The Sustainable Council Buildings Policy sets out clear commitments for achieving improved sustainability standards in the way our buildings are planned, designed, built, used and maintained.

This policy applies to over 200 buildings owned and managed by us. These include the four aquatic centres in Kew, Balwyn, Ashburton and Hawthorn, Council’s offices, Hawthorn Arts Centre, depots and transfer stations, five libraries, sports pavilions and a range of other community facilities.

The policy outlines a holistic approach to reducing the environmental impacts of our buildings. It defines:

  • the expectations for managing the demand for new or expanded buildings and maintaining buildings
  • the responsible use of buildings by Council staff, tenants and other building users
  • the minimum sustainability standards required for new buildings, upgrades/expansions and building renewals
  • the guiding principles for the design, building, maintenance and use of Council buildings

The policy’s objectives are met by: 

  • managing demand for new building spaces 
  • facilitating optimal and sustainable use of our existing buildings
  • ensuring design and construction of sustainable buildings including planning for climate change and landscaping, and are appropriate for the intended use and local context
  • supporting common-sense ‘like for better’ sustainability opportunities through building maintenance and upkeep

Minimum Sustainability Standards

Our buildings will be built, expanded or upgraded to an agreed minimum Sustainability Standard dependent on the nature of the project. For the majority of building projects, the aspiration reflects a minimum of equivalent to Green Star 5-Star (Australian Excellence).

We have chosen to adopt the Greenstar Design and As Built Tool from The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) as our preferred measure of building standards. The GBCA is Australia’s leading authority on green buildings and sustainable communities.

The Green Star Design and As Built tool provides a holistic framework to deliver sustainability improvements across nine impact categories:

  • Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) 
  • Energy 
  • Transport 
  • Water 
  • Materials 
  • Land Use and Ecology 
  • Emissions 
  • Innovation 
  • Management

Boroondara’s 5-Star equivalent Balwyn Library

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