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Defence Estate Quality Management System (DEQMS) BSI Certification

Environmental Management

Smart Infrastructure Handbook: Planning, Design and Construction

The aim of the Smart Infrastructure Handbook (the handbook) is to continuously improve the efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of the Defence estate through the application of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and whole of life (WOL) principles across the estate lifecycle. The handbook defines Defence's requirements and reporting obligations for the planning, design and delivery phases of the estate lifecycle. It covers climate adaptation, energy, water, waste minimisation and pollution prevention.

What is it?

Smart Infrastructure consists of two parts:
1. The Handbook which outlines Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and Whole-of-Life (WOL) requirements for each project, covering:

  • planning
  • design
  • construction
  • associated reporting.

2. The Checklists which are used for tracking compliance with the handbook.

The target audience for Smart Infrastructure are those responsible for planning, designing and delivering Defence infrastructure.


Smart Infrastructure is to be applied to all:

  • Estate Base Plans
  • Initial Business Cases
  • Detailed Business Cases
  • Estate infrastructure elements of capability projects
  • Infrastructure Program (FIP) of the Integrated Investment Program and the Estate Works Program (EWP)

ESD decisions are to be documented in Smart Infrastructure Checklists.  Where specific requirements cannot be met or are deemed not applicable this shall be justified and the reasons and their acceptance by Defence recorded in design reports and/or contractor reports.

Key Benefits

Smart Infrastructure provides benefits to both Defence and its service providers involved in delivering and operating the Defence estate. As a core element in Defence’s broader estate management systems, the Smart Infrastructure Handbook will:

  • ensure ecologically sustainable development opportunities, risks and whole of life costs are considered in the planning, design, construction and delivery phases of the Defence estate lifecycle
  • drive environmentally efficient outcomes through clear direction to industry on Defence’s expectations of ecologically sustainable development
  • ensure enhanced resource efficiency and environmental management approaches are identified and assessed in the planning stage, to enable delivery in the design and construction stage of the estate lifecycle
  • promotes continuous improvement through standardised measuring, monitoring, and lessons learnt from sustainable initiatives
  • promote innovation through industry engagement.
Broader Framework

The Smart Infrastructure Handbook complements the resource efficiency requirements included in other Defence Manuals and Policy, including:

The Smart Infrastructure Handbook is a key component in Defence’s broader resource monitoring framework, which centres on the Resource Data Management System (refer to Figure). The Smart Infrastructure Handbook requires resource intensity performance metrics reported during the delivery of infrastructure that will be monitored by Defence over the infrastructure’s life.

This document is sponsored by the Directorate of Environmental Resource Management and Sustainability (DERMS) on behalf of the Assistant Secretary Environment and Engineering (ASEE). Enquiries may be directed to:
Directorate of Environmental Resource Management and Sustainability
Brindabella Business Park
Canberra ACT 2600
Tel: (02) 6266 8209

Version Control
Version No: 3.1 | Last Updated: Feb 23
Technical Authority: ASEE
Subject Matter Expert: DERMS