Encouraging sustainable developments

The City of Greater Bendigo in Victoria is seeking input from local developers about how to incorporate environmentally sustainable design principles into new residential and commercial subdivisions.

 The City, along with seven other regional Councils, is part of a study to define best-practice environmentally sustainable design for subdivisions across the participating Council areas.

The study will look at ways of improving subdivision design and construction techniques to provide the best opportunity for new homes to be energy and water efficient (and therefore have lower running costs) as well as comfortable and safe to live in.

This study will include a cost-benefit analysis to ensure environmentally sustainable design principles promote housing affordability and do not financially disadvantage developers.

The City has also recently adopted a revised Sustainable Buildings Policy to increase the sustainable design credentials of the City’s new building projects and is trialling free, no obligation Sustainable Design Assessments for selected planning permit applications.

Director Strategy and Growth Bernie O’Sullivan said incorporating good design principles into a development could have many benefits.

“Environmental sustainable design should be considered at the very early stages of building homes, when land is subdivided,” Mr O’Sullivan said

“As well as lower energy costs, good design can mean lower greenhouse gas emissions, increased biodiversity, more shade (which reduces the urban ‘heat island’ effect) and increased water efficiency.
“Ultimately the City would like to achieve more climate resilient neighbourhoods and provide future land owners with the best opportunity to construct the most efficient and environmentally sustainable home.”

The study has been funded by a $65,000 grant from the State Government’s Collaborative Council Sustainability Fund Partnership Program.