Inspiring and delivering sustainable developments

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  • This article was downloaded by: [University of Kent]On: 18 December 2014, At: 08:40Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House,37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Australian PlannerPublication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:

    Inspiring and delivering sustainable developmentsDr Tanya Plant aa Manager, Strategic Policy , Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) , QldPublished online: 22 Dec 2010.

    To cite this article: Dr Tanya Plant (2007) Inspiring and delivering sustainable developments, Australian Planner, 44:4,14-15, DOI: 10.1080/07293682.2007.9982605

    To link to this article:


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  • 14 AustralianPlinner / vol / no 4 / 12.3007

    Inspiring anddelivering sustainabledevelopments

    Author: Dr Tanya Plant

    Manager, Strategic Policy, Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) (Qld)

    Sustainable urban development has been a key focus for the

    development industry, and all levels of government, for a number of

    years and given the rise of awareness of climate change amongst the

    community, it is now also firmly on the agenda of the general public. This

    is particularly the case with potential property buyers and investors who

    are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of selecting more

    sustainable lifestyles.

    With this in mind, the Queensland branch of the Urban Development

    Institute of Australia (UD1A) has developed a user-friendly certification

    and branding system to reward and encourage the integration of

    sustainable features into new developments.

    EnviroDevelopment was inspired by a recognised need to encourage

    developers to implement more sustainable developments by helping

    reward those developers making significant efforts to protect the

    environment and deliver sustainable communities. The certification and

    branding system has been specifically structured to provide meaningful

    information to consumers, and harness a growing market sector

    looking for more sustainable lifestyles. It is designed to distinguish real

    achievement from any 'green wash'.

    EnviroDevelopment incorporates for the first time the various

    elements of sustainable development into a comprehensive system.

    The program operates around a framework of six elements representing

    defined categories of sustainability: ecosystems, waste, energy, materials,

    water and community. Each category is represented by an easily

    identifiable leaf symbol / icon and a development is able to advertise

    using the relevant leaf icons for which they have been certified.

    Flexibility is central to the design of the EnviroDevelopment system,

    so that sustainability is encouraged across all facets and in all styles

    of development. Developers may apply for certification in any or all

    six elements. Any one leaf is considered a significant achievement in

    a specific area of sustainability, while a number of leaves signify an

    outstanding project.

    The system is designed to be applicable to a variety of development

    types, Including residential subdivisions, high-rise developments,

    commercial, mixed use or industrial projects.

    EnviroDevelopment also allows flexibility for innovation, or for unique

    situations, through the structure of its performance requirements.

    However, the certification process has been designed carefully

    and pragmatically to protect the integrity and credibility of the

    EnviroDevelopment brand, and there are a number of mechanisms in

    place to ensure this continues after certification.

    While there are many obvious marketing benefits for developers, there

    are also a number of flow-on incentives for all levels of government,

    particularly local governments. Certified EnviroDevelopments offer

    many benefits for governments including more efficient use of resources

    (through reducing waste and water usage) while facilitating growth,

    encouraging greater private sector investment in sustainability and

    increasing community awareness of sustainability issues.

    The program is designed to grow in line with changes in expectations

    with the standards to be reviewed regularly. It is anticipated that the

    level of the standards required for EnviroDevelopment certification

    will be raised over time to reflect changes in industry practices, new

    technology and research, as well as changes in legislation.

    The system was initially trialled by five projects, and after some fine-

    tuning using feedback from the trial, the program was officially launched

    in Queensland in October 2006, with the support of Foundation Partners

    St George, Boral, Caroma Dorf and Brisbane City Council.

    To date, six projects have been successfully certified as

    EnviroDevelopments: Petrac Group's Redland Bay Leisure Ufe, QM

    Properties' Pacific Harbour Golf and Country Club (Brible Island),

    Landmatters' The Ecovillage at Currumbi^Austcorp'sCoomera Waters,

    Property Marketing's Mebbln Springs (northern New South Wales) and

    Trevand Ltd'sTrevean Gardens (near Toowoomba). An announcement

    of three additional certified developments is expected in the next

    month and there are another three applications (including an industrial

    development) in the advanced stages of applying for certification.

    Already EnviroDevelopment has achieved significant outcomes in

    terms of sustainability outcomes. Certified developments, representing

    over 2,700 lots, are saving more than 77SML/yr of potable water, the

    equivalent of 387 Olympic sized swimming pools and 17,417 tonnes of

    greenhouse gas, which equates to taking more than 3,400 cars off the

    road per year.




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  • AustralianPlanner / voi u I no 4 / u.2007 15

    Certified EnviroDevelopments offer many

    benefits for governments including more

    efficient use of resources while facilitating

    growth, encouraging greater private sector

    investment in sustainability and increasing

    community awareness of sustainability issues. envtro rDEVELOPMENT-\

    The certification process draws on the types of documents

    available around the development approval / building approval

    stages. The enthusiasm across the industry has been encouraging,

    with EnviroDevelopment attracting interest from large'mainstream'

    development companies and consultants as well as developers

    historically targeting an 'eco' niche.

    The certified projects are now incorporating the relevant certification

    logos into marketing items such as advertisements, brochures and

    websites. Certified in five elementsecosystems, water, energy,

    community and wasteAustcorp's Coomera Waters to the north

    of the Gold Coast, has successfully integrated the branding into its

    communications materials.

    "When the project was awarded EnviroDevelopment status by the

    Urban Development Institute of Australia last year, Coomera Waters

    became a brand people wanted to identify with" says Austcorp's State

    Manager Queensland/NTland, Scott Biggs.

    "Its logos convey the objectivity and reliability of a set of industry

    benchmarks and will reinforce buyer confidence in the development.

    These cons are instantly recognizable in promotion, clearly identifying

    a development as a leader in ecologically sustainable development and

    highlighting the developer's triple bottom line commitments.

    "The majority of initiatives outlined in EnviroDevelopment

    certification have already been incorporated into Coomera Waters for a

    number of years. The certification system allowed us to not only formally

    record our achievements but also to identify some areas which can be

    improved upon.

    "Austcorp believes in creating better futures for our next generations.

    To us, EnviroDevelopment is a big step in the right direction for the

    property industry. People are increasingly expecting their homes and

    surrounds to be environmentally friendly."

    Following an overwhelmingly positive response from developers

    across Australia, plans are underway to roll out EnviroDevelopment

    into other Australian states. The system is currently being trialled with

    three developments in South Australia, while Victoria and Western

    Australia are actively considering implementation. As part of the

    roll-out in each state UDIA(Qld) will review the EnviroDevelopment

    Standards to ensure applicability with local conditions.

    Its comprehensive breadth of sustainability issues, applicability to

    both the land and building phases across different types of development

    and its clear element-based certification and communication framework

    make it unique and an exciting opportunity for the development

    industry. EnviroDevelopment is the first of its kind in Australia and, to

    our knowledge, the world, which we believe is something to be proud of.

    For more information, please visit:




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