ESD: Environmentally Sustainable Design

Solution Consultants understand the principles and the application of Environmentally Sustainable Design. ESD is not new, in fact ESD is at the core of engineering design. What has changed recently is the awareness of the importance of elevating energy efficiency to a higher level on the priority and goals matrix.

It is not long ago that value management workshops acknowledged energy efficiency as being desirable in principle but gave it little weight in the commercial decision making process. Initial up front capital cost is no longer the single or majority driver.

Environmentally Sustainable Design was facing an uphill battle in the face of commercial reality. The market simply couldn’t bear it. This changed with the introduction of the legislative power embodied in Section J of the Building Code of Australia gazetted in mid 2005.

Like all things the application of ESD driven design will involve compromise between achieving an ultimate result and delivering a commercially viable outcome. Section J of the BCA establishes a minimum performance benchmark.

It is noted that prior to the publication of BCA Section J, the residential sector was addressed by the NatHERS Scheme. This was widely, but not universally, adopted by the local authorities as a part of the DA approval process. NatHERS has now been replaced by the BASIX programme for residential developments, and has been modified to become the NABERS programme for operating commercial developments and Green Star for upcoming developments in design stage. Other than section J and BASIX all building energy and resource management ratings schemes are voluntary.


  1. Full energy modelling
  2. Building fabric analysis
  3. Section J full building analysis
  4. National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)
  5. CBD (Commercial Building Disclosure)
  6. Green Star (Environmental rating system for buildings in Australia)