The Green Building Council of Australia has launched a new online tool for assessing the sustainability and environmental friendliness of the nation’s existing building stock.

The Green Star – Performance rating tool finally provides owners, managers and occupants with a convenient means of conducting holistic, ongoing assessments of the sustainability and efficiency of buildings.

Speaking at the launch of the new rating at the world-renowned Sydney Opera House, GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said the tool will be nothing short of a “game changer” for Australia’s property and facility management industries.

While the GBCA has focused for over a decade on applying the principles of green building to new and retrofitted properties, Green Star – Performance encompasses an even broader ambit.

“Green Star – Performance will help us tackle the far greater challenge of improving the efficiency of our existing building stock,” Madew said.

She pointed to widespread inefficiencies in the country’s existing built assets given its age and indifferent attitudes towards sustainability in the past.

Daniel Grollo and Romilly Madew, Green Star - Performance launch

Daniel Grollo and Romilly Madew, Green Star – Performance launch

“Most of Australia’s buildings were built at a time when little thought was given to issues such as energy efficiency, water use or indoor environment quality,” she said. “Green Star – Performance will enable us to transform these ‘brown’ buildings into the green buildings we need.”

The new rating was developed over a period of two years and involved an unprecedented level of cooperation with members of industry, including Australand, GPT Group, NDY, Brookfield Multiplex, Sustainability Victoria, Energetics and SEED.

It aspires to be comprehensive, and will be applicable to every type of building with the exception of single detached homes.

“Whether the building is a school, shopping centre, hotel or hospital, Green Star – Performance will help owners and managers to identify and upgrade performance, in areas such as energy, water, waste reduction and indoor environment quality,” said GBCA chair Daniel Grollo.

The ratings tool is accessible online and was designed with ease-of-use in mind, while the assessment process itself is both quick and cost effective.

The new tool is a key addition to the existing suite of Green Star ratings systems, which already provide owners and occupants with the means to assess the sustainability credentials of a broad swathe of building types, including educational facilities, medical centres, offices, retail complexes, and multi-unit residential developments.