Updated policy ensures Freo leads way on sustainable buildings


The Sustainable Building Policy was adopted in 2011 and requires new residential and commercial buildings with a floor area of greater than 1000m2 to achieve a minimum 4-star ‘Green Star’ rating.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said as a result of the policy Fremantle had become a showcase for sustainable development.

“In the past year or two we’ve seen some incredible new developments that are not only great places to live but are also packed with sustainability features,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“The award winning Liv apartments in Queen Victoria Street and the Evermore development in White Gum Valley have both been designed and built to be more energy efficient, saving residents money on power bills, and both have achieved One Planet accreditation thanks to their water and energy saving appliances, solar PV, double-glazing, organic waste and recycling facilities.

“Sirona Capital’s almost completed component of the Kings Square Renewal project will feature 5-star Green Star commercial spaces, while our own civic centre and library under construction in Kings Square will be one of the most energy efficient buildings of its size in Australia.

“We also have sustainability features being promoted in approved developments like Yolk Property Group’s Little Lane apartments in the Westgate Mall, and we’re currently assessing Yolk’s plans to build WA’s first timber framed office building.”

The refinements made to the City’s Sustainable Building Policy include allowing the use of other equivalent assessment tools, such as One Planet certification, and streamlining implementation measures to clarify how compliance will be achieved before and after construction.

In reviewing the Sustainable Building Policy, the council also voted to rescind its Energy Efficient Building Design Policy.

That policy was adopted in 2000 to provide advice on the principles of energy efficient design and set minimum sustainability standards, particularly for development of individual houses.

“To have a policy promoting energy efficient design back in 2000 really was ahead of its time, but now the Building Code, national guidelines and other state planning policies have overtaken it,” Mayor Pettitt said.

“It’s really interesting that the sorts of things we were talking about at the turn of the century like building orientation, insulation, energy efficient appliances and landscaping are all now part of mainstream design.“It’s another example of where local governments can explore new and innovative ideas at a local level, and if they prove successful they can be adopted more broadly.”

In addition to the Sustainable Building Policy the City of Fremantle also has planning policies that allow higher density if the development meets certain sustainability requirements, such as achieving a higher energy rating, the installation of solar panels and a rainwater tank or greywater system.

The Knutsford East Local Structure Plan also offers bonuses in height and density for design and sustainability excellence.

The Knutsford precinct includes Landcorp’s ground-breaking East Village development, in which 36 homes will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy using roof top solar panels and a shared community battery.

In an Australian first, a village micro-grid will allow residents to generate and share energy with their neighbours using an innovative energy trading platform.