CASBE projects

  • Provide an important link between local communities and higher levels of government
  • Have experience in constructing and operating buildings
  • Are the local planning authority managing development approvals
  • Advocate for change at the State and Federal Government levels.

Through a decade long collaboration, CASBE councils have initiated and achieved significant sustainability projects, including the Local Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) Planning Policies and the Built Environment Sustainability Assessment (BESS) tool.

Sustainability in planning

Councils can, and are, applying a range of tools from the Victorian Planning Provisions to deliver environmental outcomes.

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 – the best time to maximise opportunities for good orientation and other initiatives that create liveable, comfortable, efficient buildings.

BESS is the recommended sustainability assessment tool under SDAPP.

Any Victorian council can implement the SDAPP framework in their municipality. We have resources available to councils to assist in this process.

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard

BESS is an online sustainability assessment tool purpose built by Victorian councils for the SDAPP framework.

BESS helps building professionals and developers demonstrate how a proposed development addresses sustainable design at the planning permit stage.

The BESS tool covers key elements that form good liveability and design practice. It supports councils with developing a productive, sustainable and resilient community.

BESS replaces two tools that have been used for the past decade. These are:

  • STEPS, originally developed by Moreland City Council (now Merri-bek City Council) to assess residential buildings
  • Sustainable Design Scorecard (SDS), originally developed by the City of Port Phillip to assess non-residential buildings.

STEPS and SDS were retired from use at the end of October 2016. STEPS will be open to access historical assessments until 31 October 2018.

Developers may use any tool of their choice to complete an ESD assessment for a planning permit application, however it is recommended that all new applications use BESS.

Interested in subscribing to the Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard?

BESS is owned by the MAV and was developed with support from the Victorian Government.