Curtin University has been awarded Australia’s first 5 Star Green Star – Communities rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Western Australia’s largest university received the rating for its Master Plan, which will see its Bentley Campus developed into a ‘city of innovation’.

Green Star – Communities is one of the world’s first independent, transparent, national schemes designed to assess and certify the sustainability of large-scale master planned development projects.

According to the GBCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Romilly Madew, the Curtin University Master Plan was assessed against best practice benchmarks for governance and innovation, design excellence, environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and liveability.

“A 5 Star Green Star rating signifies ‘Australian Excellence’, sets new sustainability benchmarks for Australia’s universities, and provides Curtin University with independent proof that its vision will deliver environmental, economic and social sustainability,” Ms Madew says.

“We applaud the leadership demonstrated by Curtin University, and also acknowledge the hard work and commitment of the project team responsible for delivering this outstanding result,” Ms Madew adds.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry said the rating was an important endorsement of the University’s vision to transform its Bentley Campus through urban renewal and sustainable design.

“As a university we are continually striving to be leaders in research and education and the 5 Star Green Star – Communities rating validates our ambitions to develop a vibrant urban centre, while achieving our vision to change the world through innovation and excellence.

To be the first project in Australia to receive the rating is a significant achievement,” Professor Terry says.

James Rosenwax, AECOM Managing Director, Design, Planning + Economics, says: “The Curtin University Master Plan’s 5 Star Green Star Communities certification is a ringing endorsement of Curtin University’s commitment to sustainability; AECOM is proud to have been a part of what is an Australian first.

As the master planner consultant for the Curtin University Master Plan, AECOM worked with the University to embed sustainability through the design development, then work with the University on documenting and confirm its sustainability commitments within the Green Star – Communities rating tool.”

The Curtin Master Plan will see 114 hectares of the University’s Bentley Campus transformed through urban regeneration over a 20-year period. It supports an urban economy based on education, business, technology, housing, public transport, the arts and recreation.

Stage 1 of the Master Plan is underway. As part of Stage 1, Wesfarmers Court – a dynamic economic and innovative hub – was opened in December last year and was supported by listed company Wesfarmers.

“The Green Building Council of Australia believes that everyone should have the opportunity to learn in a green school, work in a green office, or live in a green home. We believe Green Star – Communities will provide the pathways to create sustainable places for everyone,” Ms Madew concludes.