Retrofit : Retrofit Volume 1 2012
46 • RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 1 NUMBER 1 2012 | Performance and Rating promote a building’s future rating from the outset of a development project. How do I make sure that my new building project or refurbishment will make the grade? A NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement is an agreement between NABERS and the building proponent to design, build and commission the premises to achieve a stated NABERS Energy star rating (must be 4 stars or more). The contract typically spans a number of years and remains in effect until the building has received its NABERS Energy rating, after 12 months of operation. Commitment Agreements enable building proponents to promote the NABERS rating commitment from the outset, and, most importantly, they provide a process to achieve measurable operational performance results. A NABERS Commitment Agreement engages the engineers, project managers and architects involved with the project throughout the design, construction and commissioning phases to continually review the project to meet the targets and maximise the environmental performance of the building. The challenge of delivering the performance target is considerable, and good intentions at the design stage do not always translate into efficient performance in practice. It is likely that the performance of a building will be measured and reported with NABERS during its lifetime. Meeting a Commitment Agreement ensures that a building will perform in operation, and also permits the developer to promote, with confidence, the future performance of the building. Reducing future energy costs lowers base building costs over the lifetime of a building, increasing its value. In the current market of rising costs, a Commitment Agreement is a sensible marketing decision that can assist developers to establish a reputation as an ethical developer with the capability to deliver environmentally effective projects. A NABERS Commitment Agreement can also assist with achieving a Green Star rating. ‘Energy’ is one of Green Star’s nine environmental impact categories. To achieve a Green Star – Office Design, Green Star – Office As Built or Green Star – Office Interiors rating, projects must provide an assessment of predicted energy performance, based on the NABERS Energy methodology. Projects that have signed a NABERS Commitment Agreement are automatically eligible for points in the three Green Star office tools, and no further modelling is required. They must provide either evidence of the star rating achieved, or the design review document from the independent NABERS Design Review Panel stating the simulated kilogram of carbon dioxide per square metre. Points will be awarded based on either of these documents. Steps to a successful NABERS Commitment Agreement (CA) 1. Fostering shared understanding and joint responsibility – At the earliest possible time (ideally at the design concept stage) provide all consultants and contractors involved in the design, construction, commissioning and management of the development with written notice of the CA. This ensures that all parties involved in decision-making are coordinating their efforts to achieve a common goal. 2. Computer simulation – Engage a suitably qualified consultant to undertake a computer simulation of the development, to model and predict the operational performance of the building. Computer simulations can help you mitigate risks, and some developers will choose to undertake a computer simulation prior to entering into a CA. 3. Independent design review – You will need to engage a NABERS Certified Independent Design Reviewer to undertake an Energy Efficiency Review of your project. The reviewer will be independent of your design team and will provide expert advice on the operational performance of the building. 4. Full operation – Once your building has been fully commissioned and reached at least 75 per cent occupancy, you have reached ‘full operation’ and can commence the 12-month data collection phase to inform your NABERS Energy rating. 5. NABERS Energy rating – After 12 months, engage a NABERS Accredited Assessor to undertake a NABERS Energy rating. Case Study: Legion House – A global benchmark for sustainable refurbishment of a heritage building • 161 Castlereagh Street, Sydney • Joint venture: Grocon and GPT • Commitment Agreement: NABERS 6 star Energy After Pixel in Victoria, which is widely recognised as the first carbon- neutral office building in Australia, Grocon has signed a NABERS 6 star Energy Commitment Agreement with the New South Wales Government, which administers the NABERS program nationally for the refurbishment of Legion House in Sydney’s CBD.
Retrofit Volume 1 Issue 2 2012