solaRate specialises in providing sustainable design initiatives and assessments / reports as part of the planning permit application for all residential and multi-residential projects.  The assessments / reports we provide are as follows:

Environmental Sustainable Design (ESD) Reports

The ESD report provides a detailed sustainability assessment of the proposed residential or multi-residential development design at the planning stage of the project.  It will address the following 10 criteria and demonstrate that a holistic ESD review has been undertaken of the project;

  • Indoor Environment Quality
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Water Efficiency
  • Stormwater Management
  • Building Materials
  • Transport
  • Waste Management
  • Urban Ecology
  • Innovation
  • Ongoing Building and Site Management

Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA)

Is a simple sustainability assessment of a proposed design at the planning stage. The assessment will support your planning application by showing how you intend to address the 10 Key Sustainable Building Criteria.

Sustainable Management Plan (SMP)

Is a detailed sustainability assessment of a proposed design at the planning stage. An SMP identifies beneficial, easy to implement and best practice sustainability initiatives.  It addresses the 10 Key Sustainable Building Criteria and demonstrates that a holistic sustainable design review has been undertaken during a project’s early design stage.

In relation to these categories, an SMP must:

  • Identify relevant sustainability targets or performance standards
  • Document the means by which the appropriate target or performance will be achieved.

The nature of larger developments provides the opportunity for increased environmental benefits and the opportunity for major resource savings.



BESS Assessment

BESS (Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard) 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 a planning permit applications.

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.

STORM Rating

The STORM tool has been developed specifically for small residential and industrial developments to rate how well different properties treat stormwater and to compare them against a common measurement system.  The STORM Calculator displays the amount of treatment that is required to meet best practice targets.  The tool is capable of calculating the performance of a range of commonly implemented treatment measures such as:

  • Rainwater tanks (assumes rainwater is to be used for toilet flushing)
  • Rain gardens
  • Infiltration systems
  • Buffers
  • Swales


  • Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard - BESS
  • STORM Calculator
  • Australia’s guide to environmental sustainable homes - Your Home
  • Energy Safe Victoria - ESV