Strategic review: net zero energy development

Improving the environmental performance of buildings is critical to meet NSW and local government targets.

Project Status: Closed

What we’re doing

Creating performance standards to achieve net zero buildings

Energy use in buildings continues to be a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Greater Sydney. To support the transition to net zero energy, we've developed performance standards for net zero energy buildings to be implemented through the planning system.

The performance standards are step change improvements in energy performance for new office, multi-unit residential, hotel, shopping centre and mixed-use developments and major refurbishment projects.

These improvements can be through: 

  • energy efficiency
  • onsite renewable energy
  • offsite renewable energy recognised in the planning system.

Industry and government action on these performance standards will help meet our shared goal of achieving net zero emissions. The performance standards also respond to the NSW electricity strategy, the Greater Sydney region plan’s low carbon city objective, and net zero corporate targets. The performance standards and evidence base can also be used by other councils across Greater Sydney to achieve their targets for net zero emissions and sustainability actions in their local strategic planning statements. 

Setting step changes in performance standards for energy efficiency and integrating renewables provides industry with certainty to plan and time to adapt and innovate to achieve net zero.

Net zero energy buildings will contribute to a positive and sustainable business recovery for Greater Sydney and improve building resilience. This is in addition to the environmental benefits of reduced emissions.

2018 and 2021 stakeholder forums

In 2018 we partnered in 2 forums for industry and government to identify issues and opportunities to transition to net zero energy developments through land-use planning.

Forum participants identified how to best support the NSW Government's target for net zero emissions by 2050 and the objectives of the Greater Sydney Region Plan and Resilient Sydney – a strategy for city resilience 2018.

These forums started the conversation with industry and government on how planning can contribute to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of buildings.

We held our final forum on 11 March 2021, planning for net zero energy buildings briefing. The briefing presented the performance standards to net zero energy buildings that were developed in collaboration with industry and government. At the briefing we heard perspectives from the Minister for Planning and Public Spaces the Hon. Rob Stokes MP, Lord Mayor Clover Moore, Environment Commissioner Emma Herd and industry executives.

Briefing partners include:

  • Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council
  • City of Sydney
  • Committee for Sydney
  • Greater Sydney Commission
  • Green Building Council of Australia
  • Planning Institute of Australia
  • Property Council of Australia.

You can watch the highlights reel or full video of the briefing. You can download the briefs, presentation slides and outcomes reports below.

Highlights reel of briefing, 11 March 2021 – 5 minutes

Full video of briefing, 11 March 2021 – 54 minutes

Forum 3 briefPDF · 216.12 KB · Last modified

March 2021

Forum 3 presentation slidesPDF · 2.93 MB · Last modified

March 2021

Forum 2 outcomes reportPDF · 1.82 MB · Last modified

November 2018

Forum 2 briefPDF · 372.61 KB · Last modified

November 2018

Forum 1 outcomes report executive summaryPDF · 201.71 KB · Last modified

May 2018

Forum 1 outcomes reportPDF · 2.07 MB · Last modified

May 2018

Forum 1 briefPDF · 1.61 MB · Last modified

May 2018