Brad Read – “Brisbane Residence”

Climate Policy

BDAA Long Term Goal for a Sustainable Future

BDAA has sustainability as a cornerstone of the Association’s raison d’être.

BDAA holds that Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD, or Sustainability) is central and integral to its members’ role as designers and creators of the built environment.

BDAA members are committed to achieving a sustainable future; are cognisant of the built environment’s effect on that future, and their role and responsibility to be agents driving change toward that sustainable future.

To achieve this goal, FULL Members must participate in, and report an acceptable participation in, continuing professional development (CPD) to keep skills current and stay abreast of the latest ESD technical and design information.

Since 1999, BDAA’s CPD content policy has been that a minimum of 50% of all course and seminar material must be sustainability focussed.

BDAA members over-arching priority is to design and specify designing buildings that:

  • Reduce energy use, and move towards being carbon neutral or better.
  • Consume less water, and contribute to self sufficiency.
  • Reduce waste water volumes and improve waste water quality.
  • Avoid contaminating surface water and catchments.
  • Use renewable and recycled materials wherever possible.
  • Consider life cycle, minimise waste and allow recycling at end of life.
  • Don’t diminish air quality overall, and especially indoor environmental quality.
  • Eliminate soil loss.
  • Encourage local food production on site.
  • Conserve and restore biodiversity.

BDAA Short & Medium Term Strategy to Address the Climate Emergency

There is an urgent need in the early 21st century to address the climate emergency that is threatening to severely disrupt life on planet Earth.

To that end, BDAA had adopted the following actions to reduce global heating caused by energy use in buildings, and in their own design practices and private lives – matching their words with actions.


  • BDAA accepts the robust science that shows climate change is happening now and accelerating.
  • Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
  • Without decisive action it will be irreversible.


  • BDAA has developed, and will continue to develop
    • Policies and design guidelines,
    • Practical training in the design and construction of energy efficient and net-zero carbon buildings, and
    • Ecologically sustainable standards.
  • Wherever possible, this will be done in co-operation with all tiers of government and collegiate organisations working in this area, but
    • Where government is lagging, BDAA will press ahead regardless.
  • BDAA provides specific and targeted CPD to address energy sustainability in building design.
    • Since 2018, the SustainAbility Design Specialist (SDS) Masterclass has been promoted to members, with high level technical training in Energy & Thermal Comfort; Operational Energy; Water & Wastewater Efficiency; Materials & Waste Minimisation; and Selling Sustainability to Clients.
    • The aim of the course is to equip members with the skills and knowledge to design net-zero buildings: buildings with the lowest possible net ecological impact, and especially net zero energy or better.
    • The course is continually updated – refer to course details.

BDAA as a Faciltator of Change, Supporting Innovation

BDAA members designers are creative solution finders and problem solvers.

They are committed to finding built solutions to their clients’ needs that don’t compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Building designers are in that sense ‘human rights workers’ because they work to protect the rights of future generations and others outside Australia.

BDAA members also design exciting, functional, economical buildings for satisfied clients, whose understanding of good design with lessened ecological impact is enhanced by the experience.

Building designers need clients with a similar commitment to sustainability so they can create a more sustainable future together whilst improving our economy, society and lifestyle – to this end BDAA and its members are active, and will remain so, in community and consumer education.

BDAA actively participates in industry wide ESD promotional activities, including seminars, trade shows and conferences, and actively encourages members to participate in Design Awards, including the BDAA Chapter and National design awards programs.

BDAA National Design Awards program has two dedicated categories for sustainable design, however all categories require details regarding their ESD credentials and must provide extensive information about adaptability, indoor air quality, passive design, materials use, energy use and water use, with entries accompanied by a certificate from an accredited energy or sustainability assessor.