Technical Clarification

Submission General Section - New Build

Technical Clarification Number 


In addition to the documentation which must be submitted as per the 'Documentation Requirements' stipulated for each credit, the project Green Star SA submissions (both Round 1 and Round 2) must contain a 'General Section' containing the following information:

Project overview document which provides a brief summary and description of the project. This need not be detailed, however should contain enough information to allow the Assessors to become familiar with the project prior to the assessment (a project brief would suffice).

Project program document clearly demonstrating the key dates of 'Schematic Design', 'Design Development', 'Contract Documentation', Tender, Construction Commencement and Practical Completion.

Architectural drawings clearly issued 'For Tender', 'For Construction' or 'As Built' (as appropriate), including the following:

- Plan drawings of all levels (typical drawings may be submitted), marked-up to show the Occupied Space for each level;
- Elevation drawings of all facades
- Section drawings (where applicable)

Building services drawings clearly issued 'For Tender', For Construction' or 'As Built' (as appropriate), including the following;
- Mechanical services drawings;
- Electrical services drawings; and,
- Wet services drawings.

Where a building service is included on the architectural drawings (above) it is not necessary to re-submit.

Site documentation comprising of either;
- A site plan identifying the existing building(s) or structure(s) (if present), the extent of both the development footprint and the boundary of the project site (for the purposes of the Green Star SA submission) and the erf size;
- An aerial photograph identifying the existing building(s) or structure(s) (if present), the extent of both the development footprint and boundary of the project site (for the purposes of the Green Star SA submission) and the erf size.

Area schedule identifying the development area parameters, including the site area, development footprint area, landscape area, building footprint area, Gross Floor Area (GFA), and Occupied Space/Usable Area. This information must correlate with that entered into the 'Building Input' page of the Green Star Rating Tool spreadsheet.

Rating tool spreadsheet in the form of the spreadsheet file, with all credits and calculators completed(as applicable).

GBCSA correspondence between the GBCSA and the Project Team pertaining to general queries, Eligibility Rulings, Technical Clarifications (TCs) or Credit Interpretation Requests (CIRs).

Applicant Declaration & Pre-Submission Checklist as contained in the rating tool spreadsheet, completed and signed where appropriate.

Project Teams must ensure that all documentation above is included in the 'General' section of the submission. Submissions lacking this information will not pass the pre-assessment submission quality review and will be returned to the project team.


Technical Clarification

Revised Innovation points: 10 Innovation points + additional 5 SEC Innovation points (15 in total) 

Technical Clarification Number 




Projects can only submit and achieve up to a total of 10 Innovation points + additional *5 SEC Innovation points (15 in total) for:

  • Office v1.1 submissions (in South Africa and all other African countries for which Local Context Reports have been written) 
  • CUSTOM Tool submissions
  • Retail v1 submissions (in South Africa and all other African countries for which Local Context Reports have been written)
  • PEB v1 submissions (in South Africa and all other African countries for which Local Context Reports have been written)
  • MUR v1 submissions (in South Africa and all other African countries for which Local Context Reports have been written)
  • Interiors v1 submissions (in South Africa and all other African countries for which Local Context Reports have been written)

* This is in addition to a project SEC rating i.e. a project can achieve a SEC rating. The 5 SEC Innovation points are provided to promote and recognise the extra ordinary effort that projects go to achieve SEC points.


Technical Clarification
General – Partial Fit-out

Erratum Number


To enable Partially Fitted Out projects to achieve As Built certification under the New Build Green Star tools, the GBCSA provide 2 compliance paths for project teams to choose from:

1. The GBCSA will allow projects extensions on Eligibility Criterion 4: Timing of Certification, until the project is fully tenanted. Each project is to submit an Eligibility/Extension Request at the appropriate time via Zendesk, detailing which spaces are not yet fitted out and what the property owner’s plan is to complete these with a proposed timeline.
(This is for those projects where the remaining Tenant Fit Outs will NOT be undertaken as a continuation of the base build main contractor scope of works, as Practical Completion is technically only after the base build main contractor scope of works is complete)

2. The GBCSA will allow projects that are 80% fitted out (i.e. 80% of the UA is fitted out) to submit a legally binding Green Lease, that will form a part of any Tenant Lease and contains the correct credit criteria, to confirm that the remaining 20% will be fitted out to meet the credit criteria. The GBCSA will require a copy of the Green Lease as well as a letter from the project owner confirming that the lease will be applied to all tenancies within the 20% of UA not yet fitted out. The project is to submit the leases upon signature by the Tenant to the GBCSA (post certification). As per the current Certification Agreement, the GBCSA has the right to withdraw a certification, and the GBCSA will do this if the appropriate signed lease is not in place at the time of the completed fit out. 


