ESD Design Guidelines

LID Consulting recently completed the preparation of ESD Design Guidelines for a Melbourne growth area council. These guidelines provide certainty to council officers, consultants and developers in relation to ESD requirements in all development types, while also improving the sustainability performance of all developments in the council area.

The ESD Design Guidelines cover:

  • ESD opportunities in the development of Precinct Structure Plans (PSPs) – masterplans completed by the VPA for new suburb design
  • New subdivision developments design and development
  • New residences and some non residential development types design guidelines
  • Non-residential developments built by developers and retained in private ownership
  • Buildings and Infrastructure built by Council
  • Buildings and infrastructure built by developers but handed over to Council to operate and maintain

Pragmatic but innovative measures will be promoted. Some less common but simple ideas presented relevant to the housing design guidelines include:

  • Recommendations in relation to encouraging home builders to consider designs that simply facilitate ageing in place and Liveable Housing Australia design guidelines;
  • Recommendations in relation to encouraging home builders to consider designs that can readily incorporate creation of internal self contained spaces that may allow multi-generational living;
  • Requirements for building fabric to have greater insulation integrity – minimising power points and data points on external walls unless wall boxes are included behind;
  • Requirements for an additional insulation and installed windows inspection by building surveyors immediately prior to plaster installation to help ensure there are no gaps in insulation or sealing (inexpensive).

Significant stakeholder consultation has been undertaken.

Check out our recent presentation by LID principal, Craig Harris, at the 2019 Liveable Cities Conference in Adelaide SA, where Craig discusses opportunities and constraints for sustainability in new greenfield subdivisions in growth area suburbs. (27 minutes). A copy of the slides for the talk can be found under Resources on this website


LID Consulting was also engaged to update ESD requirements in the Design Guidelines for the sustainable communities development Mullum Creek in Donvale. The Mullum Creek development is one of the leading sustainable communities in Victoria, raising the bar for new estates.

Some of the ESD Design Guideline components included:

  • Building envelopes that don’t overshadow neighbours
  • Minimum energy ratings of 7.5 stars
  • Minimum 2kW PV (solar) panels with a minimum 3kW inverter
  • Solar or heat pump hot water services
  • Water efficient fixtures
    • 3 star shower (6.0-7.5L/min) or (7.5-9.0L/min);
    • 4 star toilets (3.0/4.5L flushing);
    • 5 star basin (4.0-6.0L/min);
    • 5 star kitchen sink (4.0-6.0L/min);
    • 3 star laundry (7.5-9.0 L/min).
  • Achieving 20 points from environmentally favourable materials sourcing and practices


If you are interested in ESD Design Guideline preparation to deliver smart sustainable solutions please give us a call. We generally provide quotes within 24 hours.