Guidelines for sustainability in capital works
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Technical guidelines 29 May 2020

Guidelines for sustainability in capital works

These guidelines provide advice and information on how to build sustainable and resilient buildings. They are relevant to all stakeholders involved in the design, construction and refurbishment of healthcare facilities.

Sustainable and resilient healthcare buildings offer many benefits including:

  • lower environmental impacts
  • greater resilience
  • lower operating costs
  • healthier healing and working environment for patients, visitors and staff.


The sustainability guidelines are applicable to all healthcare capital works delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority. This includes new builds, retrofits and refurbishments.

All capital projects delivered by public hospitals and health services must meet the business as usual requirements outlined in Appendix 2 of the guidelines. Public hospitals and health services that fund and deliver projects directly are encouraged to apply the 2.5 per cent sustainability allowance for items above the business as usual requirements.

The guidelines have been developed specifically for Victorian public healthcare capital works but may be applicable to other public and private healthcare capital works across Australia.

Overview of Guidelines for sustainability in capital works:

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Integrating universal design in capital works
  • Sustainability principles for capital works
    • Hospitals are healing environments
    • Passive design is paramount
    • Resource use is minimised
    • Hospitals are resilient to climate change
  • What does a sustainable healthcare facility look like?
  • Delivering sustainable healthcare buildings
    • Business as usual requirements
    • Carbon and water design targets
    • Sustainability allowance
    • Installing solar
    • Installing batteries
    • Transitioning to electric buildings
    • Engaging sustainability consultants
    • Sustainability workshops
    • Engaging the VHBA sustainability unit
    • Quality assurance
  • Appendix 1: Climate resilience in capital works
  • Appendix 2: Business as usual requirements
    • Systems, processes and guidance
    • Indoor environment quality
    • Energy efficiency
    • Water management
    • Materials specification and selection
    • Waste and resource recovery
    • Ecology and landscaping
    • Transport
    • Emissions to land, water and air
  • Appendix 3: Guidance for using the sustainability allowance
  • Appendix 4: Environmental data management system requirements
  • Appendix 5: Data acquisition from embedded solar PV



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Last updated: 04 June 2020