Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP)

What is SDAPP and what are the application requirements?

Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) considers environmentally sustainable design at the planning stage for new developments, minimising the environmental impacts and costs to residents associated with poor housing design. 

Clause 21.04 of the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme outlines the requirements of a Sustainable Design Assessment, which is a condition for all new developments classed as either medium scale, or large scale.

Small scale developers are encouraged to demonstrate environmental compliance standards, however this is not a requirement of the small scale permit application.

Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) for medium scale developments

A Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) is a sustainability assessment of a proposed building at the planning stage and is associated with Clause 21.04 of the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme.

A medium-scale development is classed as:

Residential / Mixed Use  Commercial / Industrial
Development of 3 to 9 dwellings Development with a 100m2 to 10,000m2 gross floor area (GFA)
  Alterations and additions between 100m2 to 10,000m2

To prepare a Sustainable Design Assessment project developers can use the new online calculator Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) to demonstrate that the project meets minimum environmental compliance standards.

BESS replaces earlier tools STEPS and SDS. Planning applicants can use BESS to assess any size and type of building, including mixed use developments.

We are a paid subscriber to BESS, so planning applicants in our municipality can utilise it without charge. BESS can streamline your planning permit process.

What to include with your Permit Application:

  • a printed BESS report;
  • all relevant initiatives clearly annotated on architectural drawings.

Sustainability Management Plans (SMP) for large scale developments

A Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) provides a detailed sustainability assessment of a proposed large-scale design at the planning stage.

A large-scale development is classed as: 

Residential / Mixed Use  Commercial / Industrial
Development of 10+ dwellings Development with a gross floor area (GFA) of more than 10,000m2
  Alterations and additions greater than 10,000m2

An SMP addresses the key sustainable design criteria in Clause 21.04 of the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme and demonstrates that an holistic ESD review has been undertaken during a project's early design stages.

What to provide within a Sustainability Management Plan:

  • a detailed assessment of the development and relevant sustainability targets or performance standards. This may be done by using a combination of tools such as BESS, Green Star, MUSIC and STORM.
  • achievable environmental performance outcomes in accordance with the objectives of Clause 21.04 
  • evidence that the proposed building has the design potential to achieve the relevant environmental performance outcomes stated, having regard to the site’s opportunities and constraints.
  • documented evidence showing how the performance outcomes will be achieved, including identification of the different areas of responsibility, and a schedule of ongoing management, maintenance and monitoring over the life of the building.  

The expectations from a Sustainability Management Plan are greater than a Sustainable Design Assessment. Therefore a BESS report alone will not satisfy the requirements under Clause 21.04-3 of the Moonee Valley Planning Scheme.

Preparation of a Sustainability Management Plan will generally require the engagement of a sustainability consultant. 

Useful tools and links

See our environmentally sustainable design toolkit for tools, resources and case studies.

Last updated: Tuesday, 26 March 2019, 10:45 AM