Sustainability in planning

CASBE councils are applying a range of tools from the Victorian Planning Provisions to support the delivery of resilient, healthy and sustainable buildings and communities.

The Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) Framework was developed by Victorian councils to provide a streamlined and consistent methodology for requesting, receiving and assessing built environment sustainability outcomes through the planning process.

By implementing the SDAPP Framework and using its tools, councils can achieve more sustainable outcomes from their local built environment for the long-term benefit of their community.

The SDAPP Framework:

  • recognises the role of local governments as a statutory authority for planning matters
  • provides a framework for consideration of sustainable design elements of planning applications
  • offers a consistent method for identifying opportunities for improved environmental building performance
  • ensures that sustainability is considered at the very early design phase. This is the best time to maximise opportunities for good orientation and other initiatives that create liveable, comfortable, efficient buildings.

The SDAPP Framework comprises:

  • Policy objectives – as articulated in local ESD Planning Policies and more broadly in the Victorian Planning Policy Framework.
  • Best Practice Standards – which outline the minimum expectations to meet the policy objectives (articulated in the Sustainable Design Fact Sheets and BESS) 
  • SDAPP supporting documents and tools including the Sustainable Design Fact Sheets and the Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS).

Any Victorian council can implement the SDAPP Framework in their municipality. We have resources available to councils to assist in this process. Please contact us for more information.

Read about how the development industry is considering ESD in the design of buildings.

Banner photo at top:

Astral Pools facility, Keysborough. Architect & Developer: Frasers Property Australia. Photography:

Sustainable Design Fact Sheets 

The Sustainable Design Fact Sheets are a series of information sheets aimed at the development industry, which includes the Best Practice standards for each Sustainable Building Category, and suggested design strategies to meet those standards. 

Originally developed by the Inner Metro Action Plan (IMAP) councils, custodianship of the Fact Sheets is currently being transferred to CASBE.  The suite of Fact Sheets can be found below:

Introduction to the SDAPP Framework 

1.0 Indoor Environment Quality 

1.1 Daylight

1.2 Natural Ventilation

2.0 Energy Efficiency

2.1 External Shading

2.2 Building Envelope Performance

2.3 Zero Carbon Development

3.0 Water Efficiency

4.0 Stormwater Management 

4.1 Site Permeability

5.0 Building Materials 

6.0 Transport

6.1 Electric Vehicles

7.0 Waste Management 

8.0 Urban Ecology 

8.1 Green Roof Wall Facade 

9.0 Innovation

9.1 Melbourne Climate

10.0 Construction & Building Management

ESD Tools



The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) is the recommended sustainability assessment tool under SDAPP Framework.