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Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD)

DDEG is excited to introduce our new division specialising in Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD). When applying for a planning permit, it's essential to include ESD information as required by local council Planning Policy Clauses. Incorporating environmentally sustainable design into new developments is a requirement under local council Planning Schemes. This ensures that development adheres to best practices in sustainable development, from design through construction and operation. We are dedicated to helping you meet these objectives seamlessly.

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Our Holistic Approach to Environmentally Sustainable Design 

The objective is that development should achieve best practice in environmentally sustainable development from the design stage through to construction and operation.

The policy provides objectives and application requirements for residential, mixed-use, and non-residential development. It recognises the importance of considering environmentally sustainable design at the time of planning approval for new developments. ESD categories to consider are as follow:

  • Energy

  • Water resources

  • Indoor environmental quality

  • Stormwater management

  • Transport

  • Waste management

  • Urban ecology

BESS Assessment

The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) is an online sustainability assessment tool purpose built by Victorian councils for the Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) framework. BESS is owned by the Municipal Association of Victoria and was developed with support by the Victorian Government. BESS helps building professionals and developers demonstrate how a proposed development addresses sustainable design at the planning permit stage. The BESS tool covers key elements that form good liveability and design practice. It supports councils with developing a productive, sustainable and resilient community. Developers may use any tool of their choice to complete an ESD assessment for a planning permit application, however it is recommended that all new applications use BESS.

Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD)

Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) is an approach to planning and designing urban areas to make use of this valuable resource and reduce the harm it causes to our rivers and creeks. Water sensitive urban design (WSUD) uses better urban planning and design to reuse stormwater, stopping it from reaching our waterways by mimicking the natural water cycle as closely as possible.


Melbourne Water has developed the Stormwater Treatment Objective- Relative Measure (STORM) Calculator as a method of simplifying the analysis of stormwater treatment methods. The STORM Calculator is designed for the general public to easily assess Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) measures on their property.

The tool has been developed specifically for small residential and industrial developments to rate how well different properties treat stormwater and to compare them against a common measurement system.

The STORM Calculator displays the amount of treatment that is required to meet best practice targets, using WSUD treatment measures. The tool is capable of calculating the performance of a range of commonly implemented treatment measures including:

  • Rainwater tanks

  • Ponds

  • Wetlands

  • Rain gardens

  • Infiltration systems

  • Buffers

  • Swales

The STORM Calculator can use rainfall data from any region in Victoria, Australia, by looking at the municipality in which the development is located. 

MUSIC (modelling)

DDEG offers a wide range testing and modelling within our ESD section. MUSIC (Model for Urban Stormwater Improvement Conceptualisation) is Australia’s leading tool for water sensitive urban design. MUSIC can model a wide range of treatment devices to identify the best way to capture and reuse stormwater runoff, remove its contaminants, as well as reduce runoff frequency. With MUSIC you can evaluate these treatment devices to achieve WSUD and integrated water cycle management (IWCM) goals. 

Daylight Modelling

Designing for daylight considers subjective qualities, such as privacy and views to the outside, as well as objective and measurable qualities, such as energy use for artificial light and the intensity of natural daylight. When considering visual comfort, take into account factors such as illumination levels, daylight distribution, and protection against direct sunlight and glare. When designing for good daylight it is important to consider the different definitions of daylight and how they are utilised for good design outcomes.

We model your development to understand the daylight access and find issues to provide you with design amendment suggestions and make sure to meet daylight requirements as follows: 

  • Multi residential developments:

    • Living areas: at least 80% of the total number of living rooms achieve a daylight factor greater than 1% to 90% of the floor area of each living area, including kitchens.

    • Bedrooms: at least 80% of the total number of bedrooms achieve a daylight factor greater than 0.5% to 90% of the floor area in each room.

  • Non-residential developments:

    • all occupiable areas other than ancillary areas: Points are awarded where it can be demonstrated by daylight modelling that >33% of the nominated area achieves a daylight factor of at least 2%. Additional points are awarded where it is shown that >60% or >90% of the floor area achieves this daylight factor.

