The Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) assesses energy and water efficiency, thermal comfort, and overall environmental sustainability performance of your new building or alteration. It was created to assist builders and developers to demonstrate that they meet sustainability information requirements as part of planning permit applications. BESS can also be used by any member of the community to assess the design of their home and find ways to make it more sustainable.
BESS replaces two tools that have supported Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) for the past decade. These are:
- STEPS, originally developed by Moreland 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 have been retired from use. STEPS is now closed to new projects, however the website will remain open for access to historical STEPS 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.
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BESS is the recommended tool under the Sustainable Design Assessment in the Planning Process (SDAPP) framework, and the final report is incorporated into a SDA or SMP report to submitted to council during the planning application stage.
The 10 key sustainable design criteria which the SDAPP program requires town planning applicants to address. These include:
- Indoor environment quality
- Energy efficiency
- Water resources
- Storm water management
- Building materials
- Waste Management
- Urban Ecology
- Ongoing building and site management