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Sustainable design assessment

If you are applying for a planning permit for a large building or a development, you need to provide a report on the sustainability of your design.

About sustainability reports

There are two types of report that assess your development’s sustainability initiatives:

Sustainability Design Assessment (SDA)

This is for small/medium projects. Between 2 - 9 extra dwellings or development or alteration of a building between 500m2 and 2000m2.

Sustainability Management Plan (SMP)

This is for larger developments. Ten or more dwellings or development or alterations of a building of more than 2000m2.

Assessment tools

Your building or development will need a minimum 6-star rating under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme.

Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) assessment

Knox City Council recommends using these Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) assessment tools:

Other assessment tools

You can use:

These tools tell if your proposed development meets environmental performance standards.

They also suggest simple ways to reduce environmental impact and meet Council targets.

You must submit the outcome of your assessment with your SDA or SMP Report.

Preparing a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA)

If your project is small to medium, you need to:

  • register your project on BESS and use it to help you reduce your environmental impacts
  • create an SDA Report describing how you'll use sustainability initiatives in your project
  • note or draw the major items on the plans (such as eaves, shade structures, bicycle parking and rainwater tank and rain gardens)
  • include any assessment reports (BESS and STORM or InSite Water) with your planning submission
  • make sure the project documentation and plans are consistent with the SDA Report.

The SDA Report will be endorsed as part of your final planning permit. It must be fully implemented in the final building.

Preparing a Sustainability Management Plan (SMP)

If your project is larger, you need to:

  • register your project on the Green Star Design and As-Built tool and use it to help you reduce the environmental impacts
  • create an SMP Report describing how you'll use sustainability initiatives in your project. Talk with a sustainability professional if you need to
  • note or draw the major items on the plans (such as eaves, shade structures, bicycle parking and rainwater tank and rain gardens)
  • include any assessment reports (BESS and STORM or InSite Water) with your planning submission
  • make sure the project documentation and plans are consistent with the SMP Report.

The SMP Report will be endorsed as part of your final planning permit.

We'll check your application to make sure the sustainability aspects are consistent and meet Council’s standards.

If your development doesn't meet the standards, we won't endorse it.

Our planning enforcement officers will also check that you have implemented the initiatives when your project is finished.

More about SDAs and SMPs

Find more information in our:

The Your Home Technical Manual also provides useful information on sustainable design.

Need help?

Contact Planning Services and we will get back to you.

Or call our Planning Services team on 9298 8000.

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