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Speak Up: Romilly Madew

The Green Building Council of Australia’s Romilly Madew responds to our latest poll.

Speak Up: Romilly Madew


June 3rd, 2009

“…if you don’t have an independent system of certification for green buildings and products, how can you ever be certain that a building or a product is truly green?” – Romilly Madew (GBCA)

The GBCA offer their point of view on the rating and certification systems in Australia.

“Are green rating tools just a money-making scheme? This month’s indesignlive poll suggests that a section of the marketplace thinks so.

But if you don’t have an independent system of certification for green buildings and products, how can you ever be certain that a building or a product is truly green? Every organisation could claim their building is ‘green, greener, greenest’ using different metrics or unsubstantiated figures.

Before the Green Building Council of Australia launched the Green Star environmental rating system for buildings in 2003, the property industry had no way to define or measure ‘green’ – and as a result, no way to manage risks or ensure that green buildings could make money.

Since then, Green Star has penetrated the property sector to the point where 11 per cent of Australia’s CBD commercial office buildings are now Green Star certified.

Any person involved in a Green Star project will tell you that the certification process is stringent and demanding: the result is a rating that has genuine meaning in the marketplace. 

Buildings that have achieved a Green Star rating have independent verification that they adhere to international standards and codes to achieve better environmental outcomes.

What’s more, Green Star enables developers and property owners to access not only the energy and water savings resulting from green buildings, but also the marketing, leasing, productivity and ROI benefits that green buildings consistently deliver.

For instance, the owners of Australia’s first Green Star certified project at 8 Brindabella Circuit in Canberra say they could not put a financial figure on the amount of free publicity they received from their green building, both through their Green Star certification and subsequent environmental awards. In fact, with a waiting list of prospective tenants, the owners needed to rethink their marketing strategy.

In future, we’ll see the rating tools being used to validate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to earn carbon credits, obtain tax concessions and qualify for density bonuses or other trade-offs – in other words, rating your building can make you money.

So, are green rating tools a money-making scheme?  Ask any Green Star rated building’s owner and they’ll say ’you bet’.”

Romilly Madew is Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia.


What do you think? Continue the discussion by leaving your comments below.


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