Technical guidelines 22 October 2021

Revised Guidelines for sustainability in capital works released

We’ve revised our Guidelines for sustainability in capital works. The guidelines set the sustainability standards and expectations for all public healthcare capital works in Victoria.

The Guidelines for sustainability in capital works provide advice and guidance to all stakeholders involved in the design, construction and refurbishment of healthcare facilities on how to build sustainable, healthy and resilient buildings.

The guidelines have been developed with a focus on Victorian public healthcare capital works. They may also be of interest to providers of other public and private healthcare capital works across Australia. They are applicable to all healthcare capital works delivered by VHBA, including new builds, retrofits and refurbishments, funded through its capital and grants programs.

Why are the guidelines important?

The health sector has an important role in reducing government carbon emissions in Victoria. Victorian public hospitals and health services alone are responsible for a fifth of the Victorian Government’s energy related carbon emissions.

In May 2021, the Victorian Government made a commitment for all hospitals to have 100 per cent renewable electricity by 2025.

It is important to build healthcare facilities that are sustainable and resilient because it allows us to:

  • maximise our health budget for frontline services
  • reduce their contribution to climate change
  • ensure resilience to our future climate.

How are the revised guidelines different?

The Guidelines for sustainability in capital works were last updated in 2020.

The key structure and principles of the guidelines have not changed and the sustainability allowance of 2.5 per cent remains.

Updates in the revised guidelines include:

  • replacement of carbon and water design targets with requirement to use NABERS reverse calculator
  • greater clarity on responsibilities for meeting Section J in the building Code of Australia
  • additional requirements to map projected operational waste flows to inform the space allocation for waste infrastructure
  • additional requirements to prepare a draft Climate Adaptation Plan for sites with significant climate risk
  • addition of sustainability control points in VHBA’s Project Management Framework.

You can download the revised guidelines, and a summary of the revisions, from the Guidelines for sustainability in capital works resources page.

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Last updated: 22 October 2021