Sustainable by design – new policy promotes higher standards

Developments in the region will address new building standards for sustainability after an amendment was approved by the Minister for Planning.

The amendment was proposed by the City of Greater Geelong to include Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) as a requirement within the Geelong planning scheme.

Approval was granted by the Minister for Planning on 15 September 2019, after it was adopted by Council at a meeting in April 2019.

The new ESD policy promotes residential and commercial buildings to achieve higher standards for sustainable design and aims to reduce negative impacts on the environment while improving the health benefits and comfort of buildings for occupants.

Proposals submitted by developers in the region are now required to address the key sustainability criteria in the following 10 categories: indoor environment quality, transport, energy efficiency, waste management, water efficiency, urban ecology, stormwater management, innovation, building materials, and construction and building management.

The ESD standards will apply to new developments in Geelong for three dwellings and above and commercial and mixed-use developments.

By introducing this policy more developments in Greater Geelong will achieve above the required building standards for sustainability, from the design stage through to construction and operation.

The ESD policy will lead to positive economic, social and environmental outcomes for the city, and will benefit owners by reducing running costs and improving overall liveability.

Mayor Stephanie Asher
“One of the council’s key priorities is finding practical and sustainable ways to manage growth. This policy will result in new buildings that have fewer negative environmental impacts, are more appealing to spend time in and cost less to run.

“As part of the policy, developers can receive free advice from an Environmentally Sustainable Design officer before lodging their planning application and right throughout the process.”

Cr Jim Mason, Chair, Sustainable Development portfolio
“With the growth of our region it’s increasingly important that we have a sustainability mindset in our design parameters. As a UNESCO City of Design, we should be aiming to lead the way in this area.

“This policy will encourage designers and developers to come up with clever and creative ways to create new buildings that have less environmental impact and are more user-friendly. Often, small changes in design can make a big difference.”