Waste Management Plan 

A Waste Management Plan is a document which outlines the waste management system, and the assumptions and building design elements that have driven the design of the waste management system. A WMP can be updated and endorsed as the requirements of the development change. Waste collection frequency, waste generation rate, bin size, number of bins, waste initiatives, council or private collection are the outcome of the WMP report.

Green Travel Plan (GTP)

A Green Travel Plan is a suite of initiatives and services employed to encourage travel mode behaviour change and to promote use of sustainable transport options such as walking, cycling, public transport or car-pooling in preference to single occupant car trips where practicable. A Green Travel Plan provides value to future residents, staff and visitors of the development, informing them of the alternative transport options when accessing the site and surrounds and provides associated health and fitness benefits when increasing their activity levels through regular walking and cycling. The implementation, coordination and funding of the Green Travel Plan is the responsibility of the Owners, and should be a dynamic document, reflecting changes in on-site and off-site conditions e.g., additional bicycle parking, or changing public transport timetables. As such, the plan should be revisited and amended as required, to provide the most accurate and relevant information to achieve the desired objectives of reducing car usage. If you need this service for your job, feel free to be in touch with DDEG. 

Shading impact on Solar PV panels

The impact of development on existing solar panels is one of the concern households have so buildings should be:

  • Oriented to make appropriate use of solar energy.

  • Sited and designed to ensure that the energy efficiency of existing dwellings on adjoining lots is not unreasonably reduced.

If you have such a problem, Our ESD professional team will help you resolve this issue. We model the existing and proposed sites and investigate the impact of your proposed design on existing solar PV panels and will provide you with suggestions to solve this issue.

Section J assessment (DTS or Performance (JV3 modelling))

This Part sets the thermal performance properties of building fabric, the energy efficiency of key energy using equipment and the features a building must have to facilitate the future installation of distributed energy resources. A Section J Report (Part J) is used to demonstrate compliance with the energy efficiency provisions contained in Volume 1 of the National Construction Code (NCC). All commercial buildings must meet the minimum standards detailed in the NCC.

The requirements for Section J of the NCC 2019 & 2022 includes:

  • Section J Energy Efficiency

  • Part J0 Energy Efficiency

  • Part J1 Building Fabric

  • Part J3 Building Sealing

  • Part J5 Air-conditioning and ventilation systems

  • Part J6 Artificial lighting and power

  • Part J7 Heated water supply and swimming pool and spa pool plant

  • Part J8 Facilities for energy monitoring

Our ESD team at DDEG does performance-based solution JV3 modelling on more complex buildings or where your building struggles to pass the DTS requirements. A performance/alternative solution is a more holistic and detailed assessment than the DTS approach. This detailed modelling allows flexibility and the chance of energy efficiency compliance for your building and It will often allow a lower specification glass tint to comply.

Green Star certification

Green Star certification is a formal process managed by Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), during which a building, fit out, or precinct is awarded a rating by an independent, third-party assessor. It is a document-based assessment, undertaken online.

GBCA operates a quality management system which complies with the requirements of ISO 9001:2015 for the development, upkeep, and delivery of Green Star Certification.

Within the standard certification process, there are two rounds of assessment. At the first round of assessment, points can be awarded, and the project can be certified, or points may not be awarded, and the project is provided with comments and the opportunity to address these items at the second round of assessment. During the Round 2 assessment, additional documentation addressing the Round 1 comments is assessed.

When the results of the assessment have been validated and awarded the Green Star rating, GBCA will award a Green Star certified rating.

Our GSAP in DDEG will help you with a smooth process to rate your development and manage the Green Star process for you. Our ESD capability will provide you with quality sustainability design to meet GBCA requirements to achieve your targeted star rating.

CFD Simulation

CFD is the term used to describe a family of numerical methods used to calculate the temperature, velocity and various other fluid properties throughout a region of space.  CFD when applied to buildings can provide the designer with information on probable air velocities, pressures and temperatures that will occur at any point through a predefined air volume in and around building spaces. Boundary conditions are specified which may include the effects of climate, internal heat gains and HVAC systems. Our CFD specialist can help you with ventilation study in Car parks to specify CO level. 

BESS Assessment
Daylight Modelling
Waste Management Plan
Green Travel Plan
Section J Assessment
Shading impact on solar pv panels
Green Star Certification
CFD Simulaton

Our Services

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