Media Releases 2011

New Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) requirements for inner-city Melbourne developments

07 February 2011

New ESD assessmentYarra Council is among the first group of Victorian Councils to introduce Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) requirements for planning permit applications.

The Council has followed the recommendations of the Municipal Association of Victoria in developing a transparent and consistent Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process program. The program will begin from 1 March 2011, initially being applicable to all medium and large planning permit applications.

Applicants will be requested to provide information in 10 Key Sustainable Design Categories, addressing issues such as energy, water, waste and indoor environment quality.

Yarra Mayor Cr Alison Clarke said the process aimed to ensure ESD was considered during the early phase of a building project – when it achieves the greatest benefits at the lowest cost.

“Buildings account for 20% of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and there is so much that can be done to reduce their environmental footprint at the design stage,” Cr Clarke said.

“Factors such as a building’s orientation, external shading, re-use of water or the materials used can make a lasting difference to the environment and provide improved indoor comfort.

“Building to best practice standards today not only future-proofs occupants against the rising costs of power and water but commonly commands higher property returns in the future.”

Large applications in Yarra (those with 10 or more dwellings or non-residential buildings with a gross floor area of more than 1000m2) will be required to include a detailed Sustainable Management Plan (SMP). It may be necessary to engage a sustainability consultant to prepare an SMP.

Applications for medium developments (e.g. those with 2-9 new dwellings or non-residential buildings with a gross floor area between 100m2 and 1000m2) will be requested to include a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA). Generally, an SDA can be prepared by the applicant themselves.

Further information and links to free web-based tools to guide applicants through this process are available on Council’s website at or potential applicants can contact Johanna Trickett, ESD Advisor, on 9205 5366 or at

For media enquiries about this issue, please contact:
Ainslie Gowan
Coordinator - Communications
9205 5177 / 0400 933 700


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