How lighting helped Country Road achieve an Australian first with Green Star

by AMBIENCE on August 30, 2019

A lot went into lighting Australia’s first 5-star Green Star standalone fashion store.

The refurbishment for Country Road at Chadstone, Melbourne was all about sustainable design (while making the space look absolutely incredible). It featured some wonderful innovations like fixtures made from recycled yoghurt containers and carpet created from fishing nets – a massive undertaking from the team at Country Road and HMKM. The store achieved a 5-star Green Star rating –  an Australian first for a standalone fashion store. Now, lighting obviously is a major consideration when it comes to sustainability through energy use and environmental concerns. So, let us answer your questions about Green Star how we helped Country Road achieve it.

What is Green Star?

It’s a rating system (stars and points) issued by the Green Building Council of Australia, that basically encourages and asses sustainable and environmentally conscious design, construction and operation of buildings.

Lighting + Green Star, how do you go about it?

For a retail project we need to assess through the following:

  • Lighting Comfort  (indoor environment quality )
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Energy)

What we were we tasked with?

We had to achieve as many points as possible for the lighting component towards the pinnacle – the 5-star Green Star rating.


How did we approach it?


There are standard measures like using flicker free fittings and specific settings on the Colour Rendering Index. The back of house and store room were placed on sensors and shopfront lighting was placed on a timer:

  • General Illuminance and glare reduction:

We specified diffusers, softening lenses, honey comb louvres to all fittings in the nominated area to reduce the glare.

  • Surface Illuminance:

We provided lighting level calculations showing a minimum of uniformity in lighting throughout.

  •  Localised lighting control:

Localised control to all the task areas allowing the ability to adjust the light levels in the immediate environment (Counter and BOH areas) for staff members.


  • Illumination power density:

We achieve a 40% reduction to J6 BCA, yes, 40%!

The approach to this was a lot harder than it sounds – reduce the percentage of the illumination power density by specifying more efficient fittings that  achieve the right light levels with less lights and less power consumption.

And, the result?

For starters – the space looks fantastic. And yes, we achieved 5 points and stars for the lighting submission/design (we are also hopeful of achieving another point for after-build assessment). A big congrats to the Country Road team and HMKM for delivering such a fantastic project!

If you’d like to know more about lighting for Green Star, or engage us to help you achieve Green Star compliance for your project, then please get in touch with our design team: or call  03 9403 6440

Store design: HMKM + Country Road Store development team.

Lighting design + supply: ambience

Photography: Caitlin Mills