Preparing Green Star As Built Submission Documentation

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Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
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To ensure your documentation for the Green Star As Built submission is in order, the management of templates and processes need to be in place.

Currently, guidance and templates for management of documentation collection are not provided by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). It is expected, however, that Green Star Accredited Professionals (GSAP) will already have processes in place.

The first step in managing Green Star As Built deliverables is to understand what the particular project strategy is. Once this is established, credits can then be assigned to the respective parties responsible for delivering the strategy. Ideally, the Green Star process should be owned by at least one person within the head contractor’s organisation who understands the Green Star Rating system, the building delivery process, and importantly, has good resource management skills. It is not recommended that this is a role for a new graduate or cadet in anything other than a support role.

The Green Star As Built submission process is undertaken digitally, and it is therefore highly recommended that all documents be collected digitally, or scanned and saved when received. Some hard copy document types can fade over time and this can be an issue, particularly on large, long-term projects. The Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) appointed assessors will only assess documents if they are legible.

The GBCA provides templates for the respective credits for the actual submission, which all projects can use. They do not, however, provide guidance for the collection or management of the documents during the construction phase. This is the responsibility of the head contractor and the project’s appointed GSAP. As no two submissions will be managed in exactly the same way, it is important to carefully and clearly define the project particular document responsibilities for the team members. The GSAP will need to ensure that all the requested documentation for each respective credit has been allocated and agreed with the relevant parties within the project team to ensure the information is collected on time.

The following suggested templates can be used to manage the collection process.

The Credit and Responsibilities Matrix clearly lists the credits relevant to the project’s Green Star rating, and cross-references them with the project contractors. Consultation between the head contractor and the GSAP can allocate the responsible contractors against the credits. If more detail is required, say on a larger or more complex project, this matrix can also be used to drill down to specific document requirements and inputs. From experience, this more detailed matrix version is best managed as a separate document because of its relative complexity and detail.

This matrix approach clearly conveys who is responsible for the relevant credits as well as supporting effective management of information and correspondence, without overwhelming every contractor with requirements that are irrelevant to them.

The Documentation Management Matrix follows on from the Credit and Responsibilities Matrix. It provides further detail on every document, showing who is responsible for each credit and for collecting the required documentation. This matrix can help establish responsibilities and can be used to manage document submission dates across the project.

Those documents that can be provided at the start of the project should be identified and collected as soon as possible. These include, but are not limited to, evidence of benchmark compliance, manufacturer’s data sheets, specifications, Environmental Management Plans, Third Party certificates, and locational documents such as site plans and public transport. This will help to reduce the volume of documents being submitted when the project is near or post completion. Other documents that can be collected during construction should be; in particular those of contractors, whose scopes such as demolition and in-ground works, occur early in the program and have no ongoing or later works.

The majority of documents for a Green Star As Built submission can only be closed off post-completion. These include commissioning data sheets, as-constructed drawings and a range of short reports. The Documentation Management Matrix will help to clearly document close-off dates and responsibilities, and will support the efficient collection and closing off of all relevant evidence. It should serve as the primary documentation management tool throughout the whole Green Star As Built process.

A Compliant Material Sheet should be completed at the beginning of the construction stage to ensure that, prior to products and materials being used on-site (e.g. adhesives, sealants, PVC), evidence of compliance is first presented and approved by the head contractor. It can then be updated throughout the project if required.

A Material Sheet should be created for each relevant credit. It requires each contractor to list the documents for the materials intended for use, their respective compliance benchmarks and supporting evidence of this. The provision of these templates to subcontractors will help to keep submissions consistent across the project, help avoid the ‘greenwashing’ of documents, and can assist in the management of documents throughout the project, particularly in some cases where there is a change of project personnel.

The Contractor’s Materials Usage Summary is used for credits that require quantities of compliant (and sometimes non-compliant) materials, including but not limited to PVC, VOC, formaldehyde and concrete. Although it is not specified as a procedure within the GBCA process, experience shows that requiring contractors to provide progressive quantities of materials used either on a monthly or bi-monthly basis can significantly reduce the difficulty of establishing final quantity summaries for the reports. If quantities are not accurately tracked, some projects may find that they are no longer eligible to claim the credit when a contractor uses a large quantity of non-compliant materials, even though it was set out within specifications.

Management templates such as the ones mentioned above can be created and used again later for future projects. These templates do not guarantee that a rating will be achieved, but they can significantly assist the project team in the accurate and efficient tracking of documentation, which is a fundamental aspect of any successful Green Star As Built Rating.

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