Ecologically Sustainable Design Services

Our team of consultants specialise in performance modelling from the planning stage, material selection, construction, right through to commissioning and post construction assessments.  We can provide detailed analysis and advice for your next project in these areas:

Planning Stage

Performance reports are required at planning stage for developments in some Victorian councils. These reports can also be used for benchmarking ESD building performance against recognised criteria across all Australian jurisdictions.  These reports include:  


Sustainable Management Plans (SMP)

Part of the Sustainable Design Assessments in the Planning Process (SDAPP) an SMP is a detailed sustainability assessment undertaken at planning stage.

Some councils require an SMP for larger developments of 10 or more residential dwellings or more than 1000 m2 of non-residential Gross Floor Area.

An SMP looks to assess 10 key Sustainable Building Categories seeking to address best practice initiatives to improve sustainability outcomes.

These categories include:

  • Indoor Environment Quality
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Water Efficiency
  • Stormwater Management
  • Building Materials
  • Transport
  • Waste Management
  • Urban Ecology
  • Innovation
  • Construction and Building Management

Sustainable Design Assessments (SDA)

Also part of the Sustainable Design Assessments in the Planning Process (SDAPP) framework, an SDA is a simple assessment of a proposed building conducted at planning stage. It references the same categories as does an SMP but at developments of 1 - 9 new residential dwellings or 100m2 - 1000m2 non-residential Gross Floor Area.

STORM water assessments

Used for both SMP and SDA, STORM assess whether best practice water quality objectives have been achieved for the site under assessment.

Waste Management Plans (WMP)

A Waste Management Plan would include details of:

  •  land use type
  •  waste generation
  • waste systems
  • bin quantity, size and colour
  • collection frequency  
  • bin storage
  •  collection location
  •  scaled waste management drawings
  • collection contractors
  • additional waste requirements
  • signage

Design Documentation / Compliance / Building Performance Optimisation

Sustainability House offer a range of performance simulation and design advice services to quantify aspects of building performance during the design documentation stage. These include:


Daylight simulation

Assesses the day-light performance of a building design. Aims to reduce the need for electric lighting and therefore reduce energy consumption.

Air-change effectiveness

This assessment uses modelling to show the effective distribution of air within a space, not just the air quantity. It is aimed at eliminating “dead spots” and ensuring good air circulation.

Natural ventilation

This is an energy efficiency assessment  looking at design options to consider effective natural ventilation instead of relying on mechanical fresh air delivery.

Thermal comfort

Considers the comfort of occupants within a space based on the intended use, material selection & operation of building services. This can sometimes take the form of a post-occupancy audit of comfort experienced by occupants with analysis of steps to remedy any problems identified.

Passive design

Assesses design without active mechanical systems to reduce energy consumption. Specific attention is divided into: the site, location and solar orientation of the building, local sun path, the prevailing level of insolation (latitude / sunshine / clouds / precipitation (meteorology) ), design and construction quality / materials, placement / size / type of windows and walls, and incorporation of solar-energy-storing thermal mass with heat capacity.

Material selection

Research service to consider the properties of construction materials based on their environmental credentials, i.e. low VOC paints, embodied energy, recycled content, sustainably sourced timber, etc.

Shading diagrams

This service uses 3D geometric modelling and site data to show the impact of shading devices on the subject building and neighbouring buildings. Shading videos can also be produced. .

Life cycle analysis

Aimed at considering the total impact of construction & operation over building life cycle, not just the operational energy. This looks at the environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product/building’s life, from “cradle to grave” and considers it in the context of the predicted operational performance.

Green Star modelling & submission advice

Sustainability House offers Green Star Accredited Professional (GSAP) services and advice relating to building modelling for specific Green Star credits as well as advice on full Green Star submissions.

NABERS ratings & Commitment Agreement advice

The NABERS rating tool is a post-occupancy rating for existing buildings based on 12 months collection of data on the operation of building services and therefore can not be used to assess building designs prior to construction. Where a design is to be assessed to predict future performance it can be registered via a NABERS Commitment Agreement. This involves undertaking energy modelling of the proposed design to determine the likely energy consumption once the building has been constructed.

Sustainability House offers NABERS Energy consultancy services for both NABERS ratings and NABERS Commitment Agreements.

Contact Us

By using industry leading best practices, Sustainability House can strategically assist in delivering cost effective solutions to energy efficiency issues, whether you are building a new home or a major commercial project.

HIAMaster Builders AustraliaBuilding Designers Association VictoriaGreen Building Council

Australia's leading Provider of Energy Efficiency Modelling Services to the Construction Industry

Assisting builders, developers, architects and designers right across Australia

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