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Sustainable design

Environmentally Sustainable Design Policy

The City of Greater Bendigo Planning Scheme includes an Environmentally Sustainable Design Policy which requires certain residential and non-residential developments to submit a Sustainable Design Assessment as a part of the planning permit application process.

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard

The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) is an online sustainability assessment tool purpose-built for the Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) framework. 

The BESS tool specifies best practice benchmarks in different environmental categories. Meeting these benchmarks confirms best practice standard for medium to large scale buildings. 

The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard: 

  • is free for anyone in the municipality to use; 
  • do not have to be an expert to use the tool 
  • assesses any size and type of building, including mixed use developments; 
  • can be used to benchmark against other developments
  • streamlines the planning permit process 
  • helps you identify opportunities to reduce running costs resulting in lower running costs 

The information required to complete a BESS assessment is simple for small developments and increases in complexity for larger developments. 

FirstRate - National Construction Code of Australia

The National Construction Code of Australia (the Code) outlines minimum necessary standards to meet relevant health, safety, amenity and energy efficiency objectives. FirstRate is the software most commonly used to demonstrate compliance with the Code and uses the NatHERS protocol.

Green Star

Large scale buildings can also demonstrate best practice standard by obtaining a Green Star rating (4, 5 or 6 Stars) through the Green Building Council Australia.

Sustainable Subdivision Framework

The City is working with the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment and several partnering local governments in Victoria to develop the Sustainable Subdivision Framework. When finalised, tool will enable the environmental performance of subdivisions to be assessed as a part of the planning application process. This will complement the sustainable design assessment process currently in place for buildings.


For more information about sustainable design, contact our Sustainable Development Officer:

[email protected]

For more information about climate change and environment please contact:

[email protected] 

1300 002 642