Residential and non-residential developments

The size of your development determines whether you need an Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) report with your planning application.
On this page:

Residential developments

Non-residential developments

Residential developments

Small residential developments

A small residential development is defined as 1 to 2 dwellings, an extension or renovation.

There are many things you can do to improve the sustainability of any development to improve the sustainability, reduce electrical and gas bills and minimise water use.

Ideas include installing solar PV panels, solar batteries, LED lights, low flow taps and showers, secure accessible bike parking, water tanks connected to toilets, adequate bin storage for waste, recycling, glass and food waste.

For advice please refer to the Sustainability Victoria webpage and Energy Smart Housing Manual and the Federal Government Your Home guide which includes plans.

For more information, please read our:

Single dwellings and renovations

For single dwellings and renovations, Darebin will assess your planning permit application against Clause 54 - Residential Development Provisions for energy efficiency. You must also meet National Construction Code requirements for energy efficiency under Section J

Two dwellings

For developments of between two and four dwellings, we'll assess your planning permit application against Clause 55 - Residential Development Provisions for energy efficiency and Clause 53.18 Stormwater Management. You must also meet National Construction Code requirements for energy efficiency under Section J.

Medium residential developments

A medium residential development is defined as between 3-9 dwellings. For a planning permit application of this size, you must submit a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) with the planning application including a Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) report and a stormwater report using STORM or Insite. The 10 Key Sustainable Building categories should be briefly addressed in the SDA and a sample SDA is available below.

We assess planning permit applications of this size against ESD policy Clause 22.12 and Clause 55 - Residential Development Provisions for energy efficiency and Clause 53.18 Stormwater Management. In general the applicant will be able to complete the SDA, but an ESD consultant might be required for more complex applications. A Waste Management Plan (WMP) may also be required or the applicant can use the waste template in the Darebin Waste Management Guidelines. For more information read our Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP), minimum ESD requirements and the top 20 ESD items for 3-9 dwellings.

Review the 10 Key Sustainable Building categories on the ESD Resources page.

Large residential developments

A large residential development is defined as 10 or more dwellings. A Sustainable Management Plan (SMP) will be required to be submitted with the planning application including a BESS or Green Star report and a storm water report using STORM, MUSIC or Insite. Further information is required to demonstrate how all 10 Key Sustainable Building categories have been addressed. We recommend you engage an Environmental Sustainable Development (ESD) consultant, engineer or qualified person to complete the SMP. Download a report template for an SMP. A Waste Management Plan (WMP) may also be required and space must be provided for waste, recycling, glass and food waste. You can use the template in the Darebin Waste Management Guidelines.

We assess planning permit applications of this size against ESD policy Clause 22.12 and Clause 55 - Residential Development Provisions for energy efficiency, BADS (Better Apartment Design Standards) and Clause 53.18 Stormwater Management.

You must also exceed the National Construction Code requirements for energy efficiency under Section J. For more information read Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP), the minimum ESD requirements and the Top 20 ESD items for 15 or more dwellings.

Review the 10 Key Sustainable Building categories on the ESD Resources page.

Non-residential developments

Small non-residential developments

A small non-residential development is a building with a gross floor area under 100sq.m.

Developments of this size are not covered under Darebin ESD Policy 22.12, but there are still many things you could do to improve the sustainability, reduce electrical and gas bills and minimise water use.

Ideas include installing solar PV panels, solar batteries, LED lights, low flow taps and showers, secure bike parking, water tanks connected to toilets, adequate bin storage for waste, recycling, glass and food waste as well as odd items that can possibly be reused by another industry or school for art and craft.

Refer to the Sustainability Victoria webpage for more information.

Refer to the Darebin Sustainable Business webpage, where there are examples and ideas on how to be more sustainable. Sustainable businesses can ask to be on the Sustainable Darebin Map.

Medium non-residential developments

The Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) program ensures the inclusion of environmental performance in the planning permit approval process. Medium non-residential developments are between 100 and 999m2 of gross floor area and will generally require a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA). A SDA must include a Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) report, a storm or Insite water assessment, plus supporting evidence and information briefly demonstrating how you address the 10 key sustainable building categories. In general an SDA can be completed by the applicant, however a professional might be required for more complex applications. Download the SDA template.

We assess planning permit applications of this size against ESD policy Clause 22.12 and Clause 53.18 Stormwater Management. You must also exceed the National Construction Code requirements for energy efficiency under Section J. A Waste Management Plan (WMP) may be required and space must be provided for waste, recycling, glass and food waste and any other industrial or commercial waste. The applicant can use the template in the Darebin Waste Management Guidelines.

Review the 10 Key Sustainable Building categories on the ESD Resources page.

Large non-residential developments

Non-residential developments of 1000sq.m+ will generally require a Sustainable Management Plan (SMP). An SMP must include a BESS or Green Star report, a STORM, MUSIC or Insite assessment, plus supporting evidence and information showing how you address these 10 key sustainable building categories. We recommend you engage an environmentally sustainable design consultant, engineer or qualified person to complete the SMP. A Waste Management Plan (WMP) may also be required and space must be provided for waste, recycling, glass and food waste and any other industrial or commercial waste. The applicant can use the template in the Darebin Waste Management Guidelines.

We assess planning permit applications of this size against ESD policy Clause 22.12 and Clause 53.18 Stormwater Management. You must also exceed the National Construction Code requirements for energy efficiency under Section J. For more information, read Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP).

Review the 10 Key Sustainable Building categories on the ESD Resources page.

More information

Building Services
Phone: 03 8470 8899
Email: building@darebin.vic.gov.au