Approval of Environmentally Sustainable Development policy

The City of Greater Bendigo has become the first regional Council to have an Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) policy added to its Planning Scheme.

The Victorian Minister for Planning approved Amendment GC 110 on 18 October 2018, to incorporate the ESD policy into the planning scheme for Greater Bendigo and six metropolitan councils.

The amendment applies to medium and large scale residential, commercial and industrial development. The overarching objective is that development should achieve best practice in environmentally sustainable development from the design stage through to construction and operation.  

By submitting a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) an applicant will be able to specify the sustainable design features of a proposed development. The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) can be used to undertake a Sustainable Design Assessment. Submit the BESS report with your planning application to satisfy the requirements of the new planning policy.

A free training session will be held to assist developers to understand the new requirements in the near future. More information is also available below and via [email protected]

What is Environmental Sustainable Development (ESD)?

Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) principles aim to improve the health and comfort of buildings for occupants whilst at the same time reducing negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable design assists with protecting our environment, secures today’s living standards, helps future-proof communities against rising energy, water and waste disposal costs, reduce the impact of climate change and help Greater Bendigo to become the world’s most liveable community.

Considering ESD principles in the early stages of your development gives you the greatest opportunity to make a sustainable difference and to save the most money.

ESD can provide affordable living outcomes, improved comfort levels and environmental benefits through:

  • An up to 85% reduction in running costs from lower energy, water and gas consumption
  • Healthier and more comfortable living and working conditions from cross flow ventilation and greater access to natural light
  • Reduction in waste generated during construction and life of the building
  • Savings on waste disposal via recycling opportunities
  • Reducing the overall cost of the building over its lifetime
  • Research has shown it can also add to the re-sale value of your home or office

To find out which simple, but effective changes you can make to reduce your energy costs and increase the comfort of your home you can watch this short video from Sustainability Victoria.

How can ESD be used?

ESD principles aim to reduce negative impacts on the environment and improve the health and comfort of buildings by:

  • optimising site potential by utilising north facing elements
  • Including renewable energy generation
  • using environmentally friendly products
  • using energy and water efficient appliances
  • reducing potable water use
  • enhancing indoor environmental quality via cross flow ventilation and access to natural light
  • optimising operational and maintenance practices.

ESD in Planning and Building Regulations

Most commercial buildings and multi-unit developments require planning approval prior to obtaining a building permit. Planning and Building Regulations mandate minimum ESD standards only. These standards provide only minimal ability to make large cost and environmental savings.

The benefits of considering ESD in the early planning stage prior to your building permit can:

  • Optimise your building design as early as possible in the design process and may avoid having to make costly design changes later on
  • Ensure the best consideration of the building’s orientation, external shading, energy consumption and generation, re-use of water and the materials used to make a lasting difference to the environment and provide improved indoor comfort

Vist our online tools to support ESD page to find out more about the various online tools which you can use to implement ESD principles into your house or business.

You can also find more information about ESD through ESD Assessments, FAQ’s and case study examples or contact our ESD Officer on ph: 4408 6533 or email: [email protected]

How to find out more information

You can find more information about ESD through ESD Assessments, FAQ’s and case study examples or contact our ESD Officer on ph: 4408 6533 or email: [email protected]

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