Online tools to support ESD and planning
You can use an online sustainability assessment tool to determine if your future home or building is exceeding the minimum National Construction Code of Australia (NCC) standards and also support a planning permit submission for a development. The following tools can assist you understand a buildings performance, support a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) application and benchmark it against other developments.
The tools are:
Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS)
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 (BESS):
- 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.
Read more on our ESD Tools FACTSHEET.
What is the difference between FirstRate, BESS and Green Star?
Buildings can be designed to various efficiency and amenity standards.
National Construction Code of Australia
The National Construction Code of Australia (NCC) 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 NCC and uses the NatHERS protocol. Meeting NCC energy efficiency standards through a 6-Star FirstRate rating does not reflect best practice standard.
Green star rating
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 (GBCA), although particular care should be taken that all ESD commitments contained in an SMP can be clearly demonstrated at planning stage. Reliance on operational commitments to gain a Green Star benchmarked rating will not be accepted at planning stage.