Brisbane’s STARS becomes nation’s first hospital with 5 Star Green Star Performance rating

13 March 2024

Tags: Media

Herston Quarter’s 182 bed Surgical Treatment and Rehabilitation Service (STARS) has become the first hospital in Australia to receive a 5 Star Green Star Performance rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for Australian excellence in building operations.

The 5 Star Green Star Performance rating measures performance across categories including, indoor environment, energy, transport, water, materials, land use & ecology, emissions and innovation.

It recognises STARS’ building innovations and operations, which includes energy and water efficient systems and processes, effective waste management, architectural design that optimises air flow and thermal performance, protection of environmentally significant surrounding areas and proximity to public transport.

Hospitals face several unique challenges in their efforts to reduce carbon and waste, but Davina Rooney, Chief Executive Officer of Green Building Council of Australia, says STARS offers the Australian market a proof-of-concept healthcare asset with exemplary operations.

"STARS has set a new standard in the Australian health sector for energy and water consumption, thermal insulation and decreased operational emissions. We commend and thank Australian Unity, the operator and the landlord for this leadership and we look forward to seeing how STARS continuously improves its performance while inspiring other health care facilities to do the same," she said.

Nicole Plant, Assistant Fund Manager-Healthcare Property at Australian Unity said the 5 Star rating is the result of successful collaboration between Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust as landlord, STARS operator Metro North Health and facility manager Cushman & Wakefield.

“To receive an internationally recognised and independently verified certification for STARS is thanks to Australian Unity and Metro North Health’s close working relationship and our joint commitment to delivering greener, more sustainable healthcare infrastructure for our community. The rating offers a case study in green hospital building and operations for other Australian hospital owners wanting to assess the sustainability of their operations.”

Ms Kellie Williams, Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Manager, Metro North Health, said there is a growing body of evidence concluding that healthier hospitals lead to better patient outcomes, and a safer, more productive and enjoyable place to work. Hospital sustainability is key to reducing emissions associated with healthcare and achieving net zero targets.”

“It’s pleasing to see STARS recognised for its innovative building design and operational excellence, as well as public transport connectivity and a variety of amenities provided across the Herston Quarter precinct. These are features that benefit the city of Brisbane, as well as the clinicians, patients and their families coming through our doors.”

Simon Ng, Senior Manager of Sustainability at Colliers advised Australian Unity on its submission.

Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust is progressing a number of other sustainability initiatives across its $3.7 billion property portfolio including the installation of smart metering and data platforms to improve reporting on environmental performance, property specific NetZero transition plans for capital planning and attaining National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy and Water ratings for its aged care property portfolio.



STARS is a 182-bed, nine-storey facility that provides specialist rehabilitation, elective surgery, endoscopy and outpatient services to meet the expanding demand for healthcare services provided by Metro North Health. It is one of the largest tertiary specialist rehabilitation centres in the southern hemisphere, with 128 beds dedicated to rehabilitation and geriatric services.

The hospital is located in Herston, an inner suburb of Brisbane and is leased to Metro North Health (MNH) on a 20-year lease term. STARS opened to patients in 2021 and was the first public hospital in Australia to be funded by investors in an unlisted property trust —Australian Unity’s Healthcare Property Trust—at a cost of ~$340 million.

About Australian Unity
Established in 1840, Australian Unity is a member-owned wellbeing company with more than 385,000 members and more than 700,000 customers. Our range of health, wealth and care products and services provides member, customer and community value that is supportive of personal and community wellbeing.

Related article

Australian Unity named in AFR Sustainability Leader list for third consecutive year

Australian Unity has been recognised as one of the Australian Financial Review’s (AFR) Sustainability Leaders for the third consecutive year. This accolade acknowledges Australian Unity’s $50 million wellbeing-based sustainability-linked loan (SLL) with Westpac Bank.

Read more

Australian Unity’s sustainable cash and fixed interest manager Altius Asset Management to be acquired by Australian Ethical

Australian Unity’s Wealth & Capital Markets platform (W&CM) announced today it will sell its circa. $2 billion sustainable cash and fixed interest manager, Altius Asset Management (Altius) to Australian Ethical (ASX: AEF).

Read more

Australian Unity appoints Darren Dawson as General Manager, Social Infrastructure Funds

Australian Unity has appointed experienced sustainable finance and ethical investment executive, Darren Dawson, as its General Manager, Social Infrastructure Funds.

Read more

Perennial Partners to take over management of Australian Unity’s Future of Healthcare Fund

Perennial Partners (Perennial) and Australian Unity Funds Management Limited (AUFM) are pleased to announce that they have entered into agreements to transfer the investment management rights of the Australian Unity Future of Healthcare Fund (Fund) to Perennial.

Read more