Councils muscle up for the climate emergency and planning is on the front line

Article by Jan Arreza / The Fifth Estate / 22 September 2020

The NSCES is pleased to see advancements at the local level for encouraging reduced emissions and more environmentally sustainable design. However, more work needs to be done in valuing historic buildings and the embodied energy that is saved when a building is sensitively restored. While many tools do a good job of measuring the environmental impact of new works, additional tools are required to measure the value of retaining existing buildings.

“The City of Melbourne declared a climate and biodiversity emergency and now it wants to put its money where its mouth is, mandating minimum sustainability standards. Other major city governments are going down the same path in varying degrees, and 18 years after formation, the Green Building Council is shifting its position and approves. We need to meet our Paris commitments, it says.

At last week’s Future Melbourne committee meeting, councillors unanimously voted on an amendment in its planning scheme to deliver more sustainable buildings.

The Sustainable Building Design Amendment C376 aims to introduce new environmentally sustainable design (ESD) standards into the planning scheme and is anticipated to be exhibited in the first half of 2021.

It involves extensive engagement with industry and the community, a phase-in period of at least 18 months, and covers ESD, energy efficiency and renewables, stormwater management, water efficiency and sustainable transport.”

Read the full article by Arreza here.

“When the GBCA was first formed and green buildings were in their early days we didn’t think that mandating was the correct path, however, 18 years on, we see the need to accelerate sustainability to meet the Paris Agreement.”

Photo by Nick Jones on Unsplash

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