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DES 70 | February 2007

Sustainability Rating Tools – A snapshot study

Dr Usha Iyer-Raniga and Kendra Wasiluk

Worldwide, there are over one hundred tools dealing with various aspects of sustainability.  The aspects of sustainability included in the rating tools are different, as are the stages at which rating tools are used in the planning and design, and post construction stages of different building types.  This paper presents a snapshot of various rating tools for sustainability nationally and internationally and presents rating tools that are relevant for Australia.  The research process was a literature review using various primary and secondary sources, including the internet.

The Building Code of Australia determines minimum regulatory standards for buildings nationally.  However, there are state based variations covered in the Building Code of Australia Appendices for various jurisdictions around Australia.  The paper explains which rating tools are required to meet the minimum standards for certification and which represent best practice.

The first section is the introduction where the role of the BCA and the ABCB is explained.  This is followed by a brief overview of the rating tools globally. The next section describes Australian tools and reviews what is available in the residential sector followed by voluntary tools and product and LCA tools.  This is followed by discussions and conclusion.  A 'Rating Tools Rundown' is presented as Appendix A, which captures the intent of relevant Australian tools and their applications.

** This design note has been updated in two parts - click on links as below ** 

Residential Building Sustainability Rating Tools in Australia, August 2014

Non-Residential Building Environmental Rating Tools – A Review of the Australian Market, March 2016

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