Monday Sep 25, 2023

BASIX Certificate: Sustainability standard for new buildings in NSW

As a builder, your priority should be focusing on making your residential projects appealing, durable, and valuable for a long duration. To achieve this goal, you need to incorporate robust structural materials that can withstand environmental elements.

You will also need to include appliances, HVAC units, furnishings, bathroom fixtures, and other interior elements, making the residential space appealing and functional for the occupants.

Apart from aesthetic beauty, functionality, and durability, you’ll also need to focus on other performance elements- energy, water, and thermal efficiency. And that’s exactly what the BASIX certificate measures.

Energy, water, and thermal efficiency are essential for increasing the longevity of residential properties without warning about substantial operational and maintenance costs. Considering these factors also ensures the construction remains eco-friendly throughout its lifespan. 

BASIX Report and Certificate

BASIX report and certificate, along with NatHERS, demonstrate a residential structure’s water, energy, and thermal efficiency.

Achieving BASIX certification for homes and these buildings in NSW can effectively diminish greenhouse gas emissions and minimise water use across the said state.

BASIX certification and NatHERS assessment are mandatory for all new residential constructions in New South Wales and also for residential buildings undergoing renovation costing more than $50,000.

BASIX is typically applied to the Class 1 and Class 2 building categories. Additionally, residential parts of the class 4 building and class 10 structure also require a mandatory BASIX certificate.

BASIX Elements

Energy consumption

When submitting a BASIX application for new residential construction, you need to fulfil a target of a 50% reduction in energy usage. Energy targets might vary depending on the type of residential structure you are constructing and the Energy Target Zone of your project’s particular location.

The primary objective of the energy section of the BASIX certificate is to reduce the overall greenhouse gas production from all new residential structures.

Energy consumption and savings will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  • Hot water systems
  • Ventilation
  • Heating and cooling
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Pools, saunas, and spas
  • Other energy uses
  • Alternative energy sources
  • Central systems

Potable water usage

Since the Australian subcontinent experiences extreme conditions, water is an incredibly valuable resource.

The water reduction target can range from 40% to 0% depending on the Water Target Zone of your residential project’s specific location. 

Water consumption and savings will be evaluated based on the following factors:

  • Project landscape
  • Alternative water sources and their usage (this includes rainwater tanks)
  • Fittings and fixtures
  • Pools, saunas, and outdoor spas
  • Other water uses
  • Central systems and common areas.

Thermal comfort

BASIX thermal comfort requirements are defined within the NatHERS rating. The thermal comfort section determines the level of comfort the occupants can expect without using artificial heating and cooling.

The primary objective of the thermal comfort section is to minimise greenhouse gas consumption due to heating and cooling appliances. This section supports efficient building design (passive designs) and the utilisation of proper construction materials to make the interior comfortable.

The thermal comfort section in BASIX considers the climate zone of a residential property’s location. It also entails the property’s form, insulation, glazing, and ventilation.

How to use the BASIX online assessment tool?

The BASIX online tool is easy and simple to use. However, it is recommended that you collaborate with experienced building consultants to avoid confusion and mistakes in the BASIX assessment or documentation process.

To obtain a BASIX certificate for your proposed residential project, you need to complete the sustainability evaluation using the BASIX tool.

This is how the BASIX assessment tool functions:

  • First, the tool will analyse all the data pertaining to your proposed project’s design element and decide how your project scores against relevant water and energy targets.
  • The dwelling design needs to fulfil applicable energy and water targets before your proposed residential project can be issued with a BASIX certificate.

Once the design complies with BASIX standards, a certificate listing the sustainability commitments will be issued. You can print and submit the BASIX certificate with the development application.

Installing sustainability measures such as rainwater tanks, solar panels, wastewater treatment plants, etc., and complying with BASIX can benefit you. Such inclusions will kickstart your residential development in a positive direction.

By developing a sustainable residential structure, you’re helping the environment and your business by increasing brand value in the market.

FAQs- BASIX Certificate

Do you need to have a BASIX account to use the tool?

Yes. You must create a free account to use the BASIX tool for project assessment. You can create your account from the official BASIX website.

What is the difference between a BASIX report and a certificate?

Both the BASIX report and the BASIX certificate contain similar details. However, only the BASIX Certificate is a legally valid document.

You don’t need to pay any fees to obtain the BASIX report. It is a preliminary report that helps you ensure that all the details you have entered are correct. Also, in the meantime, if you make any modifications to your project, you can update it.

Before generating the final BASIX certificate, you can present this preliminary document to your client and architect to examine whether the intended commitments are suitable. Obtaining the legally valid BASIX certificate requires certain fees.

Can I revise a certificate after it has been generated?

Yes, revising a certificate is possible. However, only the original certificate creator can edit and revise the certificate content.

To update your certificate, follow the steps below:

  • Log in to your BASIX account using the relevant credentials.
  • Select the applicable residential project type
  • Now, you can locate the certificate under the “Completed Projects” tab. In case you have made any revisions to the certificate previously, you will find a certificate under the “Archived Projects” tab.
  • On the right-hand side, you will find the “revise/duplicate” button.
  • Select “Revise” and answer the lodgement questions to continue.
  • Now you’ll get a copy of all the original information in the “projects in progress” folder’ typically with a suffix’_02′ or ‘_03’ etc.
  • You can now access the new version to update the information.

You can generate the revised certificate for the same project without paying any additional fee.

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