Sustainability has established solid roots within the Australian property sector, as evidenced by a sharp rise in the number of Green Star certified projects in 2014.

Sustainability and efficiency continue to gain in prominence within Australia’s property and construction sectors, with the number of Green Star projects certified by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) rising significantly in just the past year.

According to the latest figures from the GBCA a total of 150 Green Star projects were certified in 2014, an increase of more than 40 per cent compared to the 105 projects that were certified in the preceding year.

GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew said that the rise in certification numbers is significant of deep-rooted paradigm shift in the Australian property and building industries, as opposed to just a faddish or ephemeral trend.

“This 43 per cent increase in certifications in the last year is a reminder to the industry that efficiency, productivity and sustainability are here to stay,” said Madew. “Green Star is influencing the design and construction of schools and shopping centres, hospitals and hotels, libraries, law courts, apartments, aquatic centres, and everything from small inner-city projects to large-scale developments that will one day have their own postcodes.”

According to Madew efforts to make the accreditation process simpler and more user friendly also played a significant role in increasing the number of  certified projects, as evidence by the dramatic increase in the number of projects that managed to obtain certification during the first flush of assessment.

“The number of project teams achieving their Green Star rating in Round 1 has grown dramatically in the last year – reflecting the extensive work we’ve undertaken to make Green Star easier to use,” said Madew. “Thirteen per cent of certifications were achieved in Round 1 in 2014, compared with just one per cent two years ago.”

Australia is currently host to a total of 796 Green Star certified projects, while a further 392 projects are registered to obtain ratings.

Lend Lease continues to remain the clear-cut leader in Australia when it comes to Green Star certifications, with a total of eight certified ratings in 2014 for projects including Library at the Dock in Melbourne and the T2 commercial tower at Sydney’s Barangaroo.

The developer has a a total of 16 Green Star projects that are active – the largest number for any single company, as well as 747,181 square metres of Green Star certified space.

Frasers-Australand also put in a stellar performance in terms of green building and sustainable development, with a  total of 12 Green Star projects registered in 2014.

The company currently has a total of 14 Green Star projects in the works, while also achieving international renown this year for its Green Star-certified One Central Park, which was named the “Best Tall Building in the World” for 2014.