Setting new standards for sustainable buildings

Article image - Setting new standards for sustainable buildings All new buildings will have a 5.5 star sustainability rating.

The City of Sydney has proposed stronger sustainability standards for new commercial buildings to reduce emissions and stop more waste from going to landfill.

The amendment proposes a minimum 5.5 star National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS) rating for common areas of new commercial office buildings or major commercial office refurbishments of 1,000 square metres or more.

Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, said, “Our long-term targets for net zero emissions by 2050 and zero waste to landfill can only be achieved by changing the way buildings are designed, built and operated.

“The changes we’re proposing would set a new standard for modern commercial buildings. We’ve achieved outstanding results when working with the city’s biggest landlords through programs like our Better Buildings Partnership, and we want to extend these results to the next tier of buildings by introducing these amendments.

“By setting a new standard of a 5.5 star NABERS rating, we’ll see energy efficiency and renewable energy considered early in the design phase – rather than being treated as an afterthought – ensuring building owners and tenants save thousands on electricity bills.”

The proposed changes to the waste standards will require new buildings provide more space for the storage, separation and collection of waste, including dedicated space for food waste, textiles, e-waste and bulky goods such as old mattresses.

They will ensure that kitchens, tearooms or food preparation areas in all new non-residential developments have a designated food waste collection area.

Energy Efficiency Council Chief Executive Officer, Luke Menzel, said, “How we design, construct and operate our buildings drives the amount of energy needed to keep the lights on and the building comfortable.

“A poor performing building means higher energy bills for tenants and a big impact on the environment. City of Sydney is showing national leadership by setting a new minimum standard for new buildings. Over time that will cut emissions and lower energy bills for businesses across the CBD.”