The GBCA has announced a new round of “rulings” for its Green Star 2014 program that could save up to $50,000 in certification costs for building owners.

The GBCA regularly updates Green Star ‘rulings’ to keep up to date with the evolving property and construction industry and encourage best industry practice, but the recent changes also respond to regular feedback received to the GBCA concerning the high expenses associated with obtaining credits that require complex modelling.

In addition, the GBCA hopes the updated rulings will provide alternative methods for meeting credit requirements while streamlining the rating tools and certification process.

“These rulings provide alternative methods for showing compliance and reduce documentation and modelling of building performance,” said GBCA executive director of Green Star technical development and operations Jorge Chapa. “We gathered feedback from the industry about the expense associated with credits that require complex modelling, particularly the ‘Daylight’, ‘Thermal Comfort’ and ‘Air Change Effectiveness’ credits.”

Jorge Chapa

Jorge Chapa, GBCA Executive Director – Green Star Technical Development and Operations

“New rulings for these three credits provide alternative methods of compliance, and are estimated to save projects between $36,000 and $50,000,” he added.

Of the feedback received, the credits have been updated for the three categories that were deemed the most costly. The Daylight, Thermal Comfort and Air Change Effectiveness categories now reflect a potential savings ranging from $36,000 to $50,000.

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Six more rulings will enable credits to be automatically awarded when a Green Star Design-certified project moves to the As Built phase (which assesses the same criteria but upon building completion) with the potential to save up to $4,650 in documentation costs.

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A further 10 rulings will further reduce the documentation that is required to demonstrate compliance with Green Star credits.

According to the GBCA, this update can help companies save up to $6,000 depending on the size and complexity of the project.

“The GBCA is committed to ensuring that Green Star delivers consistent and cost-effective results, is intuitive and interactive and requires less time and effort when it comes to documentation,” Chapa said. “The new rulings complement a range of projects, such as taking Green Star online, developing easy-to-use submission templates and transforming the Innovation category, and we’re working hard to ensure Green Star continues to evolve and improve.”