Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD)


Better Buildings via Sustainable Design

Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) is a way of designing buildings that are environmentally friendly and energy efficient 

ESD can help to reduce energy consumption, water usage, and waste production. It can also improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort. 

The ultimate purpose of ESD is to create buildings that are better for the environment and for people.  

How You Can Benefit from ESD

With a green design approach, you can enjoy environmental, economic, and social benefits, including:

Reduced Energy Consumption

You can lower the use of energy in your building, and so cut energy costs and decrease greenhouse gas emissions

Improved Water Efficiency 

ESD can help to optimise water efficiency, giving you water bill savings and reduced water pollution. 

Reduced Waste Production

ESD can help to curb waste generation. That can bring waste disposal savings and decrease the amount of waste you send to landfills.

Improved Indoor
Air Quality

Applying ESD principles can reduce pollutants and allergens, improving the health and well-being of your building occupants. 

More Comfortable

Using natural light and ventilation can enhance comfort levels, thus boosting satisfaction and productivity among building users. 

Environmental Design Principles

Site Impact

The location choice, orientation, and landscaping should support sustainability. 

Energy Performance

Reduce dependence on energy from fossil fuel.

Water Conservation

Use water more efficiently and recycle water where possible.

Materials Use

Use sustainable materials and re-use materials productively where applicable.

Indoor Environmental Quality Enhancement

Maximise daylighting, consider ventilation, moisture controls, and acoustic performance.


Aim to simplify operational practices and reduce maintenance requirements.

We’ll Help You with Sustainable Design

Application Solutions can assist you in applying ESD for your building. Talk to us about how we can work together in creating a greener planet.

Eco Certification Services

BCA Section J

When applying for a Construction Certificate you will need to show that you have complied with Energy Efficiency provisions of the Building Code of Australia (Section J).


For homes, additions and multi units (in NSW) a BASIX Certificate is required before a Development Application is issued. Obtaining a BASIX Certificate means your design has met certain energy and water use objectives.

J1V3 Assessment

The Verification Method J1V3 demonstrates that a newly constructed building complies with the energy efficiency standards set forth by the National Construction Code (NCC).


The National Australian Built Environment Rating System – NABERS Rating Scheme is an initiative to help building owners and tenants across Australia benchmark their greenhouse performance.


The Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) consists of two certifications including NABERS and the Tenancy Lighting Assessment (TLA).

Green Star

A Green Star rating provides independent verification that a building or community project is sustainable. Undertaking Green Star certification demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) is the manner of designing and constructing buildings such that it minimises their environmental impact. This can be done by using energy-efficient materials and systems, reducing water consumption, and incorporating renewable energy sources. 

Environmental design is important if we want to help reduce our impact on the environment, save energy and water, and improve the health and well-being of building occupants. Following a green approach to designing buildings can also increase property value and boost the public image of the building owner. 

Some of the key elements of ESD are: 

  • Building orientation 
  • Performance benchmarks 
  • Water management 
  • Innovation, technology, and building management 

Yes, sustainable design can be used for existing buildings that need to be upgraded, expanded, or adapted. Talk to the Application Solutions team for more information.  

Yes. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) uses Green Star rating tools as a means of certification: Green Star – Communities, Green Star Buildings and Green Star – Design & As Built, Green Star – Interiors, and Green Star Performance. 

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