners
Today roughly 20 percent of Australia’s commercial buildings have been given a green rating. New buildings are being designed and constructed according to the highest environmental standards. They incorporate systems which assist in conserving water, consuming lesser energy or in generating lesser waste.
So what is the reason behind this thought process? It is quite simple to fathom. Building owners and businesses have realised that there are many benefits of achieving a Green Star Rating.
A Green Star rated building attracts tenants and buyers much faster than one which has not been rated. The IPD Green Investment Property Index found that Green Star-rated office building delivered returns of 10.9% as compared to 9.2% for ‘non-green’ buildings, a whopping 170 points better. Clearly, businesses in Australia want green buildings.
Why do businesses prefer Green Star-rated buildings and are even willing to offer better value for them as compared to their non-green brothers and sisters? Buildings with Green Star ratings consume 66% less energy and 51% less water. They produce 62% fewer greenhouse emissions. This directly translates into operational efficiencies and reduced costs for the businesses which reside in these buildings.
Green buildings are happier buildings to work in. A study of the employees of two tenants of a Green Star-rated building before and after they moved into the building found a significant reduction in common ailments such as cold, flu, headaches, etc. which ultimately affect the productivity of the employees.
Another study by CBRE found that employees working in green buildings took nearly 2.88 fewer sick days as compared to when the same companies worked in non-green buildings.
Factors like well-designed lighting systems, access to daylight and operable windows, improved ventilation, enhanced temperature control contributed to the increased productivity and reduced absenteeism.
Taking the First Step
So how do building owner get their buildings rated?
As the first step, they need to measure the current environmental impact of their buildings. Find out how your building compares to other buildings and to benchmarks. Once you are able to figure this out, you can then draw up an action plan, set targets and measure your performance against these targets.
Once you have an understanding of how your building is performing, you can take practical steps to improve its operations and reduce its environmental impacts – and its costs.
Stepping into a Green Star Building
While you are in the process of evaluating your building and are taking steps towards getting it rated on its environmental practices, there is one practice that you can easily adopt immediately – the use of entrance mats.
Entrance mats act as dirt removal zones. They enable dirt and moisture to be stopped in their tracks, preventing them from entering your building. A cleaner building, then requires lesser energy, water and other resources to clean it. Lesser environmentally damaging chemicals are required to clean these building premises, thereby having a positive impact on the environment.
Alsco Evolution Mats are premium quality mats designed for heavy-duty performance. They are capable of capturing and retaining up to 3 kgs of dust, which is much more than other brands. What is more is that these mats are made from recycled materials and PET plastic, thereby helping you reduce your carbon footprint.
Improve the green quotient of your commercial building with the Evolution Mats. Alsco is even offering a no-obligation 14-day trial on these mats. Try them out today.
Image Courtesy: Pixabay