Thursday, October 1, 2009

Protection of Trees On Construction Sites - New Australian Standard

Terra ARK is pleased to be able to refer our clients who are involved in building or designing construction projects to the recently released Australian Standard AS 4970 - 2009 Protection of trees on construction sites.

It is available for purchase at Standards Australia's online store:

This Standard provides guidance on the principles for protecting trees on land subject to development. It includes guidelines and recommendations for minimum standards to be applied to the protection of trees on construction sites and follows, in sequence, the stages of development from planning to implementation.

AS 4970 has been embraced by local government authorities and some (including Gold Coast and Brisbane City Councils) have adopted this standard as a minimum requirement for protection of trees on construction sites. Inherent in this is a requirement for engagement of a qualified Arborist to provide reporting as part of the documentation required for a development application. The minimum qualification level acceptable for the preparation of such reporting has been set at Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level 5 or equivalent (Diploma level). Terra ARK is able to meet these requirements.

We believe that trees and people can and should live together. Terra ARK will continue to provide advice and guidance to our clients to assist them in negotiating development outcomes and retaining valuable tree assets while facilitating construction works. This entails working with our clients and their project teams from the project conception through to completion of construction and often we have the priveledge to remain as ongoing tree managers after the site has been occupied.

We are now pleased to have a public document that details the requirements of realistic tree protection zones; this provides a tool for designers and builders to incorporate valuable tree assets into their developments. However, we also understand the practicalities of current building practices and the necessity to achieve minimum densities for commercial viability. Trees do require valuable space.

The new standard should not be seen as another barrier to development. Through our extensive practical experience and technical knowledge Terra ARK is able to provide solutions to enable designers and builders to retain valuable vegetation and achieve sustainable development outcomes. Innovative solutions will be required in order to achieve good environmental outcomes in our increasingly populated cities. The team at Terra ARK are dedicated to finding and facilitating such solutions.