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Green Star Buildings NZ

The latest version of Green Star for low carbon new buildings and major refurbishments to be introduced in 2024.

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Green Star Buildings NZ is the largest overhaul of the Green Star tool since its inception, and will replace Green Star Design & As Built NZ when it's introduced in 2024. 

Consultation on the next version of Green Star - Green Star Buildings NZ closed 29 September 2023. Thank you to all who provided feedback and have engaged with the team. We are working through the comments we've received and will be updating the tool based on your feedback. Watch this space for more updates as we prepare to launch in mid-2024

Introducing Green Star Buildings to Aotearoa New Zealand

First introduced by Green Building Council Australia in 2020, we've worked hard with our colleagues from the GBCA, under the guidance of the New Zealand Green Star Advisory Committee, and with technical support from the Expert Reference Panels (ERPs), to ensure it's suitable for the New Zealand market. We’ve tailored Green Star Buildings for the New Zealand market to localise for the regulatory environment, availability of products and specialised services, and to respect differences in our market, climate and culture. We also recognise the need to be true to Green Star and the expectations of our members in driving change.

Our goals

The New Zealand version of Green Star Buildings seeks to:

  • Establish a clear, well-defined entry point for best practice ratings

  • Set new levels of achievement for those committed to the highest possible levels of sustainability.

  • Introduce new categories and credits reflecting issues relevant to our market now and in the future

  • Further prioritising greater reductions in carbon emissions from the built environment

  • Create green building attributes for all Green Star rated buildings, driving wider market awareness and appreciation for the differences and benefits


A new benchmark

Green Star Buildings NZ  will introduce 16 minimum expectations that must be achieved by all projects to achieve a Green Star rating. These are aimed at ensuring all Green Star rated buildings meet a basic definition of a green building (energy efficient, water efficient, good healthy spaces, built responsibly, and on sites that are not critical natural areas).



We are grateful to have the support of industry leaders and experts to ensure Green Star Buildings delivers for the New Zealand market.



Since the initial round of consultation on Green Star Buildings NZ in October 2022, the NZGBC team has worked to develop the first draft of Green Star Buildings for Aotearoa New Zealand. The latest consultation document below highlights the changes made to develop a certification tool that supports a low carbon future while extending beyond traditional measures of environmental sustainability to recognise property and building owners, contractors and developers, and their wider project teams for initiatives in social governance.

Read the consultation document


Alongside the consultation document, we have outlined the changes involved in Green Star Buildings NZ. The gap analysis provides an overview of the difference between Design & As Built v1.1 and Green Star Buildings, as well as the changes that were made compared to the Australian version. The substitution credit document lists how the new Green Star Buildings credits can be applied to existing Design & As Built projects.

Gap analysis

Guidance on credit substitution


01 - Industry Development

The development facilitates industry transformation through partnership, collaboration, and data sharing.

02 - Responsible Construction

The builder’s construction practices reduce impacts and promote opportunities for improved environmental and social outcomes.

03 - Verification and handover

The building has been optimised and handed over to deliver a high level of performance in operation.

04 - Responsible Resource Management

Operational waste and resources can be separated and recovered in a safe and efficient manner.

05 - Responsible Procurement

The procurement process for key products, materials, and services for the building’s design and construction follows best practice environmental and social principles.

06 - Responsible Structure

07 - Responsible Envelope

08 - Responsible Systems

09 - Responsible Finishes

The building’s structure, Envelope, Systems and Finishes are comprised of responsibly manufactured products.

10 - Clean Air

Pollutants entering the building are minimised, and a high level of outdoor air is provided to ensure levels of indoor pollutants are maintained at acceptable levels.

11 - Light Quality

The building provides good daylight and its lighting is of high quality.

12 - Acoustic Comfort

The building provides acoustic comfort for building occupants.

13 - Exposure to Toxins

The building’s occupants are not directly exposed to toxins in the spaces they spend time in.

14 - Thermal Comfort and Amenity Spaces

The building provides a high level of thermal comfort and internal amenities that improve occupant experience of using the building.

15 - Connection to Nature

The building fosters connection to nature for building occupants.

16 - Climate Change Resilience

The building has been built to respond to the direct and indirect impacts of climate change.

17 - Operations Resilience

The building can respond to acute shocks and chronic stresses that can affect its operations over time.

18 - Community Resilience

The building can respond to acute shocks and chronic stresses that can affect its operations over time.

19 - Heat Resilience

The building reduces its impact on heat island effect.

20 - Grid Resilience

The building contributes to the functioning of the grid as it transitions to a higher level of renewable energy capacity.

21 - Upfront Carbon Emissions

The building's upfront carbon emissions from materials and products have been reduced and offset.

22 - Energy Use

The building has low energy consumption.

23 - Energy Source

The building's energy comes from renewables

24 - Remaining Carbon Emissions

The building's emissions from refrigerants, upfront carbon, and remaining carbon sources are eliminated or offset.

25 - Water Use

The building has low water use.

26 - Life Cycle Impacts

The building has lower environmental impacts from resource use over its lifespan than a typical building.

27 - Movement and Place

The building’s design and location encourage occupants and visitors to use active, low carbon, and public transport options instead of private vehicles.

28 - Enjoyable Places

The building provides places that are enjoyable and inclusive.

29 - Contribution to Place

The building’s design makes a positive contribution to the quality of the public environment.

30 - Culture, Heritage and Identity

The building reflects local culture, heritage, and identity.

31 - Inclusive Construction Practices

The builder’s construction practices promote diversity and reduces physical and mental health impacts.

32 - Indigenous Inclusion

The building celebrates Māori people, culture, and heritage.

33 - Procurement and Workforce Inclusion

The building’s construction facilitates workforce participation and economic development of disadvantaged and under-represented groups.

34 - Design for Inclusion

The building is welcoming to a diverse population and is welcoming to their needs.

35 - Impacts to Nature

Ecological value is conserved and protected.

36 - Biodiversity Enhancement

The building’s landscape enhances the biodiversity of the site

37 - Nature Connectivity

Wildlife movement is facilitated within and adjacent to the site.

38 - Nature Stewardship

Biodiversity is restored beyond the building site.

39 - Waterway Protection

Local waterways are protected, and the impacts of flooding and drought are reduced.


GBCA Responsible Products Framework

We are still in the process of setting reduction targets for the Energy Use credit that align with Science Based Targets. As part of this work we are also looking at setting absolute value targets (kWh/sqm), instead of comparative reductions. In collaboration with Beca we have begun the process of setting appropriate targets which will be added to future versions of Green Star Buildings NZ. Further information can be found in the below report.

Energy Benchmarking methodology

"It has been incredibly rewarding to participate and witness the comprehensive engagement and collaboration facilitated by the NZGBC on the evolution of the Green Star tool. We hope this tool will continue to support and facilitate sustainability objectives within the built environment of Aotearoa, New Zealand.
NDY are proud to have been part of this process as the technical partners to the NZGBC."

Shelly Thompson
NDY Senior Associate | New Zealand Sustainability Lead

Thanks to our technical partner NDY 

Localising Green Star Buildings to New Zealand is a significant step which wouldn't be possible without support from our partners who are donating their time and expertise over the next year as we dive into the detail. 



Thanks also to our Project management partner RDT Pacific