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Green Credentials For Commercial Buildings: A Comprehensive Guide

Sustainability has become a alarming concern in recent years, with more and more people becoming aware of the impact that human activity has on the environment.

Commercial landlords in Australia have a critical role to play in driving sustainability and reducing the environmental impact of their buildings. 

Tenants and investors are seeking environmentally responsible buildings that can help them minimise their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. 

As a commercial landlord, making your properties sustainable through NABERS rating not only benefits the environment but also enhances the economic value of your buildings. In this blog, we will explore various ways that commercial landlords can make their properties sustainable in Australia. 

Are you venturing into residential development? You can always advertise green standards by acquiring a BASIX certificate for your residential project.  

What are Green Credentials?

Green credentials for buildings in Australia are certifications and standards that demonstrate a building’s commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility. The following are some of the most widely recognized green credentials for buildings in Australia:

 Green Star Certification

The Green Building Council of Australia (commonly known as GBCA) launched this rating system for buildings, which evaluates a building’s environmental performance in areas such as energy and water efficiency, indoor environment quality, and sustainable materials. Buildings can earn a rating of between 1 and 6 stars, with a 6-star rating being the highest.

NABERS Energy and Water Ratings

The National Australian Built Environment Rating System or NABERS is a performance-based rating system that measures the environmental performance of commercial buildings. NABERS Energy and Water ratings provide an assessment of a building’s energy and water efficiency and are expressed as a star rating.

Passive House Certification

The Passive House standard is a performance-based sustainability certification system that focuses on achieving energy efficiency through airtightness, insulation, and ventilation. Buildings that meet the Passive House standard can achieve energy savings of up to 90% compared to conventional buildings.

With Passive designs for commercial buildings, you can acquire a 6-star NABERS rating.

Why Should You Consider Getting Green Credentials For Your Commercial Building?

  • Sustainability: Green credentials demonstrate a building’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its impact on the environment. In today’s world, where environmental concerns are growing, sustainability is becoming a critical factor in the decision-making process for tenants, investors, and other stakeholders.
  • Cost savings: Green credentials such as the NABERS rating can help commercial buildings achieve significant cost savings through energy and water efficiency measures. For example, buildings that achieve a high Green Star rating may see a reduction in energy and water bills, which can translate into significant cost savings over time.
  • Health and well-being: Green credentials can also contribute to the health and well-being of property occupants. Green buildings typically have better air quality, natural lighting, and ventilation, which can lead to improved productivity and reduced absenteeism.
  • Compliance: Increasingly, green credentials are becoming mandatory requirements for commercial buildings. For example, the NABERS rating is legally mandatory for commercial developers, project owners, or building managers under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure (BEED) Act 2010.
  • Marketing and branding: Green credentials can be a powerful marketing and branding tool for commercial buildings. A building with a high Green Star rating or other green credentials can differentiate itself in the market and attract tenants who prioritize sustainability.
  • Increased rental and resale value: Buildings with green credentials, such as NABERS energy rating, typically have lower operating costs, which can translate into higher rental and resale values. Tenants are willing to pay a premium rent for buildings that are energy-efficient, water-efficient, and environmentally responsible.
  • Improved occupancy rates: Green credentials can improve a building’s occupancy rates by attracting tenants who prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Buildings with green credentials, such as a NABERS rating, may have a competitive advantage over similar buildings that lack green credentials.

5 Ways To Earn Green Credentials For Your Commercial Project

By following these strategies, commercial landlords can create eco-friendly buildings that attract tenants and investors while also contributing to a more sustainable future.

Install Solar Panels

One of the most easiest ways to make a commercial property sustainable is by installing solar panels. Solar panels can help to reduce energy consumption and decrease reliance on non-renewable energy sources. 

Installing solar cells on the roof of a commercial property can provide a significant source of renewable energy, which can be used to power the building’s lighting, heating, and cooling systems.

Solar panels can also help with the NatHERS rating in the BASIX certificate for residential development. 

Install Energy-Efficient Lighting

Another effective way to make a commercial property sustainable is by installing energy-efficient lighting. Energy-efficient lighting, such as LED lights, can use up to 75% less energy than traditional lighting. 

By replacing traditional lighting with energy-efficient lighting, commercial landlords can reduce their energy consumption, earn a good NABERS energy rating, and save money on their energy bills.

Install Smart HVAC Systems

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) facilities can be a significant sources of energy consumption in commercial buildings. 

However, installing smart HVAC systems can help to reduce energy consumption and enhance the sustainability of a commercial property. 

Smart HVAC systems use sensors to detect occupancy and adjust temperature and airflow accordingly, reducing energy consumption and increasing comfort.

Use Sustainable Building Materials

Using sustainable building materials is another way to make commercial property sustainable. Sustainable building materials are made from renewable resources and have a lower environmental impact than traditional building materials. 

Examples of sustainable building materials include bamboo, recycled steel, and reclaimed wood.

Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures

Water conservation is another important aspect of sustainability. Installing low-flow water fixtures, such as faucets, toilets, and showers can help to reduce water consumption and save money on water bills. 

Low-flow water fixtures can use up to 60% less water than traditional fixtures, making them an effective way to make commercial property sustainable. This strategy can be useful in increasing NABERS rating for water usage. 

Build Green Today For A Better Tomorrow

As a society, we’ve a responsibility to build a more sustainable future, and commercial landlords play a crucial role in this effort. By working together, we can craft a more sustainable built environment that benefits not only the planet but also our communities and economies.

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