Enabling more sustainable and efficient buildings is a key action for Australia to reach its net zero targets. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) and NABERS were receiving feedback that the approach for implementing sustainability rating tools and policies is unique to each State and Territory in Australia, and that this may be resulting in mixed performance outcomes.

Urbis was engaged by NABERS, the GBCA and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to look at how sustainability rating tools and policies are positioned within the existing statutory planning frameworks in all states and territories across Australia. The project involved interviews with council planners and state government to understand how sustainability tools are being applied to new development and how councils are enforcing sustainability measures within their local government. In total over 27 government organisations were interviewed across Australia.

The findings of the project were provided in a report summarising the findings from the interviews and provided recommendations on where state policy and legislation is limiting Local Government’s ability to implement and mandate sustainability targets above minimum statutory requirements; and where greater awareness, training and investment is required for greater implementation of sustainability rating tools in the planning system, to enhance the quality and efficiency of new developments and reduce development impacts on climate change.

Scope of services

  • Holistic systems review including robust research and stakeholder interviews to undertake a gap analysis of sustainability outcomes.
  • Clear summary offindings and opportunitiesfor enhancingthe implementation of sustainability tools in planning systems across Australia.
  • National collaboration between Urbis offices to address planning systems in all States and Territories.
  • Urbis overcame them by ensuring the survey, architectural and landscape plans were clear and coordinated to align stage boundaries confirming extent of works and impact to other parts of the site.
  • We also ensured the planning report clearly articulated the scope of works in each stage and the link between them in addition to clearly providing conditions in the Incorporated Document which provided for appropriate triggers.