About obtaining SMP & SDA reports for your project

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For the Victorians amongst us, a Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS) report is often accompanied by a Sustainable Management Plan (SMP) for developments with 10 or more dwellings, or a Sustainable Design Assessment (SDA) for smaller multi-dwelling projects. These accompanying reports summarise the sustainable design features of new residential and non-residential developments. As the notion of sustainable living becomes more prominent, even more councils within Victoria are requiring these reports at the planning permit stage. 

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SMP and SDA Reports explained


Sustainable Management Plans (SMP) and  Sustainable Design Assessments (SDA) are documents that summarise the sustainable design features of new residential and non-residential developments. These documents are required by some councils within Victoria at the planning permit stage. These reports can often be what enables a project's approval, so we recommend that you have them completed by a qualified expert.
Within these reports, we will assess your development according to 10 key sustainable design criteria detailed below:
1. Indoor Environment Quality 
To achieve a healthy indoor environment which facilitates the well-being of the occupants within it, building services and design features such as ventilation, orientation of windows, acoustics and lighting (to name a few) are considered to ensure that you remain comfortable all-year-round. 
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2. Energy Efficiency 
Ensuring efficient energy use is not only an essential part of lowering your energy bills, but also in doing your part to minimise total greenhouse emissions. To maximise these objectives, we look at providing effective and efficient active and passive design solutions such as glazed windows, external shading, and renewable energy and HVAC systems. 
3. Water Efficiency
As the driest populated continent on earth, efficient water consumption is of utmost importance to the dwelling and environment. To ensure that not a single drop goes to waste, we look at ways to encourage the collection and re-use of rain water and storm water, the use of efficient water fixtures; and adequate landscape irrigation (if required).
4. Stormwater Management 
Stormwater can have a negative impact on your property and the environment as it transports nutrients, chemical pollutants and litter into our waterways. But stormwater has the potential to be a valuable resource by reducing the need for potable water usage. If well-managed, stormwater can instead be used to water your garden and promote water conservation. 
5. Building Materials 
Building materials come at the cost of environmental resources, but there are ways to minimise these costs and maximise their impact on your project through the encouragement of using materials with a favourable life-cycle assessment. Depending on your climate, materials with a high thermal mass such as concrete can be used to keep your indoor environment comfortable and reduce the need for maintenance. 
6. Transport 
With more incentive being placed on the production and use of electric vehicles, we can still do our part to reduce carbon emissions by designing solutions which minimise car dependency and ensuring that the built environment is designed to promote the use of public transport, walking and cycling. 
7. Waste Management 
Waste management is becoming an issue of growing significance as populations grow and individual carbon footprints increase. However, there are ways to combat this to ensure unnecessary waste is avoided, such as the re-use and recycling of materials during the design, construction and operational stages of development. These design ideologies are developed in conjunction with local, state and territory authorities to guarantee the long-term sustainability of a development. 
8. Urban Ecology 
Your garden can do more than simply look pretty. It can be designed to serve as a functional system which addresses amenities and assists your development in saving considerable amounts of water whilst providing an environment that native flora and fauna can thrive in. By keeping this in mind, an urban ecology can be developed which protects and enhances biodiversity whilst simultaneously improving the aesthetics of your development. 
9. Innovation 
Sustainability never stops and neither does innovation. Innovative technology, design and processes in all developments are used in conjunction to influence the sustainability of buildings. At Certified Energy, we constantly look to exceed expectations in the nine other key sustainable building criteria and remain at the forefront of emerging sustainable technologies. 
10. Construction & Building Management 
Every stage of the design, planning and construction process needs to be carefully analysed and managed to ensure that projects are completed with the sustainable practices in mind. Certified Energy will go the extra mile to ensure that environmentally certified and preferred materials are used in conjunction with environmental management plans to deliver affordable and sustainable outcomes. 
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SMP, SDA... What's the difference?


The main difference is that an SMP is more detailed than an SDA and is used for large residential and non-residential developments comprising of ten or more residential dwellings, more than 1000m2 of non-residential Gross Floor Area (GFA) or developments over four storeys.
An SDA is instead used for small to medium sized developments comprising of 3-9 residential dwellings or 500mto 1000m2 of non-residential Gross Floor Area (GFA), or alterations 500mto 100m2.
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Take a look inside an SDA Report

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What are the requirements of an SDA Report?

The level of information required for a SDA report varies from project to project depending on their scale. 

To receive an SDA report, the following information is required:

  • Details on how the development has achieved minimum expectations for sustainable design performance – can use STEPS/SDS tool
  • A written sustainability statement
  • Details on proposed sustainability measures
  • Environmental impact assessment
  • Environmental objectives and council standards

The BESS (Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard) along with a STORM or MUSIC assessment and other recommended assessments can be used to undertake an SDA report.



What are the requirements of an SMP Report?


All developments:
  • A STORM Rating
  • Predicted minimum Energy Efficiency Rating of major appliances for cooling, hot water and heating
  • WELS ratings
  • Location and size of any water tanks
  • Anticipated lighting
  • Renewable energy devices
  • Construction materials


Mandatory Requirements:
  • Developments must meet minimum sustainability standards as outlined by the Building Code of Australia and the relevant Planning Scheme classes
  • Developments must meet or exceed best practice standards in each of the 10 Key Sustainable Building categories.


Non-Residential only:
  • BCA Section J Assessment
  • Expected NABERS Rating


Residential Only:


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Councils that require an SMP or SDA


Banyule City Council
Bayside City Council
Bass Coast Shire Council
Brimbank City Council
Darebin City Council
Greater Bendigo City Council
Greater Dandenong City Council 
Glen Eira City Council
Hobsons Bay City Council
Hume City Council
Kingston City Council
Knox City Council
Manningham City Council
Maribyrnong City Council
Maroondah City Council
Monash City Council
Monash City Council
Moonee City Council
Moreland City Council
Port Phillip City Council
Stonnington City Council
Whitehorse City Council
Whittlesea City Council
Wyndham City Council
Yarra City Council
As for May 2020
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Save Time, Save Headaches


We will get your project done in a timely manner with the highest level of expertise. For a customised quote feel free to email your plans through for review.


At Certified Energy, we move quickly, efficiently, whilst never sacrificing quality.


Trying to lodge in a mad rush? Ask our team about the 24-hour Express Turnaround Service. 


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How much does an SMP and SDA Report cost?

The cost of the overall assessment of a development is dependent on its size and complexity and therefore requires a specific quote. 

For a customised quote feel free to email your plans through for review or use the Quote Now button on the top right hand side of the screen.

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