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Achieving Zero Carbon in the Planning Scheme

In 2018, Merri-bek City Council resolved to pursue initiatives to develop and incorporate zero carbon standards within the Merri-bek Planning Scheme with a focus on:

  • Providing necessary electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure for charging future EV’s.
  • Mandating that new roof spaces of buildings either maximise on-site roof solar photovoltaics (PV) or installation of a green roof.
  • Requiring consideration of future waste streams, including all new development to consider landfill waste, comingled recycling and food organics/green organics (FOGO).

Elevating ESD Targets Planning Policy Amendment Project

Through Merri-bek’s leadership, Victorian councils are collaborating to pursue a joint planning scheme amendment project.  The Project aims to elevate the Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) targets for new development to support a Zero Carbon Planning Scheme.

An Elevating ESD Targets Working Group has also been established with the Council Alliance for Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE), Merri-bek and Yarra Councils to share and collaborate on zero carbon planning. For more information go to:

Merri-bek Zero Carbon Development Guidelines

We have developed a suite of Merri-bek Zero Carbon Development Guidelines to assist our development community with the implementation of design practices that support Council’s zero carbon development expectations.

The Merri-bek Zero Carbon Development Guidelines also encourage the adoption of the metrics established from the Solar PV and Electric Vehcile Readiness technical studies (see below).

To support development interests and to facilitate an ease of transition, we have provided the Merri-bek Zero Carbon Development Guidelines to assist new developments to familiarise with, and recognise, future changes to the development industry.

These changes may be reflected in future updates to the National Construction Code and Victorian variations to the Code or changes to Building Regulations. As well as, amendments to several councils’ Planning Scheme that is being pursued through the collaborative Elevating ESD Targets Planning Policy Amendment Project.

Through the requirement to submit a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) or Sustainability Management Plan (SMP) when lodging a planning permit application, new development is strongly encouraged to adopt relevant metrics, design considerations and uptake new tools that are detailed within the suite of Merri-bek Zero Carbon Development Guidelines.

The Merri-bek Zero Carbon Development Guidelines currently available include:

Additional Guidelines are also being developed for new developments to incorporate design features and considerations that include Green Infrastructure, Circular Economy, Waste and Sustainable Materials. This includes supporting the uptake of the Green Factor Tool, as well as, improved recycling, resource recovery and waste handling practices in line with State government recycling reforms.

Merri-bek Solar PV and Electric Vehicle Technical Studies

We have undertaken technical studies that direct new development to include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and electric vehicle (EV) readiness through the promotion of relevant metrics and implementation criteria. The technical studies can be downloaded below.

The technical studies investigated applying a solar PV metric and EV readiness uptake to townhouse, apartment and industrial buildings, where applicable. Several case studies were explored including an economic impact analysis.