Non-residential building environmental rating tools – a review of the Australian market

Sustainable Buildings Research Centre. The project was awarded a 6 Star Green StarThis note was reviewed and approved for currency in November 2018.

There are a number of environmental rating tools for non-residential buildings in the Australian market. Some rate a project based on its design features, whereas others focus purely on actual performance. Several tools are mandatory in Australia and others provide international marketing opportunity. Selecting the most suitable tool for any particular project can be a difficult exercise. This paper examines the most prevalent tools in the Australian market, summarising their application, method of rating, approximate costs and timing impacts. The tools are reviewed for their suitability for various project types and guidance is provided on selecting the most appropriate rating scheme.

Tools examined in this paper include: NABERS, Green Star, BREEAM, LEED, Living Building Challenge, One Planet Living, PassivHaus, WELL Building Standard, eTool and NCC section J.

This paper updates information from 'Sustainability Rating Tools: A snapshot study', (Iyer-Raniga and Wasiluk 2007) and can be read as a companion piece to ‘Residential building sustainability rating tools in Australia’, July 2023.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Major tools
  3. Green Star
  4. LEED
  5. BREEM
  6. Living Building Challenge
  7. Other tools
  8. WELL Building standard
  9. NCC section J
  10. Discussion
  11. Conclusion