Ironbark Sustainability:

Real Action on climate

Ironbark Sustainability Wiki:


Ironbark has extensive experience working with councils and businesses to address the challenges of ensuring a large range of different building types are environmentally sustainable. Ironbark staff are trusted advisors to many councils and businesses and provide the following services:

For further information regarding any of these services please feel free to contact us.

Sustainable Council Buildings Plan

Ironbark uses the Plan, Act and Review framework to deliver a 5-step program that includes a:

  1. Detailed Status Report of performance in achieving best practice sustainability outcomes
  2. Council workshop to confirm key priority action areas
  3. 5-year action plan with cost-benefit analysis, business cases and funding solutions
  4. Detailed management and monitoring solutions
  5. Support for Act and Review as required

Contact Ironbark Sustainability today.  Call 1300 288 262 or email info(at)

The Best Practice Status Report (step 1 of the program) can also be generated for free as a stand-alone self assessment exercise for Council's interested in how they compare to best practice councils.

Free Self Assessment Tool

Ironbark’s Sustainable Council Buildings program includes a complimentary service to help inform the local government sector of best practice building approaches including a Self-Assessment Tool.

The tool is specifically designed for councils to take stock of how sustainable their building practices are compared to best performing councils. Complete the free online Self-Assessment Tool (30 minutes) to get a high-level status report on your council building achievements to prioritise actions and highlight where additional work is required.

No time to complete the tool? We can do it for you. Call 1300 288 262 or email info(at)

Sustainable Council Building Policy

The development of a Sustainable Council Buildings Policy (Policy) is crucial for councils to reduce long term costs and build better buildings. Many councils have sustainability policies, however the message is often lost when it comes to the daily practice of building capital works, renewal and maintenance.

Ironbark can deliver a policy that clearly outlines sustainability principles and standards and embeds them into normal council practice. We can help councils understand the strategic implications of improving facilities and ensure the implementation of real action.

The following steps are generally involved:

  1. Draft Policy options and complete a business case analysis of these options
  2. Consult with council and refine 
  3. Finalise (inc. gaining senior level support)
  4. Integrate (train, provide tools and confirm responsibilities)
  5. Check Policy compliance (including reviewing concept and detailed specification stages for key projects)

Sustainable Council Buildings Policy Information Sheet (549 KB)

Information and Webinar on Working Out the Business Case for ESD Building Performance Tools

Article and Webinar on Sustainable Buildings and local government: Tools, tricks, targets and case studies

Contact Ironbark for more information on what councils are up to in terms of building policy, rating and performance tools, guidelines and action plans.

Building Optimisation Program

Ironbark have developed a program to optimise building control systems and infrastructure to reduce energy costs and improve comfort often at no capital cost.Ironbark assist with a range of improvements including tuning your building management systems (BMS), improving HVAC and lighting hardware, and setting up an approach so all council buildings have appropriate building controls and settings.We deliver more than a report, we help to implement improvements and establish a long-term plan with buy-in from council staff.Fine tuning building systems can have a huge impact. Outcomes include:

  • Energy and cost savings (up to 20-40%)
  • Improved staff comfort
  • Efficient building infrastructure control systems, policies and processes
  • A clear thermal comfort procedure
  • A basis for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades

Optional outcomes include:

  • Identification of temperature and lighting problem areas
  • Solar usage maximization
  • Defined BMS approach for all council facilities

Building Optimisation Information and Case Studies (460 KB)

Building Optimisation Article - Pearls of Wisdom from Local Government Operatives

Contact Ironbark Sustainability today.  Call 1300 288 262 or email

Building Audits

Audits save money and improve the environmental performance and comfort of buildings.

Ironbark conducts building audits to identify practical energy, water and waste reduction opportunities, and creates a business case for implementation by identifying cost, savings and payback both in environmental and financial terms.

The consultancy aligns audits to achieve the best outcomes within their clients’ parameters in terms of budget requirements, payback on investment limitations, and efficiency targets.

The main types of audits provided are:

  • Sustainable Small Facility Audits: choose from a suite of options (audit, retrofits, ratings, behaviour change tools) for small to medium facilities;
  • Level 1 Audit: a basic ‘walk through’ identifying key opportunities to save energy, water and waste. Good as initial step towards achieving efficiencies;
  • Level 2 Audits: a thorough assessment of energy and water usage and a detailed analysis and descriptions of efficient technologies. Good for obtaining thorough information on advised technological changes and more accurate costings.
  • Visit the site yourself and we generate the report: Ironbark can use our Building Audit and Ratings Tool that we use for Sustainable Small Facility and Level 1 Audits to generate good looking and effective Excel and PDF reports. All council has to do is the fun bit - the actual site visit and identification of energy and water improvement opportunities.

