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Sustainability and the Environment

Sustainability and the Environment

Environmentally Sustainable Design

Sustainable design requirements for planning applications 

Greater Dandenong is committed to helping transform our built environment by addressing Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) issues. Council uses the Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) to ensure planning permit applicants address these ESD requirements.

Does my application need to address SDAPP?

The flow diagram presented below will help you determine what SDAPP category your development application site within and what the associated ESD reporting requirements are

For further guidance on the SDAPP categories and associated ESD requirements, refer to the SDAPP explained fact sheet (PDF - 292KB).

ESD Reporting

An ESD report must outline how your development will deliver a sustainable outcome to its occupants and the environment.

This is undertaken through submission of either:

Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA)

An SDA is a short report outlining the sustainable design features of your development. An SDA has been designed so that anyone from the design team can complete it (such as the architect or applicant).

Sustainable Management Plan (SMP) 

An SMP is a more detailed assessment of your proposal. An SMP must identify the relevant sustainability targets or performance standards and document the means by which those performance outcomes will be achieved. It may be necessary to engage a sustainability consultant to prepare an SMP.


ESD report templates

Council has established ESD report templates for both an SDA and an SMP that can be downloaded and used as guidance prior to submission to Council.

Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA)

Download SDA - Guidelines brochure

Download SDA - Report template

Sustainable Management Plan (SMP)

Download SMP - Guidelines brochure 

Download SMP - Report template 

Download SMP - Example report

City of Greater Dandenong Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) Guidance Document January 2017


Key sustainable design categories and the SDAPP fact sheets

The SDAPP framework includes 10 sustainable design categories which consider a broad range of design issues.

To assist you on how to consider these categories and achieve the best outcome for your building, council has adopted a series of SDAPP fact sheets.

The fact sheets provide background information, design guidance and best practice standards across the 10 key categories relevant to your development. Download a copy of the SDAPP Fact Sheets Below.

ESD assessment tools

Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) tools are an effective way of demonstrating to Council the ESD credentials of your development. Many of these requirements are mandatory. For further information refer to the SDAPP Fact Sheet – ESD Assessment Tools (PDF - 293KB).

What ESD assessment tool should I use with my planning application?

The most commonly used tools submitted as part of your planning application are:

  • Both Residential and Non-Residential: Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS)

  • Residential: Sustainable Tools for Environmental Performance Strategy (STEPS)

  • Non-Residential: Sustainable Design Scorecard (SDS)

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS)

STEPS and SDS have been recently integrated into the new Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS). BESS assesses both residential and non-residential development. BESS has been designed to replace the STEPS and SDS tools.

BESS assess all types of buildings and will adjust the complexity of questions in each category, depending on the scale of your development proposed.  

Note: the use of the STEPS and SDS tools will only be accepted by council for planning applications submitted before the 1st July 2016.

Other Environmental Assessment tools

Other tools that may be used by applicants depending on the size of your development include: