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Sustainable Design

This information Sheet aims to increase knowledge and
awareness of environmentally sustainable development
and design, recognising the contribution that everybody
can make to assist Council in achieving its long term vision      ESD or ‘environmentally sustainable
                                                                  development’ is becoming increasingly
for a ‘Sustainable City of Boroondara’.
                                                                  important in our everyday life. It is our
                                                                  responsibility towards future
The City of Boroondara has developed a long term vision           generations to ensure that what we
for the future called “Our Boroondara - Our City Our              enjoy today can be protected for them
Future”. The Vision has four key themes that revolve              to enjoy in the future.
around community connectedness and sustainability:
     Vision theme 1 Community Wellbeing                           ‘Environmentally/ecologically
     Vision theme 2 Managing a Sustainable Environment            sustainable development’, at its
     Vision theme 3 Planning a Well Designed &                    broadest meaning, is defined by the
                                                                  World Commission on Environment
                      Sustainable City
                                                                  & Development in its 1990 report, as:
     Vision theme 4 Connecting Our City                           Our Common Future:
                                                                  Sustainable Development =
These four themes connect to the strategic objectives in          development that meets the needs
the adopted Council Plan 2008 - 2013, which articulates           of the present without compromising
Council’s future vision, ‘Our Boroondara - Our City Our           the ability of future generations to
Future’. ‘Sustaining our environment’, is a key objective         meet their own needs.
in the Corporate Plan stating that Council will provide
leadership in the area of ESD by incorporating sustainable        Ecologically Sustainable Development
                                                                  is a very broad term in its application
practices in the provision of its services and assets.
                                                                  and covers all aspects of life, including
                                                                  natural, social, cultural and economic.
Council’s vision is reflected in many strategic planning
policies, in particular those included in the Boroondara          The focus of this Sheet is on the built
Planning Scheme.                                                  environment, which involves both the
                                                                  built form and open spaces.
Clause 15 of the State Planning Provisions in the Planning
Scheme is entitled “Environment” and provides objectives          The Sheet aims to provide guidance
and guidelines in various areas, including water, salinity,       to residents, developers, applicants
                                                                  and any other groups who may be
air quality, noise etc, all of which aim to achieve a healthier
                                                                  involved in the design and planning of
and more sustainable environment.                                 our environment. Achieving a more
                                                                  sustainable environment requires that
Clause 21.06 of the Local Planning Policy provides more           both Council and developers/applicants
detailed objectives and strategies that are specific to           work collaboratively to reduce their
Boroondara. It is Council’s intention that a more rigourous       greenhouse gas emissions and
assessment is used to ensure that environmental sustain-          carbon footprints.
ability is embedded in the design of new development.
                                                                  This Information Sheet therefore
                                                                  provides some simple, yet effective
                                                                  measures, which applicants need to
                                                                  consider in their planning applications
                                                                  to demonstrate that an environmentally
                                                                  sustainable outcome is achieved
                                                                  for their proposals.

                                                                  Council’s initiatives in the ESD area
                                                                  include the ‘Low Carbon Strategy’
                                                                  and the ‘Eco Living Centre’ , which can
                                                                  be accessed on Council’s website:
  Passive Solar Design
  This fact sheet provides guidance to applicants by high-
  lighting a number of simple, yet cost effective measures
  reducing greenhouse gases and improving environmental
  performance of new deveolopment. As part of the planning
  assessment process, Council will be evaluating the environ-
  mental performance of new proposals, focusing on the
  following areas:

  1. Passive solar design: e.g. north orientation, sunlight
     access and cross ventilation.
  2. Energy efficiency: e.g. heating, cooling, lighting &
  3. Water conservation: e.g. water use, recycling grey water           Information contained in this
      and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD).                          brochure is sourced from:
  4. Sustainable transport: e.g. bike storage and facilities. 
  5. Building materials: e.g. energy efficient materials, re-use
      and recycling of existing materials.                              DiscoveryCentre/Infosheets/Planets/
  6. Indoor air quality.
                                                                        The Nature of Sustainable Development,
  7. Waste management: e.g. recycling.                                  Sharon Beder, Earth Foundation
  8. Light and noise pollution.                                         Australia, second edition 1996
  9. Building management systems.
  10. Landscaping.
  11. Sustainable Transport.
  The first stage in any concept development should focus on producing a site analysis that
  documents all existing conditions. Solar access is the most important factor when considering
  design layout and siting. Working out the best orientation to get adequate sunlight access to the
  development without compromising solar access to neighbouring properties and the public
  domain is the first step towards achieving a sustainable design outcome and can provide
  enormous environmental and monetary benefits in the long term.
  Understanding the manner in which the sun interacts with buildings is therefore critical for a
  good site analysis and an environmentally responsive
  design outcome.                                                                Summer sun’s path

 winter                                          Sunrise

                                                   East          The sun’s apparent path across the sky in summer
270                                                              in Melbourne

  Sunset                                                                         sun’s path
 summer                                        Sunrise

  The Path of the Sun       180
  The diagram below shows the path of the Sun across
  the sky in Melbourne for four important dates:                 The sun’s apparent path across the sky in winter
  the Autumn Equinox- March 21; the Winter Solstice - June 22;   in Melbourne
  the Spring Equinox - Sep 23; & the Summer Solstice -Dec 22.
Passive Solar Design
Siting and orientation of buildings is one of the
fundamental principles of climate responsive, passive
design. Proper siting and orientation can achieve energy
efficiency through maximising natural ventilation and
solar access. The following are some basic strategies to
apply to the internal layout of spaces, especially for
residential development:                                            Your Development: Creating
                                                                    Sustainable Neighbourhoods, 2008,
1. Orienting the long axis of buildings east-west to      
    maximise exposure to north.
2. Locating living areas to face true north to maximise           The Good Design Guide for
    sun light access, especially in winter.                       medium-density housing, Department
3. Placing bedrooms and kitchens to the east to access            of Planning and Development, Vic
    morning sun.
                                                                  Australia’s Guide to Good Residential
4. Locating outdoor areas and private open spaces to
                                                                  Design, the National Office of Local
    north to take advantage of winter sun.                        Government & RMIT
5. Locating non-habitable areas on the western or
    southern side to enable activity areas to get good sun        Also, visit the following sites for more
    light.                                                        information:
6. Orienting and locating windows and openings to       
    encourage natural ventilation and air flow by       
    prevailing winds.                                   
7. Maximising opportunities for cross ventilation by    
    careful design, location of habitable rooms and
    placement of windows and openings.
8. Providing proper shading devices such as eaves, external screens and overhangs on east
    and west elevations.
9. Careful choice of materials and finishes for roof and walls can assist in reducing heat gain or
   loss e.g. lighter coloured materials absorb less heat and double glazing of windows can reduce
    winter heat loss.
10.Providing sheltered outdoor spaces that have access to sunlight in winter, but protected
   from the sun in summer.

A proper site analysis should identify
the main opportunities & constraints
of the land, which will influence the
design, in particular north orientation
and potential solar access.
Passive solar design means using
the heat of the sun and natural air
movement to maintain a
comfortable internal
environment all year round.

Factors that influence passive
solar design include:
building orientation, building
siting and shape, zoning of
activities, daylight access
and potential heat loss,
ventilation, thermal mass
and insulation.
Passive Solar Design
Passive solar design has a strong and interdependent
relationship with energy consumption. Maximising the
passive solar performance of a building by taking
advantage of the sun’s free warmth and light will help
buildings be more comfortable for occupants and save
money, as less energy will be needed for cooling or heating.
There are many design strategies that can assist in achieving   There are many accreditation
an environmentally responsive building, as demonstrated         programs used to measure the
in the diagrams below.                                          environmental performance of
                                                                buildings. The most well known
Natural Ventilation                                             system is the use of Star Ratings.
Building design should consider natural cross ventilation       A summary of each of these
through proper siting of windows and doors. Openings            programs or tools is provided below:
should be located to allow the greatest air exchange and
flow. Carefully located and appropriately sized windows         NaTHERS: is the Nationwide House
                                                                Energy Rating Scheme established by
can assist in minimising heat loss in winter and heat gain in
                                                                the Ministerial Council on Energy.
summer. East, north and west facing windows need to be
                                                                It is managed by the Australian
protected from summer heat through the use of external          Greenhouse Office. This Scheme uses
shading devices, or by planting deciduous trees.                computer simulations to rate the
                                                                potential energy efficiency of
Windbreaking                             Deciduous shade        Australian homes on a scale of zero
planting                                                        to 10 stars. The more stars, the better
                                         trees to the east
                                                                the environmental performance.
                                         & west       

                                                                Green Star: the Green Building
                                                                Council of Australia runs Green Star,
                                                                which is an assessment tool that
                                                                covers a range of environmental
                                                                categories including indoor
                               SUMMER                           environmental quality, energy,
                                                                transport, water, materials, landuse,
Windbreaking                                                    site selection and ecology, plus
planting                                                        innovation. Green Star is a
                                  Deciduous trees adjacent      comprehensive, national, voluntary
                                   to northern wall permit      environmental rating scheme that
                                               solar access     evaluates the environmental design
                                  wall                          of buildings. Current tools available
                                                                are for office, education, retail
                                                                centres, health and multi-unit
                                                                residential developments.

                               WINTER                           NABERS: the National Australian Built
                                                                Environment Rating System (NABERS)
                                                                is a performance-based rating system
          Poor ventilation            Good ventilation          for existing buildings. It is a national
Cooling                                                         initiative managed by the NSW
breeze                                                          Government. NABERS is a voluntary
                                                                rating tool measuring a range of
                                                                operational environmental impacts of
                                                                buildings, in stars. NABERS now
                                                                incorporates the Australian Building
                                                                Greenhouse Rating (ABGR), which has
                                                                been re-named NABERS Energy for

Passive Solar Design
Building Materials
Another key strategy in Passive Solar Design is to consider
the use of heavy construction materials to make the
climate work for buildings. Heavy-weight materials absorb
the heat during the day and release it at night.
Thermal mass is a term used to describe the ability of any         Continue from page 4.
building material to absorb, store and at a later time,            ABGR: the Australian Building
release heat back to the air. Heavy-weight materials like          Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) Scheme
concrete and brick have a high thermal mass and are                is administered nationally by the
better in achieving this. When combined with appropriately         NSW Department of Energy, Utilities
                                                                   & Sustainability (DEUS).
sized windows and insulation, thermal mass can be
                                                                   As of May 2008, the ABGR was
effective in minimising heat loss and creating a comfortable       renamed NABERS Energy. The (ABGR)
internal environment, while saving energy.                         is a scheme that helps building
                                                                   owners and tenants across Australia
                                                                   benchmark the greenhouse
                                                                   performance of their premises.
                                Heat stored
                                                                   It is a voluntary rating that provides
                                                                   market recognition and encourages
                                                                   best practise in design, operation
                                                                   and maintenance. The ABGR scheme
                                                                   rates buildings from zero to five
                                                                   stars (in half star increments) with
                                                                   5 stars representing exceptional
                                                                   greenhouse performance and
                                                                   energy savings.
                                                                   Re-branding of ABGR as NABERS
                          Heat released                  

                                                                   GreenSmart: GreenSmart is a
                                                                   voluntary practical approach to
                                                                   building that focuses on educating
Thermal mass effectively evens out the day and night               builders, designers, product
temperature variations in buildings. Using materials with          manufacturers and consumers about
thermal mass will absorb heat where it can be re-radiated          the benefits of environmentally
at night.                                                          responsible housing. GreenSmart is
                                                                   an industry-driven initiative that
 Unprotected single glazing                                 100%   provides both training and accredit-
                                                                   ation for the housing industry.
 Vertical or venetian blinds                                100%
 Unlined drapes or Holland blinds, no pelmet              92%
 Heavy, lined drapes, no pelmet                         87%        Builder/region/National/classification/
 25 mm polysterene, shutters, good airseal              75-85%
Unlined drapes or Holland blinds, pelmet              79%          References:
                                                                   1. Australia’s Guide to Good
 Double glazing                                 69%                   Residential Design, produced by
Heavy lined drapes, pelmet                     63%                    RMIT for the National Office of
Double glazingd with                                                  Local Government
low-E coating
                                          57%                      2. Solar Access for Lots: Guidelines for
Double glazing                                                        Residential Subdivision in NSW, by
heavy drapes, pelmet
Double glazed (3mm clear 2w                                        3. Manningham Sustainability
                                     45%                              Guidelines - City of Manningham
12mm air space)
Double glazed (6mm clear 2w,                                       4. Sustainable Design Guidelines,
12mm air space)                      44%                              City of Yarra
                                                                   5. The Smarter Green Book by James
Double glazed
(4mm clear + 4mm Sungate       28%                                    Hardie.
500w 12mm argon filled)
                                 Heat Loss through Windows
                              Comparison of heat loss through
                        different window treatments in winter
 Passive Solar Design
 Insulation of the roof space and walls against heat and                  Continue from pages 4 & 5.
 cold transfer is the most important measure in ensuring
                                                                          A scientifically-based branding
 that a building is efficiently and economically heated.                  system designed to make it easier
                                                                          for purchasers to recognise and
                                                                          select more environmentally
       Where possible, insulate the ceilings, walls and                   sustainable developments &lifestyles.
        in some cases, the floor of your renovation                       Certified developments have been
                                 Insulate walls                           carefully designed to protect the
                              between ceilings to                         environment and use resources
                               the same R-rating ‘Sarking’ under          responsibly, whilst offering a range of
                 Pay special     as the ceilings the roof adds to         benefits to applicants.
                 attention to                     insulation level
              cathedral ceilings
   Insulate                                            At least R2.0
                                                     ceiling insulation   Ecospecifier: is a knowledge base of
total building
                                                                          over 3500 eco-products, eco-materials,
                                                                          technologies and resources, and is the
Do not leave
                                                                          leading global source of sustainable
                                                                          development & life-cycle assessed
                                                                          green product information.
                                                                          Categorising products according to
      R1.5 wall                               Insulate existing           rating scheme compliance such as
     insulation             Consider        walls where possible          Green Star, ecospecifier helps you
                      under-floor insulation (including cavity            reduce the time and costs of
                        where suspended        between walls)             implementing Best Practice Green.
                      timber floors are used.                             Its broader aim is to help create a
                     Insulate under existing                              more sustainable environment by
                          timber floors                                   increasing the use of environmentally
                                                                          preferable & healthy products,
                                                                          materials & design processes.
 Uninsulated ceilings, walls and even floors can account for
 over 70% of total heat loss from a home. Air leaks can                   EcoSelector: is another materials
 account for 15 to 25% of heat loss from an uninsulated                   database developed by RMIT for
                                                                          VicUrban, showcasing their first
 home and create uncomfortable draughts.
                                                                          sustainable suburb in Aurora, Epping.
                               Source of draughts

Energy Efficiency
While passive solar design measures can significantly
reduce energy consumption, in many cases, these need to
be supplemented by other mechanical systems to ensure
that a comfortable environment is created for occupants.         GreenPower is a joint initiative of
Energy savings can be achieved in areas like ventilation,        several State & Territory government
heating, cooling, lighting, hot water and other electrical       agencies that have joined together
systems. According to Sustainability Victoria, heating is the    to run the GreenPower accreditation
largest components of energy use, reaching up to 50% of          program. GreenPower was set up in
total energy use, followed by hot water, which comprises         1997 by the NSW State Government
                                                                 to encourage new investment in
25% of the total.
                                                                 renewable energy. It was established
                                                                 in conjunction with non-government
Heating & Cooling, Lighting & Hot                                organisations such as Greenpeace
Water Systems                                                    and the Australian Conservation
Electricity generated by fossil fuel is responsible for over     Foundation, as well as the national
85% of the green house gas emissions in Australia.               energy industry.
Where possible, applicants should investigate use of green       The program was rolled out on a
                                                                 national basis in 2000. The energy
power when preparing their planning applications for new
                                                                 companies that supply Green Power
development.                                                     are audited annually to ensure that
                                                                 the service provided still meets the
Green power is electricity generated from renewable energy       requirements of this independent
sources (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, & hydroelectric).     organisation.
Many large power plants, wind power generating facilities        The national GreenPower accreditation
as well as small power producers (such as photovoltaic           program sets the rules & requirements
farms) feed electrical power into the grid for distribution to   for energy suppliers who supply
users.                                                           renewable energy products and want
                                                                 to market them to Australian consumers.
                                                                 These include:
Consumers can now choose either renewable energy plans              Renewable energy sources which
or GreenPower accredited energy plans. Both types of plans         meet strict environmental standards;
enable Australian households to use energy from renewable          Renewable energy sources built since
energy sources. Some electricity providers offer both types        the introduction of the scheme in
of plans.                                                          1997.
                                                                 GreenPower agencies audit
The use of green power to generate your electricity may          electricity retailers' sales and purchases
have a higher up front cost, but can considerably reduce         as well as the electricity generators.
                                                                 Green Power offers Australian residential
the ongoing operational cost of any development,
                                                                 users the unique opportunity to choose
especially where developers choose to invest in solar panels     renewable energy to power their home.
or wind turbines to generate their own electricity.              While most of the electricity on the
                                                                 power grid comes from coal fired
                                                                 power stations, which is a polluting
                                                                 and non-renewable source of energy,
                                                                 household consumers can, by signing
                                                                 up to GreenPower plans, choose to have
                                                                 a proportion of their energy supplied
                                                                 from renewable energy sources.
                                                                 Other Useful websites:
                                                                 Sustainable Energy Authority of
Use of alternative power sources - green power, such as wind     Victoria (SEAV) website:
turbines and solar panels (PV Panels) to generate energy.

Appliances ratings: Ensure that your appliances have an
accredited rating scheme

Water Conservation
Australia is the driest inhabited continent, yet has one of
the highest water consumption rates per capita in the
world. Households consume slightly more than half of all
of the water supplied to Melbourne. An average Melbourne
household uses about 240,000 litres of water per year,
which is the equivalent of five average-sized (52,000 litres)
                                                                       “Living for our Future: Water in the
domestic swimming pools.
                                                                       Home and Garden” is a publication
                                                                       produced by the City of Boroondara
                                                                       in association with Swinburne
                                                                       University and the National Centre
                                                                       for Sustainability. The booklet
                                                                       provides useful information on:
                                                                       - Reducing water consumption;
                                                                       - Recycling more water; and
                                                                       - More efficient use of our existing
                                                                         water supply system.
                                                                       It can be accessed on Council’s
                                                                       web site.
                                                                       Other useful websites, include:
The diagram above shows the main water using areas in a household in
Melbourne - Source: Yarra Valley Water
                                                                       Our Water Our Future
The diagram above shows the percentage of water use for      
different purposes around the house, the highest being the             Victorian Water Industry Association
bathroom use.                                                
                                                                       Savewater Alliance
                                                                       A Victorian based information portal
                                                                       on water conservation featuring tips,
                                                                       advice, case studies, awards and other
                                                                       valuable educational information.
                                                                       Water Efficiency Labelling and
                                                                       Standards Scheme (WELS)
Rainwater collection and its re-use for different purposes around
the home.                                                              public/
                                                                       City West Water
Selecting minimum flow (AAA rated) taps, showerheads &                 Yarra Valley Water
appliances and local drought tolerant plants can asist in water
conservation.                                                          South East Water
                                                                       Grow Me the Money (VECCI Initiative)
                                                                       is a free program for Victorian small
                                                                       to medium sized businesses interested
                                                                       in environmental sustainability.
                                                                       Grow Me the Money provides you with
                                                                       a step-by-step guide to saving money
                                                                       & reducing your resource consumption.

