22 November 2011 – With three new projects now certified under the latest EnviroDevelopment standards, national manager Kirsty Chessher says she hopes more than 50 to have qualified within 12 months.
Ms Chessher told The Fifth Estate the standards were reviewed periodically in light of any new technology, legislation or change in standard practices.
There have been three changes of standards since the first development projects were certified in 2006 when the tool was launched by the Urban Development Institute of Australia.
ED was grooming the 40 projects already certified under the previous standards to comply with the latest criteria in their individual annual reviews, she said.
Ms Chessher said the national standards had been designed to provide flexibility to accommodate the diversity of climate and ecosystems found across Australia.
“The process of refining a set of technical requirements was exhaustive and it was extremely important that the streamlining did not equate to a lowering of any of the benchmarks,” Ms Chessher said.
“Some might have a lot of catching up, others not so much, they lose their certification if they don’t comply. We may find in 18 months that there is more tinkering with standards, “ she said.
The rating tool had been operating under localised standards in participating states since 2006 but will progress under the uniform set of standards for all future applications.
“In effect, the standards have been raised to ensure EnviroDevelopment continues to move at the same rate as emerging sustainable innovation, to capture conceptually the top 10 per cent of performers,” Ms Chesser said.
The three new certified projects, Somerfield Estate in Victoria, a master plan for Parkland Heights in Western Australia and a waterfront precinct on Brisbane’s CBD fringe, Northshore Hamilton in Queensland have shown a 20 per cent increase in greenhouse gas reduction, compared to previous performances under former standards.
“These first three projects to come through under the new standards are deserving of high praise, having essentially passed through an even more rigorous assessment process than previously in place,” she said.
Somerfield Estate is a 1699 lot infill site located at Keysborough, 25 kilometres south west of Melbourne. Developer Intrapac has worked closely with the City of Greater Dandenong to achieve significant gains for the local environment and community, earning EnviroDevelopment certification in ecosystems, water and community.
Certified in water, energy and water elements, Parkland Heights is expected to deliver 1200 homes across 120 hectares.
The site is in Baldivis, about 40 kilometres south of Perth on the Spearwood Dunes System, which is part of the Swan coastal plain.
The NorthShore Hamilton masterplan ensures protection and best practice management of natural systems, habitats and biodiversity, and promotes the innovative and efficient use and management of precious resources such as materials, water and energy to minimise impacts on the climate.
The Urban Land Development Authority project covers 304-hectares of land and has been certified across all six available EnviroDevelopment elements: ecosystems; waste; water; materials; energy and community.