Sydney Launches Trio of Sustainability Initiatives

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Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
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The City of Sydney has approved a raft of bold initiatives for shoring up the sustainability, adaptability and resilience of the city centre’s built environment.

The trio of plans approved by City of Sydney councillors include the Energy Efficiency Master, Residential Apartments Sustainability Plan and the Climate Change Adaption Strategy.

The Energy Efficiency Master Plan has the goal of slashing energy bills by as much as $600 million, with an outlay of $400 million that will be funded by both state and federal government.

A draft version of the plan made public earlier this year outlined a 31 per cent reduction in energy consumption under the plan, even if floor space increases by 29 per cent.

Major features of the Energy Efficiency Master Plan including raising the compliance and minimum performance levels of buildings, the development of new energy efficiency assessments and sector-based benchmarks, the creation of building tune-up and retrofit programs, as well as improved provision of finance and education programs.

The Residential Apartments Sustainability Plan targets the primary form of residential property in the City of Sydney. Given that 70 per cent of the city’s denizens reside in apartments – with this figure expected to rise to 80 per cent in the near future – improving the efficiency of apartment complexes is of vital importance to Sydney City’s overall sustainability performance.

The plan pushes for new or stricter criteria for residential apartments, including BASIX standards as well as a rating system that would be “similar to NABERS” and serve to “catalyse upgrades and unlock the nervy and water-efficiency market for apartment buildings.”

The plan also advocates the creation of a High-Rise Leaders Retrofit program, in order to improve the sustainability and efficiency performance of existing apartment buildings.

The City of Sydney has devised the Climate Change Adaption Strategy to directly address the potential challenges brought by the shifts in regional weather patterns caused by global warming.

The plan outlines a total of 39 actions for dealing with the potential impacts of climate change, including a heatwave response plan, a sea level rise adaption action plan, and measures to safeguard power supply within the city.

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