Published: 5 March 2012
Infrastructure gets star-rating treatment
A new national sustainability rating scheme for infrastructure – similar to the Green Star rating scheme now used for commercial building certification – should help Australia reduce the environmental footprint of structures like airports, roads, bridges, paths, ports, cable networks, water and sewage systems.
Similar to the Green Buildings Green Star rating scheme, the new sustainability infrastructure assessment tool will drive innovations to make infrastructure more environmentally friendly. William Jolly Bridge, Brisbane.
Credit: Greg van Slyke
The scheme was developed by the Australian Green Infrastructure Council, which comprises more than 80 members employing 70 000 people.
‘AGIC’s Infrastructure Sustainability rating scheme (IS rating scheme) is designed to drive innovation, contribute to risk reduction and validate industry achievements through independent certification,’ said AGIC Chairman, David Singleton.
‘The scheme is comprised of the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating tool, a formal assessment process, rating certification and education program.
‘It has been four years in development and is designed to continuously improve environmental, social and economic outcomes across the design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure projects and assets.’
Infrastructure types that are covered by the scheme include transport, water and wastewater, energy and communication. Projects and assets will be rated on a 100-point scale. An IS rating in the range of 25–49 is Good practice, 50–74 is Excellent practice and 75–100 is Leading practice.
Mr Singleton likened AGIC’s IS rating to the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star rating.
‘Just as Green Star has changed building design and functionality, we envisage the IS rating scheme will change the design, construction and performance of Australia’s infrastructure.
‘With a common sustainability framework, potential investors can begin to quantify Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects of a project or asset, achieving appropriate value attribution as well as identification of cost risk and cost reduction.
‘An infrastructure asset that is designed for optimum performance over its lifecycle provides a stronger platform to attract investment. ‘