The City of Sydney has proposed higher sustainability standards for new commercial buildings to reduce emissions and stop waste going to landfill. 

The amendment proposes a minimum 5.5 star National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS) rating for common areas of new commercial office buildings or major commercial office refurbishments of 1,000sqm or more.

It also proposes more space in bin rooms for waste separation and a requirement for designated food waste storage areas in the kitchens, tearooms and food preparation areas of new commercial buildings.

“The changes we’re proposing would set a new standard for modern commercial buildings,” says Lord Mayor Clover Moore.

“We’ve achieved outstanding results when working with the city’s biggest landlords through programs like our Better Buildings Partnership, and we want to extend these results to the next tier of buildings by introducing these amendments.

“By setting a new standard of a 5.5 star NABERS rating, we’ll see energy efficiency and renewable energy considered early in the design phase – rather than being treated as an afterthought – ensuring building owners and tenants save thousands on electricity bills.”

The proposed changes to the waste standards will require new buildings provide more space for the storage, separation and collection of waste, including dedicated space for food waste, textiles, e-waste and bulky goods such as old mattresses. They will also ensure that kitchens, tearooms or food preparation areas in all new non-residential developments have a designated food waste collection area.