Technical Clarification

For Tender or Shop drawings

Technical Clarification Number 



The GBCSA confirm that it is acceptable in terms of Green Star SA to provide either "For Tender" or "Shop drawing(s)" drawings in your Green Star SA project Design Submission.


Technical Clarification

Exclusion of Confirmation from the contractor letter(s)

Technical Clarification Number 



(REPLACES GEN00-T-OB1-1383 issued 2016-04-29)

The exclusion of Confirmation from the contractor letter(s) from the submission is conditionally approved for the credits listed below. 

The approval of this TC is contingent on the project team providing other As Built documentation, e.g. As Built Drawing(s) or Schedule(s), that show compliance with the documentation requirement(s) for, Confirmation from the contractor letter(s) for each of the following credits, as listed below:

  • IEQ-4     Daylight
  • IEQ-5     Daylight Glare Control
  • ENE-3     Lighting power density
  • IEQ-6     High frequency ballasts
  • ENE-4    Lighting Zoning
  • TRA-3    Cyclist Facilities
  • TRA-5    Local Connectivity
  • WAT-1   Occupant Amenity Water
  • MAT-4    Integrated Fit-out
  • MAT-5   Concrete
  • MAT-6   Steel
  • MAT-8   Sustainable Timber
  • EMI-1    Refrigerant/ Gaseous ODP


Credit Interpretation Request
As Built Element(s) forming part of Base Build submissions (Not an option for Design Ratings)

Credit Interpretation Request Number


GBCSA confirms that an element outside the Base Building can/may form part of the submission even though it was not part of the Base Build scope, as the GBCSA’s objective is to promote sustainable development and the transition of the property industry towards sustainability by promoting green building programs, technologies and design practices.

If the project team chooses to do so, the following would need to comply:

  • There has to be consistency throughout the submission regarding the proposed element(s), the proposed element(s) cannot be selectively applied to individual credits, it has to be equally applied to all relevant credit(s), AND
  • Meeting credit criteria and compliance of the element(s) in all the relevant credit(s) will be determined by the Assessors during the Round 1 or Round 2 is submitted.


Technical Clarification
Clarity on Innovation Points
Applicable to INN-1, INN-2, INN-3

Technical Clarification Number




Technical Clarification

As built documentation for a Design submission - updated

Technical Clarification Number

(REPLACES GEN00-T-OB1-0566 issued 2012-09-11)


Green Star SA awards buildings at two phases, the DESIGN and AS BUILT stage with certifications where the required criteria has been achieved of the specific rating the project has been registered for. The DESIGN stage certification awards the project team’s design as instructed to the contractor and the AS BUILT rewards the final constructed Green Star SA registered building.

Green Star SA assessors are instructed to assess buildings under ONE of these rating types (Design OR As Built), and as such the GBCSA will not accept AS BUILT documentation as part of the DESIGN submission.

(The GBCSA are happy to accept isolated cases of As Built evidence for a Design rating, but are not comfortable where this occurs on many credits because this should then have been an As Built rating.

 This will be case specific, please submit your TC/CIR to the GBCSA for consideration.)

The GBCSA are not able to allow the precedent of accepting both Design and As Built documentation within one submission as this could have unintended consequences including but not limited to the following:
• Confusion and complexity in assessment through the misalignment in documentation and the stage at which the documentation was produced.
• The Design certification may not be a true reflection of the building’s design. I.e. projects can be awarded for designing in accordance with certification requirements even if this was not achieved in the design process.
• Projects completing Design ratings after practical completion in order to submit As Built documents where the Design criteria is not met.

For this reason the GBCSA encourages project teams to register for an AS BUILT certification so as to be awarded for those instances where the project team has gone beyond their contractual obligations that were agreed upon during the DESIGN phase.


Technical Clarification

Assessment timeframes

Technical Clarification Number 



The GBCSA confirm that:

- The standard Round 1 Assessment process is 7 weeks (from AP submission to GBCSA issuing the results).
- The standard Round 2 Assessment process is 5 weeks (from AP submission to GBCSA issuing the results).

This clarification applies to all New Build projects, irrespective of their date of registration.


