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
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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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07293682.2007.9982605
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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
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
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.
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
"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
"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: www.envirodevelopment.com.au