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The Surveyor's Role in Developing a Sustainable Society

Narelle Underwood ~ Undergraduate Thesis ~ October 2008
Supervised by Michael Green and Darryl Warry

Subdivision Design - an integrated approach


The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a SEPP that has been phased in by the NSW Government since July 2004. The aim of the legislation is to reduce both potable water and energy consumption by up to 40%, thus providing owners with a higher quality housing that is more suited to the natural environment and thus less expensive to run.


Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) offers an alternative to standard stormwater management systems by trying to imitate the natural water cycle. The idea behind it is to minimise the amount of impervious surfaces and mitigate changes to the natural water by incorporating on-site detention and re-use of stormwater.

Stormwater is used as a resource instead of a burden to the benefit of the wider community. Some design elements commonly used in WSUD include detention and retention basins, grassed and vegetated swales, and water features such as wetlands.

Lot Orientation and Solar Access

The design and orientation of a building on a parcel of land can be used to admit or exclude the suns heat/energy, thus land characteristics such as orientation, slope, size, shape and width are important considerations.

CSIRO Your Development

Your Development is a joint initiative between CSIRO and DEWHA and is an online based web portal application for sustainable and innovative urban residential developments. It has been designed to meet the needs of all professionals involved in the industry. It aims to demonstrate the economic viability of sustainable subdivisions as well as consolidate all of the available information and provide links to leading sources and other materials. The project is a collaborative effort between government, industry and research groups and it is based on the most current and up-to-date research and real-life case studies.

HIA GreenSmart

GreenSmart is a voluntary practical approach to building that focuses on educating builders, designers, product manufacturers and consumers about the benefits of environmentally responsible housing” (HIA 2007)

The HIA GreenSmart initiative provides training and accreditation for industry members and information to the general public through fact sheets and their website. It recognises industry leaders through their annual GreenSmart Awards which have been running for the past 9 years. The primary objective behind GreenSmart is to develop, demonstrate and promote the technologies, design principles and practices that can significantly improve the quality of Australia’s environment. HIA aims to facilitate changes within the industry to ensure that the best environmental management practices are adopted while meeting community expectations for the environment, housing types and costs.