Technical Clarification

Exclusion of Confirmation from the contractor letter(s)

Technical Clarification Number 



(Superceded GEN00-T-OFF1.1-1822)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Technical Clarification

Base Building Scope definition

Technical Clarification Number


The GBCSA confirms that Base Building Scope is defined as:

All elements of the building which are to be completed as per the Base Building Contract (which are under the direct control of the building owner, to deliver either a new building or an extensive refurbishment).

As a minimum this scope must include the following elements:
· All new structural elements of the building
· A complete façade / new building envelope
· Central HVAC services including: completed HVAC equipment to serve common areas, risers and HVAC equipment (e.g. ducting) to within 1m of risers on tenanted floors
· Building Services to all common areas and provided to within 1m of risers on tenant
· Lighting to common areas
· Finishes (floor coverings, wall coverings and ceilings) to common areas
· Bathroom amenities
· Service corridors, fire stairs and lifts

As a maximum (i.e. For projects where the final building, including fitout, is delivered within a single contract) the base building scope could include:
· All structural elements of the building
· A complete façade
· Central HVAC services including: HVAC equipment to all areas, risers, all HVAC equipment (e.g. air, cooling and heating provisions) to entire building
· Building Services to entire building
· Lighting to entire building
· Finishes (floor coverings, wall coverings and ceilings) to entire building
· Bathroom amenities
· Service corridors, fire stairs and lifts
· Furniture

It is expected that the majority of projects will sit somewhere on the continuum between these scopes, and in many cases this may vary within the building depending on the agreement with individual tenants.

The project team/GSSA AP is to clearly define the project specific Base Building Scope within the General section for each submission; the defined scope must remain consistent across the entire submission.



Technical Clarification

Design Specification(s) and Short Report(s)

Technical Clarification Number
GEN00-T-OB1-1301 (UPDATED)


For a design rating where product(s) have not yet been specified at the projects tender stage, a performance specification requiring that all relevant product(s) comply with the credit criteria is acceptable. The complete credit criteria, including relevant additional guidance details, must be included in the generic performance specification.  Where products are yet to be confirmed/ specified, this should be stated in the short report. 

This applies to the following credits in particular: 

  • IEQ-13 Volatile Organic Compounds 
  • IEQ-14 Formaldehyde Minimisation 
  • MAT-8 Sustainable Timber
  • EMI-4 Insulant ODP 
  • EMI-7 Light Pollution: It is acceptable to submit a short report and relevant EMI-07 performance specification only i.e. the Luminaire Schedule and Tender drawings will not be required where the products have not yet been specified.  Please note, that where a component of criteria can be demonstrated (e.g. external lighting / atrium lighting / façade lighting) , then this principle will only apply to those components for which compliance cannot be demonstrated. Where a component of credit criteria can be demonstrated, then the project team is required to submit documentation as per the Technical Manual and documentation requirements for those components.



Technical Clarification

As Built or Record drawings

Technical Clarification Number


The GBCSA confirm that it is acceptable in terms of Green Star SA to provide either "As Built" or "Record" drawings in your Green Star SA project As Built Submission.
The GBCSA provides the following clarification in this regard:

The American Institute of Architects defines:
Record drawings: Record drawings are prepared by the architect and reflect on-site changes the contractor noted in the as-built drawings. They are often compiled as a set of on-site changes made for the owner per the owner architect contract.

In the South African context the industry typically uses the term “As Built” drawings to describe what “Record” drawings are (as defined above), and thus both of these are acceptable when describing the status of a drawing in the title block, in the context of a Green Star SA As Built submission. Hand marked up drawings are not accepted for As Built or Record drawings in a Green Star SA submission.



Technical Clarification

Typical Floor Plan submission for multi-storey buildings - motivation

Technical Clarification Number


In line with TCE GEN0_T-OB1-446 (issued on 2012-05-22), projects making use of typical layouts or floor plans need to provide a motivation. The GBCSA provides the following clarification with regards to the motivation required:


Project teams are to motivate that their typical layouts are representative of the rest of the building by indicating that the equipment used in the typical layouts will be used in a similar fashion throughout (same HVAC system, no significant variation in fitting types,  similar density of fittings, outlets etc.) and referencing other project documentation like specifications, tenant lease specifications and equipment/lighting schedules that are consistent with what has been indicated on the typical layout. Where there might be a significant change in density of equipment (e.g. influencing air flow rates adjacent to highly glazed areas, highly cellular spaces) – it is to be demonstrated that this is accounted for in the typical layouts or the inputs in to the relevant credit adjusted based on a conservative quantified manner.

Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request


Powered by Zendesk