Green infrastructure rating system launched

The Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) has launched the first national scheme for rating infrastructure sustainability

By Anna Game-Lopata | March 2, 2012

The Australian Green Infrastructure Council (AGIC) has launched the first national scheme for rating infrastructure sustainability.

Formed in 2008, AGIC is made up of industry professionals from more than 80 organisations, many of which helped develop the new scheme.

With a leg-up of $500,000 from the Federal Government, the new Infrastructure Sustainability Rating Scheme (IS) will be able to rate everything from railways to ports and harbours, sewers, drains and cycleways.

Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese, who launched the scheme, says it will be for infrastructure what the Green Star Rating Tool is for the building industry.

"It will help us assess the quality of management systems, the process of procurement and purchasing, how a piece of infrastructure can adapt to climate change and what it will discharge into land, air and water," he says.

"It will even help us rate its contribution to urban and landscape design, and our well-being and safety."

In order to receive full credits, projects must address all 12 of the Federal Government’s Urban Design Protocol criteria, launched last November, and then be ticked off by an independent reviewer.

As a voluntary scheme, participants will be required to employ a combination of methods and tools to create better, more sustainable ways of designing, building and operating infrastructure which can then be marked with a rating level.

"The rating scheme will also provide a common language to rank the sustainability of our infrastructure and a common benchmark for monitoring, reporting and improvement," Minister Albanese says.

"This scheme will also add clarity to the tendering process and help reduce waste and cost."

Under the Federal Government’s
National Urban Policy, funding for future road and rail projects must be consistent with its key objectives of productivity, sustainability and liveability.

The Urban Design Protocol—Creating Places for People,
aims to foster a higher standard of urban design and architecture in Australian towns and cities.

Since its launch last year, the Creating Places website has been viewed almost 100,000 times.

AGIC says it is already talking about the scheme to a number of its project partners who have received significant Federal government funding for infrastructure projects.

These include the Regional Rail Link in Victoria and the Gold Coast Light Rail.

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