Building Audit Information Sheet (including indicative costs) (1.2 MB)

Ironbark's Building Audit and Rating Tool (BART)

BART is an Excel software tool to help local governments to plan, implement and report on energy and water efficiency programs. It is designed to assist with 95% of council buildings, specifically the smaller council facility types such as childcare centres, sports pavilions and public toilets. Key features of the software:

  • Instant report generation in excel and PDF;
  • Freedom to engage your preferred local contractors or staff to do the audit site visits and simply get Ironbark to do the reporting side;
  • Includes 81 common energy and water reduction recommendations
  • Use off-the-shelf assumptions for a first-pass analysis on costs and savings (greenhouse and financial), then edit them for precise, locally relevant results;
  • Optional modules include a Rating System aligned with NABERS (5 star), utility meter report, and existing infrastructure report.

Ironbark use this tool ourselves when conducting Level 1 and Sustainable Small Facilities audits.

Building Audit Information Sheet (including indicative costs) (1.2 MB)

Contact Ironbark Sustainability today for more information.  Call 1300 288 262 or email

Sustainable Small Facilities (SSF)

Most councils, community groups and businesses have their larger buildings covered in terms of sustainability. However, the smaller buildings in a portfolio can slip under the radar, leaving all those easy and inexpensive improvements undone.
A suite of simple options addresses sustainability at small to medium sized buildings:

  • Sustainability Ratings System (5 star);
  • Sustainability Audits to identify energy and water saving opportunities and associated costs, savings and payback;
  • Real action through implementation of quick and low-cost energy, water and adaptation projects;
  • Eco-building Use program;
  • Other building ratings such as Waste, Access and Heatwave performance.

Ironbark can assess these buildings, or assist councils to assess them themselves. The latter option is excellent for regional councils - councils do the legwork visiting the site, and Ironbark generates an Excel and PDF report.

Sustainable Small Facilities Information Sheet (1.1 MB)


See article on Results and Trends from over 1,000 Sustainable Small Facility Assessments

Building Ratings & Design Reviews

Building Rating and Design Assessment tools can either be used to review the design process for renovations and new buildings, or for existing buildings. Ironbark combines sustainable building design & technology expertise with knowledge of management systems to get the most out of these tools.

  • Design Tools (renovations and new buildings)

    • GreenStar for large buildings
    • Sustainable Design Scorecard (SDS) for smaller buildings

  • Operation Tools (existing buildings)

Ironbark are qualified to conduct these assessments and can also provide training to councils on how to use the tools themselves.

Building Design Review information sheet (1.6 MB)

Article on Sustainable Buildings and local government: Tools, tricks, targets and case studies

Article on the Sustainable Design Scorecard

Building Technology Advice, Reviews & Project Management

Ironbark is dedicated to making sure building plans, strategies, audit reports, etc achieve real results. By this they mean real environmental impact and actual savings.

Audit Reports are now common items for government, businesses and residents to have. However sometimes implementing the recommendations within the reports requires technical knowledge and project management skills to properly capitalise on investments.

  • Ironbark help with project implementation by: sourcing materials; reviewing or designing technology specifications; monitoring the impact of the project; and scheduling installation and payments.
  • Ironbark provide technology advice and reviews by: reviewing audit recommendations or planned building works; finding out more about technology performance; conducting a cost-savings analysis; and providing advice on other options that might better suit budget requirements.

Sustainable Behaviour Change

Any improvements made to a building’s infrastructure are only as good as the way it is used

Ironbark has 15 years accumulative experience helping people manage their buildings efficiently. They can help organisations design an easy and flexible program.

Here are some of Ironbark’s behaviour change approaches to date.

  • Tips: posters, stickers and information sheets.
  • Onsite Sessions: relaxed setting with scope to identify all actual opportunities for efficient building use.
  • Group Sessions: capitalise on technical building expertise by organising a group of participants.
  • Creation of Management Plans: information designed specifically for each building.
  • Building Performance Education: Appropriate methods for engaging occupants in the energy and water performance of both large and small building types (e.g. interactive displays, ongoing updates).

Why not do an audit at the same time? Making improvements to a building is a great way to engage people.

This month's tip: Set room temperature to no less then 24º in summer and no more than 22º in winter. Each degree saves 10% of heating & cooling costs.

Green Leasing Contracts

Many Council facilities are leased. Resolving the management of these facilities is critical to managing the sustainability of Council’s buildings. Green Leasing Contracts (GLCs) are one way of ensuring lessees of Council buildings are involved in Council's journey towards sustainable buildings.

Ironbark works with key Council stakeholders to establish the desired standards and process for managing GLCs at small and large leased facilities. We then work with Council and lessees to pilot the process to test and refine the process. Once polished, Ironbark can play a supportive role in introducing them to all leased facilities. Note: In the past, Green Leasing projects have been undertaken as part of a larger Sustainable Building Management program.

Expected outcomes:

  • An agreed framework and process whereby the leased clubs and organisations can work with Council to achieve sustainable buildings;
  • The ability for Council to demonstrate leadership by working in a clear and transparent manner with these organisations to save resources and money;
  • Significant, ongoing savings to small community organisations.

Where to
find us

Ironbark Sustainability

Suite 8, 70-80 Wellington Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

1300 288 262