Environmental Policy Development
Over the past 10 years, Ark Resources has undertaken a wide range of ESD projects that have contributed to the development of ESD policy at the Local, State and Federal Government level.
Our experience includes the development of sustainability performance frameworks and development guidelines for Victorian State and Local Governments.
We have also developed communication and educational tools such as guidebooks and training courses on diverse sustainable design issues for Government and statutory authorities.
A sample of public sector projects are summarised below.
Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment – Sustainability in the Built Environment Project
Engaged to undertake the development of a sustainability framework for the Victorian Planning System, Ark Resources has provided detailed consultation with all stakeholders in the development sector, technical analysis of environmental outcomes of development and the development of a 'sustainability framework' for residential planning applications. This has resulted in the development of the IDEAS rating tool for residential development. The tool is available online at the Department of Sustainability and Environment website.
City of Moreland – STEPS Project
Ark Resources in conjunction with Integrated Urban Management and RMIT Centre for Design completed the development of an ESD rating tool (known as STEPS) for use in the assessment of residential development applications. The STEPS program is now an integrated requirement for all planning applications within the City of Moreland and has been adopted by a further 6 metropolitan councils.
City of Port Phillip — Development of Sustainable Design Scorecard
Ark Resources played a key role in developing an environmental rating tool to assess the environmental performance of residential development applications in the City of Port Phillip. The project resulted in the development of the Sustainable Design Scorecard, which is currently being applied by the City of Port Phillip as an assessment and benchmarking tool for residential Planning Permit applications. It is applicable to all types of residential development including renovations, single dwellings, medium density and high-rise apartment projects.
During the project, Ark Resources staff developed rational performance indicators for the key sustainability issues of energy, water and materials. Through the development of appropriate algorithms, these indicators were combined to give a 'sustainability' rating based on projected environmental outcomes associated with the project.
As a consequence of the focus on performance based indicators rather than prescriptive criteria, the rating tool enables design flexibility to be maintained while ensuring that Council policy objectives are linked to actual environmental performance outcomes.
Sustainable Subdivision Guidelines for Metro Fringe Shires
Ark Resources has been engaged by metropolitan fringe shires, the Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment and the Department of Victorian Communities, to research and develop sustainable subdivision guidelines for regional townships on the outskirts of Melbourne.
The aim of these guidelines is to promote the development of vibrant diverse communities which respond positively to the natural environment. Accordingly the guidelines deal with the key social aspects of urban design in addition to the sustainable use of natural resources in a Triple Bottom Line approach to sustainable development.
City of Yarra — Sustainable Design Models
Ark Resources in conjunction with Design Inc developed a set of Sustainable Design Models for the City of Yarra. These publications encompass common residential and commercial development typologies and are being used as an educational tool by the Council in the pursuit of improved environmental outcomes from development applications throughout the municipality.
2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Infrastructure
In 2005/6 Ark Resources undertook assessments of environmental outcomes from the proposed Commonwealth Games Village and Yarra Precinct Pedestrian Link including recommendations in relation to proposed initiatives and development of a rational benchmarking framework and performance indicators, for the assessment of design options to meet State Government environmental management objectives.
Melbourne City Council — Ecologically Sustainable Building Policy
Ark Resources was engaged to review the City of Melbourne’s Ecologically Sustainable Buildings Policy which will apply to residential and commercial building applications in the City and presented expert evidence in support of the Policy to a Planning Panel.
Knox City Council – Implementation of Sustainable Principles
Ark Resources has undertaken a review of sustainability objectives for the Knox City Council and proposed options for improving environmental outcomes for residential development. This work resulted in the development of a draft Local Planning Policy and implementation framework.
Building Commission – Planning Protection for Green Buildings
Ark Resources has recently completed a review of requirements and options for planning protection of ‘Green’ buildings as defined by the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating Scheme.
City of Manningham — Rainwater Harvesting Booklet
The City of Manningham engaged Ark Resources to research opportunities for beneficial use of stormwater throughout the municipality and to develop an educational booklet on rainwater harvesting for residents. The booklet launched in mid 2004 continues to be widely acclaimed as an effective and accessible educational tool.
Bayside City Council – Mixed Use Zone Sustainable Design Standards
This project involved a review of environmental objectives in the Bayside Planning Scheme and the development of environmental indicators and policy for a proposed mixed use zone in order to ensure new industrial, commercial and retail development meets best practice environmental standards.
Department of Human Services — High Rise Eco Efficiency
In this project, Ark Resources analysed eco-efficiency outcomes from a typical high rise housing commission tower which is undergoing refurbishment. This project involved the detailed investigation of a high rise building in Kensington and the development of specific initiatives selected on a Triple Bottom Line basis.
The objective of this ongoing project is to use the project as the basis for developing performance based standards all public housing managed by the Department of Human Services.
ESD Guidelines for Tourism Accommodation
Geoff Andrews and Jan Talacko researched and wrote a comprehensive ESD guidebook for the tourism accommodation sector. The guide, Being Green Keeps You Out Of The Red, was published by Tourism Council Australia and the Federal Department of Industry, Science & Tourism and has been widely disseminated within the tourism industry.
In the course of researching the guidebook we visited 30 accommodation properties around Australia in order to analyse energy, water and materials use to ensure that the guide was practical and relevant to a broad range of accommodation types including caravan parks, B & Bs, motels, hotels and serviced apartments.
University of Melbourne
Ark Resources undertook a strategic energy and water audit of Melbourne University Medical Centre’s teaching and research facility. This project involved the identification of existing water and energy uses and the identification of cost effective retrofit initiatives.