WELS is Australia's water efficiency labelling scheme. It
allows consumers to compare the water efficiency of
different products. The rating system has six stars.
The more stars the better.

Water Sensitive Urban Design
Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) aims at reducing
water consumption on site, as well as reducing the negative
impact of runoff from a site by improving the stormwater
quality. A range of sustainable water strategies are
available and should be considered in any planning
application including:
   Replacing potable water with another water source,
   such as collection of rainwater from the roof and
   various surfaces and its re-use for gardening and toilet
   Stormwater harvesting & re-use of grey or black water.
   Selecting local indigenous and drought tolerant plants
    to reduce the demand for garden watering.

Landscaping should be integrated in the design of any
development, not added at the end of the architectural
design. Sustainablity can be embedded in the design of
both hard and soft landscaping and if well integrated in the
architecture of the building can assist in providing shading
and improving the overall air quality and internal and
external environment.

A landscape plan is required for planning applications and
it is imperative that the plan explains and illustrates how
sustainability is achieved.

Council has a wide range of information and fact sheets
that address varying components in the landscape design,        Other Useful references:
including native flora and fauna, biodiversity and corridor     1. Your home: A step-by-step Guide
action plans. Some basic landscape design                          to buying a new house - Buyer’s
strategies to consider are:                                        Guide.
- Integration of any driveways and pedestrians pathways         2. Your home: An independent
                                                                   guide to improving your home -
   in the design of the landscape and ensuring that a mix
                                                                   Renovator’s Guide.
   of hard and soft surfaces are included;                      3. STEPS - Sustainable Tools for
- Use of deciduous trees to provide shading in summer              Environmental Performance
   while allowing sunlight access in winter;                       Strategy, Moreland Green List,
- Use of native species and drought tolerant plants to             Moreland City Council
   reduce the need for watering; and                            4. Doncaster Hill Sustainable
- Using planting to assist in achieving privacy & screening.       Management Plan Checklist,
                                                                   City of Manningham
                                                                5. Sustainable Design Scorecard
                                                                   SDC, Cities of Port Phillip & Moreland
                                                                6. Sustainable Design Guidelines,
                                                                   A series of booklets by Yarra City.
                                                                Sustainable Gardening Australia
                                                                Green Gardeners Au

Images illustrate the value of integrating landscaping in the
design of new development and its contribution to a
sustainable environment.
Building Materials
Embodied energy in building materials has been studied
for the past several decades to understand the relationship
between building materials, construction processes and
their environmental impacts.
There are two forms of embodied energy in buildings:
· Initial embodied energy; and
· Recurring embodied energy
                                                                   Embodied energy is measured as
The initial embodied energy in buildings represents the            a quantity of non-renewable
non-renewable energy consumed in the acquisition of raw            energy per unit of building material.
materials, their processing, manufacturing, transportation         It may be expressed as megaJoules
to site, and construction. This initial embodied energy has        (MJ) or gigaJoules (GJ) per unit of
two components:                                                    weight (kg or tonne) or area
1. Direct energy used to transport building products to            (square metre). Embodied energy
   the site and then to construct the building; and                is an indicator of the overall
2. Indirect energy used to acquire, process and                    environmental impact of building
                                                                   materials. However, it must be
    manufacture the building materials, including any
                                                                   carefully weighed against
   transportation related to these activities.                     performance and durability since
                                                                   these may have a mitigating or
The recurring embodied energy in buildings represents              compensatory effect on the initial
the non-renewable energy consumed to maintain, repair,             environmental impacts associated
restore, refurbish or replace materials during the life of the     with embodied energy.
building.                                                          The building envelope, structure
Some basic principles that can assist in reducing the              and services contribute fairly
impacts of construction materials on the environment               equally and account for about
                                                                   three-quarters of total initial
                                                                   embodied energy.
   Re-use of existing building materials where possible;           The finishes, which represent only
   Designing robust and flexible buildings which can be            13% of the embodied energy
   modified over their life cycle for different purposes ;         initially, typically account for the
   Specifying building materials with less embodied                highest increase in recurring
   energy unless this is counterbalanced by their durability;      embodied energy. The current
   Where possible, using recycled and recyclable materials         preoccupation with lower first
   with low embodied energy, e.g. timber, brick etc.               costs in buildings reveals its
   Encouraging use of timber harvested from plantation             disregard for sustainability when
                                                                   viewed from a building life cycle
   forests and local materials that do not require long
   distance transportation.
                         Ecospecifier is a leading global source   Green Building Products is a
                         of sustainable development & life-cycle   comprehensive directory of green
                         assessed green product information,       building products for home building
                         grouping products according to            and remodeling, featuring more
                         rating scheme compliance,                 than 1,600 descriptive listings.
                         e.g. Green Star. See website:             All phases of residential
                                    construction are covered, from
                                                                   sitework to flooring to renewable
The images illustrate a range of building                          Websites and references:
materials and finishes that can be of high               
quality, yet of low embodied energy.                     
Detailed information on building products                
can be obtained from EcoRecycle Victoria                 
or Ecospecifier. Refer to pages 5 & 6.                             asf/perspectives_sustainibility/

Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)
There is growing scientific evidence that the air within
buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor
air. In major cities people spend as much as 90% of their
time indoors, much of it in buildings with mechanical
ventilation systems. Poor indoor air quality may cause a
range of health effects from mild and generally non-
specific symptoms such as headaches, tiredness or
lethargy to more severe effects such as aggravation of
asthma and allergic responses. These symptoms are
referred to as "Sick Building Syndrome".

Generally, the quality of indoor air can and does impact on
productivity, personal comfort, building maintenance
costs and occupational health and safety.

The four steps to better air quality are:
1. Elimination through identification of the source of air
   problems and wherever possible, elimination through
   better product selection and design.
2. Ventilation by preventing the accumulation of
   pollutants to levels that can pose health and comfort
   problems.                                                     Volatile organic compounds (VOCs):
3. Separation of problem materials from occupants by             are chemicals containing carbon
   using air barriers or sealers such as coatings.               that evaporate into the atmosphere
4. Absorption through measures such as indoor plants.            at room temperature. They often
                                                                 have an odour and are present in a
                                                                 wide range of household products,
Some simple strategies include selecting buildings products      construction materials and new
including floor finishes, paints and adhesive compounds          furnishings. Household products
with no or very low VOC’s. Also, ensure that buildings are       that contain VOCs include paints,
sealed well to reduce pest entry, eg. use insect screens for     varnishes, adhesives, synthetic
openable windows.                                                fabrics, cleaning agents, scents
                                                                 and sprays.
                                                                 Strategies to reduce VOC exposure
                                                                 in the building take two forms:
                                                                 - Stop or reduce the use of
                                                                    products that contain VOCs.
                                                                 - If the product is necessary,
                                                                    ensure adequate ventilation
                                                                    when using it.
                                                                 - Open doors and windows
                                                                    whenever possible & practicable.

                                                                 A great deal of practical information
                                                                 in relation to IEQ and other
Winter gardens, atriums and courtyards can assist in improving   elements of Sustainable Design
ventilation, which in turn improves air quality.                 can be found in the “Technical
                                                                 Manual Design for Lifestyle and the
                                                                 Future”, which can be accessed on
                                                                 this website:

For internal spaces, use products & adhesives
that are of low or zero VOC

Waste Management
Boroondara has adopted a “Waste Minimisation and
Recycling Strategy 2003-2010”. The Strategy outlines key
principles, objectives and actions for Council and the
community in achieving the targets set for the
municipality by 2010. The main direction in the strategy is
to follow the waste hierarchy:                                       The City of Boroondara, in
‘Avoid, Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle’ .                                   association with Swinburne University
                                                                     and the National Centre for
A waste management plan is required with any planning                Sustainability, have produced a
applications for medium to large scale development. The              publication titled “Waste in and
                                                                     Around the House”, which
plan should provide detailed information about the
                                                                     can be accessed from Council’s
facilities and measures taken for waste minimisation and             website.
avoidance, the location and provisions of recycling within 
the private and semi-public spaces.                                  living-sustainably

