Hard Surfacing (HSv2.0i-2019)

  • Status:
  • Issue Date:
    July 7, 2021
  • Green Star Applicable
    Green Star is Australia's trusted mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. Choosing Green Star can help you save money, create a healthy place for people, minimise your environmental footprint and build a better future for us all.

Naturally occurring substances, such as clay, sand and rocks, have been quarried and used for construction work for as long as history can recall. In Australia, hard surfacing products play a significant part in the multi-billion dollar building and construction industry. You can find these materials in homes, schools, hospitals, roads and many other places across the built environment.

However, the impacts of hard surfacing on people and planet can be significant, including the energy spent in sourcing the raw materials and the adverse effects of quarries and air and water pollutants emitted during the finishing operations.

For example, quarries can be located close to human habitation, leading to noise, vibration, and dust that may impact residents. Stone quarrying can also be disruptive to the balance of wildlife, plant life, and water bodies in the area. Improper methods can lead to the removal of crucial native vegetation, erosion and pollution of waterways from site run-off.

Considering the size of this industry and the amount of sourced, finished and installed hard surfacing products, it is important that the key environmental impacts of this category of products are identified and minimised.

Quarrying, fabrication and testing of hard surfacing products are more sophisticated than ever before, allowing for the establishment of best practice methods to lower the stone industry sector’s impacts. The GECA standard seeks to support and reward such efforts. Hard surfacing products that comply with this standard will have considerably lower adverse environmental, social and health impacts than its competitors.

The standard sets requirements that aim to provide a benefit by:

• minimising the impacts of mining and quarrying operations on the surrounding environment

• restricting the sourcing of petrochemical products

• limiting emissions to water and air

• encouraging the use of recycled content

• requiring efficient energy, water and waste management

• encouraging recovery, reuse, recycling and responsible disposal of materials and packaging

• preventing the use of specific hazardous materials and toxic heavy metals such as known carcinogens and mutagens

• ensuring workers and suppliers through the supply chain can expect fair pay, equal opportunity, and a safe working environment

This standard is applicable to the following categories of hard surfacing products for interior or exterior use, without any structural function, and suitable for use as horizontal or vertical surfacing:

• Natural stone;
• Agglomerated stones;
• Terrazzo tiles;
• Ceramic tiles;
• Clay tiles; and
• Glass tiles.

Other environmentally innovative hard surfaces that do not directly fit the above categories may be considered for certification provided the product fulfils the requirements of relevant sections of this standard.

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Green Star is Australia's trusted mark of quality for the design, construction and operation of sustainable buildings, fitouts and communities. Choosing Green Star can help you save money, create a healthy place for people, minimise your environmental footprint and build a better future for us all.
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What our clients say about us

Clients say it’s GECA or nothing. If you don’t have GECA certification it’s a negative. GECA certification is a priority for Haworth.

John Stamoulos

GECA is seen by major clients across Australia and internationally to be a credible organisation that provides certification to forward thinking companies that seek to maintain and further environmental standards. Envirofluid is glad to be associated with the GECA label”.

Lydia Ohlmeyer, Marketing and Operations Manager

Being an environmentally aware business, we needed a way to ensure, adhere and implement sustainably preferable strategies into our business plan. The team at GECA is co-operative and their guidance ensured that we not only complied with green standards, but exceeded them. The process is credible and well-received in the market place and ensures that we are set apart from the not-so-genuine ‘greenwashing’ companies.

Donna McMullen, Director 

Having GECA certification gives added credibility to our already strong Europlank brand. The GECA ecolabel confirms that Havwoods Europlank has been rigorously assessed for its impact over its life cycle and it is safer for our clients, their families and colleagues. When you choose Havwoods GECA certified Europlank you can have confidence in the environmental and health claims of this product range.

David Hickson, General Manager

GBCA Green Star projects are a fantastic way of promoting environmentally aware developments that benefit all parties involved. Jardan is committed to the advertisement of eco-labelling as a means of encouraging sustainable practice,

Andy Collins, Design Assistant

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