Thefifthestate.com.au has reported (19/05/2015) on the launch of the Australia's latest sustainability rating tool by a group of Melbourne councils.
The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard, or BESS, assesses water and energy efficiency, thermal comfort and the sustainable performance of buildings and renovations.
Meghan Hopper, Moreland City Council mayor, said that she would like to see sustainability considered early as possible in the planning process for a new building and BESS will help people do this.
Ms Hopper said that people need to think about home insulation, passive cooling and heating, harvesting rainwater and energy from the sun and communal green spaces.
Sue Vujcevic, Moreland City Council manager of strategy, said that the official launch at Brunswick Westwyk Ecovillage was a result of more than 10 years working in partnership with industry partners and councils.
She is confident that BESS will be accepted as the new standard for assessing sustainability at the planning permit stage and will help achieve comfortable, affordable and sustainable buildings.
The BESS tool will go hand in hand with the new Environmental Sustainability Design policy used by eight councils for the planning department.
This policy would make it now compulsory for builders and developers to submit a sustainability design assessment or management plan for most developments and some extensions.