In recent years, the sustainability concept has found a fertile soil in fields related to the built environment. As a matter of fact, diverse disciplines like regional planning and architectural design have developed a wide range of methodologies for the implementation of sustainable design strategies. One of the most interesting trends in this field has been the recent focus in measuring the environmental performance of buildings, the so-called building rating systems. However with up to 70% of the world’s population concentrated in urban areas by 2050, building assessment methods, which were often associated with measuring the energy performance of a single building, offered a good basis for elaborating a new scheme for urban scale assessment. The current design practices, where practitioners and other stakeholders try to “intuitively” extend building assessment methods to urban neighborhoods by paying more attention to building’s surroundings, forget that one main issue of increased complexity in assessment methods is the extension of their scope to the urban context. Some attempts are made to bring on the market rating systems, which scope is the neighborhood or even the city as a whole, e.g. “BREEAM Communities” in the UK and the “LEED for Neighborhood Development” in the US. Building from that experience, the Green Star Communities (GSC) rating tool is being developed by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) to promote best practice sustainable community projects. The following paper will track the stages of definition and implementation of such tool.
|Keywords:||Sustainable Communities, Building Rating Systems, LEED, BREEAM, Green Star|
PhD Candidate, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Chile