Environmental sustainability in new buildings

Environmental sustainability in new buildings

Designing and constructing leading edge developments

Buildings in the City of Sydney area account for around 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. As Sydney grows it is important to design and build efficient and environmentally smart buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste generation. 

The City has set targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels 70% by 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The state government's Greater Sydney region plan and eastern city district plan include actions to support the NSW target of net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Incorporating general design features during the planning and construction stages of development can reduce resource use and improve a building's operational efficiency. There are also best practice environmental benchmarks for buildings such as offices, hotels and serviced apartments, residential and retail buildings.

These benchmarks are higher than compliance requirements – they are not planning requirements and are not mandatory. Mandatory standards for development are detailed in the Sydney Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plan.

We encourage developers to discuss opportunities for sustainability excellence with the City at the earliest stages of your development proposal. 

Best practice environmental benchmarks for buildings

Designing for building performance

Incorporating smart efficient design up-front reduces the quantity of raw materials, energy, water and land needed at construction stage. Smart design can also increase operational efficiency during a building’s life cycle.

Office developments

Improving environmental performance in office developments has multiple benefits. Evidence shows reduced operating costs, increased asset value, higher rental returns, increased occupancy and better employee wellbeing and productivity.

Residential developments

Since 2004, all new residential dwellings in NSW must be designed in line with the building sustainability index, BASIX. Sustainability standards for energy efficiency, design for thermal comfort and mains potable water consumption are mandated by BASIX.

Hotels and serviced apartments

We are working with the accommodation and entertainment sectors to transform Sydney into a leading sustainable destination. Voluntary benchmarks such as NABERS for hotels commitment agreements can guide design and construction to improve operational performance.

Retail spaces

Developers of retail space, including shopping centres, can design and construct for reduced operating costs and improved asset value.

Last updated: Wednesday, 11 July 2018