Retrofit : Retrofit Volume 1 2012
RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1 2012 • 45 Performance and Rating | There are strong incentives for developers and designers of new buildings and retrofits to have certainty that their buildings will achieve high NABERS ratings in operation, and to be able to promote the future performance of their buildings from the outset. The Property Council of Australia’s newly revised Guide to Office Building Quality has identified 5 star NABERS Energy and Green Star ratings as the benchmark for new premium-grade buildings. Recent studies have demonstrated that buildings with high NABERS ratings attract higher rents, lower vacancies and higher investment returns. The opposite is true of buildings with poor NABERS ratings or no rating, representing inefficient energy use. Under the recent Commercial Building Disclosure scheme, NABERS Energy ratings, representing the energy efficiency of the building, must be disclosed to potential buyers or tenants of office space. This has greatly increased the visibility and awareness of the ratings, and what they mean for owners and occupants. While new buildings, and those undergoing major refurbishment, are initially exempt from this obligation, prospective tenants and buyers are looking for assurance that the building will achieve a high level of performance in the future. What is NABERS? The NABERS rating scheme, a government initiative, provides a measure of the environmental performance of a building. Ratings are available for offices, hotels and shopping centres, and for a range of environmental impacts such as energy, water, waste and indoor environment. While the ratings are used voluntarily throughout the market, owners of office buildings of over 2000 square metres are now required to disclose an energy rating when sold or leased. A high NABERS Energy rating of 5 or 6 indicates that a building has excellent energy efficiency, resulting in lower running costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions compared to similar buildings in the marketplace. The rating is calculated using the actual energy consumption of a building over a 12-month period. While this obviously means that a new or refurbished building cannot be rated until it has been in full operation for a year, the NABERS scheme has established Commitment Agreements to ensure that a building is designed and commissioned to achieve the desired rating outcome, and to provide the opportunity to Committing to green performance from the outset BY THE NATIONAL AUSTRALIAN BUILT ENVIRONMENT RATING SYSTEM (NABERS) Buildings with a high ‘green’ rating have become synonymous with quality.
Retrofit Volume 1 Issue 2 2012