                                                                     Council’s “Waste Minimisation
                                                                     and Recycling Strategy 2003-2010”
                                                                     includes objectives and actions for
                                                                     Council as well as the community,
                                                                     and can be accessed on Council’s
                                      Source: EcoRecycle Victoria&   website:
                                 Environment Protection Act 1970.

Waste in the public domain:
Council’s strategies for waste
minimisation and recycling
are implemented in the
public and private domain.

A significant fraction of the
solid waste generated is
organic material that can
be recycled through small
scale or backyard

                                                                     Source: EcoRecycle Victoria&
                                                                     Environment Protection Act 1970.

Electricity from landfill gas diagram above: Boroondara is a part
owner of the Clayton landfill. The buried rubbish produces
methane gas which is collected in pipes, cleaned, and transported
to a generator plant.

Source: Australian Energy News

Sustainable Transport
Transport is a key factor in contributing to green house gas
emissions, as cars are the highest generators of air pollution.
Boroondara has strategies that encourage sustainable
transportation, most notably, “Living for our future -
Transport”, which is a series of fact sheets produced by          The overall goal of Council’s Bicycle
Council in association with Swinburne University and the          Strategy is to increase the number of
National Centre for Sustainablity.                                cyclists using Boroondara’s bicycle
                                                                  network and facilities. This can be
The draft “Boroondara Bicycle Strategy - 10 Year Strategy”,       achieved by:
                                                                  - Ensuring planning for cycling is
is an important document that identifies key issues and
                                                                      integrated within overall
highlights measures & actions to address them.                        transport and land use planning;
It is strongly encouraged that new applications include a         - Encouraging consideration of
Transport Strategy and a Green Travel Plan, especially for            cycling in all infrastructure
medium to large scale development. Adequate bicycle                   design and opportunities to
storage & shower facilities are required for all development.         improve facilities or to extend
                                                                      the bicycle network;
                                                                  - Monitoring bicycling volumes;
                                                                  - Expanding and improving the
                                    Sustainable                       continuity & legibility of existing
                                    transportation                    and future bicycle corridors;
                                    modes include cycling,        - Improving integration and facilities
                                    walking and public                at key trip attractors & between
                                    transport                         adjacent municipalities;
                                                                  - Coordinating the provision of
                                                                      bicycling facilities across
                                                                      relevant agencies & organizations;
                                                                  - Facilitating ongoing research and
                                                                      investigation of new initiatives;
                                                                  - Undertaking audits of facilities and
                                                                      develop remedial action plans.

                                                                  Other Useful references:
                                                                  1. Your home: A step-by-step Guide
                                                                     to buying a new house - Buyer’s
Light & Noise Pollution                                           2. Your home: An independent
                                                                     guide to improving your home -
The nuisance caused by light spill and noise is another              Renovator’s Guide.
factor for creating discomfort in internal spaces, hence the      3. STEPS - Sustainable Tools for
term ‘light and noise pollution’.                                    Environmental Performance
                                                                     Strategy, Moreland Green List,
                                                                     Moreland City Council
As a minimum requirement, light spill should be directed          4. Doncaster Hill Sustainable
within the site boundaries or upwards. New development               Management Plan Checklist,
should reduce light spill onto adjacent residential                  City of Manningham
properties and the local environment.                             5. Sustainable Design Scorecard
                                                                     SDC, Cities of Port Phillip & Moreland
In respect of noise, generally sources of noise, such as car      6. Sustainable Design Guidelines,
parks, should be located away from residential areas                 A series of booklets by Yarra City.
and any noise generated by a development should be                Sustainable Gardening Australia
reduced through the use of noise attenuation measures.
                                                                  Green Gardeners Au