Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA)
When is an SDA required?
An SDA is requested for Medium developments, comprising of one to nine residential dwellings or 100m2 to 1.000m2 of new non-residential Gross Floor Area (GFA).
For applications larger than the above benchmarks, please refer to section Sustainable Management Plan (SMP).
What is an SDA?
An SDA is a simple sustainability assessment of a proposed building at the planning stage. The assessment will support your Planning Application by showing how you address the 10 Key Sustainable Building Categories. While Yarra’s Planning Scheme outlines minimum ESD requirements, we encourage you to strive for best practice, creativity and innovation.
By using free web-based tools, such as STEPS and SDS, you can easily demonstrate that your project meets minimum environmental compliance standards. Generally, an SDA can be prepared by applicants themselves, it should not be necessary to engage a sustainability consultant.
Addressing the 10 Key Sustainable Building Categories
If your application is for a Medium development, Council requests that your application addresses 10 Key Sustainable Building Categories. More information about those categories is available here.
The categories are:
- Indoor Environment Quality
- Energy Efficiency
- Water Efficiency
- Stormwater Management
- Building Materials
- Waste Management
- Urban Ecology
- Construction and Building Management
Submitting an SDA
By using free web-based tools, such as BESS, you can demonstrate how your project meets a best practice standard in ESD. BESS is easy and free to use and ensures that your application addresses the 10 Key Sustainable Building Categories.
An SDA can be submitted including the printout of a BESS report with your planning application. Here’s an example BESS report that would typically be an attachment to the SDA and support the design elements shown on the plans and the various statements made in the SDA.
Yarra Council has developed this SDA template which aims to provide guidance on how to prepare an SDA. The template provides an indication of the expected information that is to be provided in an SDA.
Yarra Council has developed this SDA template (157.14 KB)
which aims to provide guidance on how to prepare an SDA. The template provides an indication of the expected information that is to be provided in an SDA. The template provides an indication of the expected information that is to be provided in an SDA.
Please ensure that all ESD initiatives addressed are clearly demonstrated and annotated on your architectural drawings. Sustainable design assessments should also be definitive about sustainability commitments and avoid the use of vague language (eg. Energy efficient light fittings will be used ‘where practical’).
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about ESD in the planning process.
Euan Williamson & Johanna Trickett
Environmentally Sustainable Development Advisors
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