A number of regional Councils in Australia are adding an ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Development) policy to their Planning Scheme along with a range of online tools to assist at the early stages of planning. These tools include BESS (Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard), FirstRate, NABERS and Green Star so buildings can be designed to various efficiency and amenity standards.
The principles of an ESD options review, is to help improve the health and comfort of buildings for occupants as well as reducing negative impacts on the environment. Sustainable design assists with protecting our environment and securing today’s living standards. It also helps future-proof communities against rising energy, water and waste disposal costs, reduce the impact of climate change and help communities to become more liveable.
The intention of ESD report is to identify ways to;
- Reduce operational costs associated with Council’s buildings and facilities;
- Reduce the environmental impacts of constructing, refurbishing and operating Council buildings;
- Improve energy and water efficiency of Council’s buildings and facilities;
- Provide a healthy indoor environment in Council’s buildings;
- Demonstrate leadership to the community by adopting and promoting sustainable building design suitable for the region’s current and future climate; and
- Reduce reliance on non-renewable grid electricity.
ESD can provide more affordability with up to an 85% reduction in running costs with a reduction of energy, water and gas consumption as well as an improved environment with increased cross flow ventilation and natural light.
The ESD report intent is also to reduce waste generated during construction and during the life of the building, help to save on waste disposal through recycling opportunities and reducing the overall cost of the building over its lifetime.