Local council City of Vincent, sets a new standard for sustainable buildings through their progressive planning policy.
From plastic bag bans in City of Fremantle to Moreland City Council’s Bicycle Strategy to support more sustainable travel, local councils around Australia are making pledges towards more sustainable outcomes. In the realm of sustainable building however, the City of Vincent in Perth, Australia has quickly become the quiet achiever through a progressive planning policy.
The results of their policy are impressive, with the developments within their precinct reaching far beyond BAU (business as usual) and achieving significant performance outcomes. eTool alone has worked with developers to reduce over 215,000 tonnes of CO2e over the life of the buildings, which represents:
- 29,054 Australian households’ annual energy use1
- 59,722 Australian cars off the road for a year2
- 1,290,000 trees planted3
A total solar PV system of all of the projects eTool has worked on under the City of Vincent requirements equals over 700 kW, which is helping the Australian grid to become less carbon intensive and also minimising the load on the network during the peak hours.
“The City of Vincent has always placed sustainability at the top of our priorities and our planning policy has provided us with the opportunity to encourage sustainable developments that have a positive outcome for the environment and the community. We’re very pleased with the outcomes of this policy and we look forward to continuing to push the bar even higher for building performance,” said John Carey, City of Vincent Mayor.
The City of Vincent’s planning policy requires assessment methodologies to clearly quantify sustainability performance against comparable benchmark buildings (compliant with the National Construction Codes of Australia), to comply with applicable Australian/international standards and be subject to oversight by a certifying body. This allows developers to choose a method for compliance, giving developers the opportunity to incorporate new design elements into their developments moving forward.
“We need assessment regimes that are performance based, rather than compliance based. This way we will unleash the creativity of designers, consultants, architects and engineers to devise new ways to make our buildings more sustainable. We need tools that will help make sophisticated whole of life cycle performance evaluation,” said Alannah MacTiernan, City of Vincent Mayor from 2011 to 2013.
The City currently accepts Life Cycle Design (LCD) methodology as one of the paths for achieving sustainable performance improvements. Progressive developers such as Psaros have embraced LCD and incorporated life cycle assessment into their BAU practices and marketing strategies across their multi-residential developments in Perth’s inner suburbs.
“We conduct a full life cycle assessment for each of our developments and we find that it adds value not only to the design process but also to our market value. Buyers are always interested to learn about the quality of the properties and we are seeing more and more that people want to invest in property with a sustainable ethos,” said Danny Psaros, CEO of Psaros Property Group.
Other developers such as Finbar, Builton, Handle Property Group and ABN Group have also taken advantage of using LCD to produce intelligent and quality designs that will provide a positive legacy for the city residents.
Damien Giudici, Development Manager at ABN Group said, “The process of using LCD was very informative and highlighted the best options in terms of dollars spent versus carbon savings, which guided us through our decisions to improve building environmental performance in the most cost effective manner.”
The City of Vincent’s planning policy is not only testament to the council’s forward thinking, but is also a prime example of how a policy can provide opportunities for the community, developers and consultants to work together with the Council and implement solutions that create direct and tangible benefits to the environment, the community and local residents.
“The uptake of LCD into a council such as the City of Vincent, demonstrates how LCD can be used to successfully define sustainable buildings in a precinct in a meaningful way. We’re excited to continue to see more developers, business and councils adopt Life Cycle Design as the most sustainable and logical thing to do,” said Henrique Mendonça, eTool Regional Business Development Manager.
From its humble beginnings, LCD is now the best practice tool to accelerate the environmental performance of buildings and has been adopted by developers, designers, consultants and green building certification schemes around the world. As councils around Australia reassess and update their policies, it is expected that more councils will follow in the footsteps of the City of Vincent, which will give rise to more genuinely sustainable and high performing buildings.
1 Residential benchmark – 7.4t/household/year.
2 Petrol, 10L/100km, 15000km annually
3 6 trees per tonne of CO2 saved, ref Carbon Neutral
< ENDS >
eTool Marketing Communications Manager
+61 08 9467 1664
eTool is a world leading life cycle assessment and design consultancy that optimises building design for lower environmental impact and high performance. Utilising our unique software eToolLCD®, we work with architects, engineers and developers to measure and improve the life cycle impacts of buildings, surpassing industry standards. eToolLCD® makes sustainable development easy to achieve and cost-effective for all size projects, from residential and commercial building to land development and infrastructure.