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  • Writer's pictureDimitri Harakidas

BASIX - New Homes & Apartment Buildings - NSW

BASIX - New Homes & Apartment Buildings - NSW

All new houses and apartment buildings are required to have a BASIX certificate completed as part of development applications. The BASIX tool has three segments;

Water, Thermal Comfort and Energy.

Water efficiency - nominally a reduction of water consumption by a minimum of 40% compared to a standard house (house without any water saving measures) for new houses/townhouses and by 30% compared to a standard apartment for apartments. The water usage reduction for

apartments, sometimes is also at 40% depending on suburb, size of development, etc.

Water efficiency is primarily achieved via the use of rated water appliances (shower heads, taps, cisterns), the utilization of rainwater tanks for garden watering usage and sometimes for laundry,

and toilets as well as pools whenever applicable.

Thermal comfort - NatHERS is a national scheme although not compulsory to all states, however is compulsory in NSW. It is a scheme where dwellings are rated according to their thermal performance for summer and winter. That is achieved via the simulation of the proposed

dwelling by specialty software packages such as AccuRate, Firstrate and Bers. The way this is done is the whole geometry of the subject building, including neighboring buildings for shading, location, orientation and building constructions are inputted. All of the above are calculated thus predicting cooling and heating loads. BASIX has benchmarks for these loads mainly dependent on location and building type, however other secondary parameters are taken into consideration.

Once the software produces the predicted loads, they then are compared to BASIX benchmarks. If loads are higher than allowed, mainly construction specifications (walls types, insulation levels, window types, colours etc) are altered / optimized in order to make the dwelling comply.

Single dwellings can also be assessed via the use of the simple method, a method that can be assessed by anyone however be careful on the commitments as they will be checked by the certifier and non-compliance, will need to be addressed.

Energy efficiency - similarly to the water efficiency section, electric appliances such as water heaters, a/c, lights, and other, sometimes including solar photo-voltaic systems are specified in order to achieve 30% - 40% energy usage reduction compared to a standard dwelling. Thermal comfort section can affect the energy efficiency performance as a well, since a well performing dwelling requires little on no a/c usage, thus contributing positively to this section.

All of the above is combined in one document, the so called BASIX certificate and is used as a specification sheet for architects and builders for the building phase and as a checklist for building certifiers at the completion stage of the project in order for the Occupation Certificate to be issued.

All information outlined in the BASIX certificate and in the HSTAR universal certificate (thermal comfort section) must be reflected 100% in the building.

In other states, BASIX is not applicable and reference solely to the BCA is taken into account, however for thermal the comfort, NatHERS is the only scheme available

To address the thermal comfort section of BASIX, AENEC provide their clients a thermal simulation by using the AccuRate software and is able to provide you with complete and accurate design advice.

AENEC also specialises in multi-unit BASIX certifications for apartment buildings and having assessed many multi-unit projects we have an extensive knowledge of the process.

For our multi-unit fee schedule, please contact us.

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