NABERS for Apartment Buildings

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The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) has been the ultimate rating for the commercial building sector since the 2000’s. The system, which is an energy efficiency rating system, has propelled Australia to be one of the leaders in the improvement of building use to increase water and energy efficiency and become more efficient.


In June this year, NABERS for Apartment Buildings will launch. Strata Choice’s General Manager of Building Management, Greg Sara has been participating in the government initiated working group to effectively integrate the initiative for apartment buildings. The City of Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney commissioned a survey to assess engagement of NABERS with apartment owners. 



Source: City of Sydney / UTS


The rating will focus on the common property of apartment buildings, and does not include energy used by individual lots. Ratings are calculated through a benchmarking process which assesses a buildings energy and water consumption and adjusts for different variables such as the number of apartments, central air-conditioning configuration, water metering configuration amongst others. When the data is processed using the NABERS tool, it will result in a rating from 1 to 6 stars. 1 being the lowest use of efficiency and 6 being market leading. This is based upon a comparison of other building’s ratings; therefore the rating is fluid over time. As buildings become more efficient over the years, the average moves up the scale. Therefore, over time, buildings in Australia as a group become more efficient. This has successfully occurred in the commercial building sector within Australia and is now recognised as one of the greenest in the world.


To learn more, please watch an intro video about NABERS, although this is focused on commercial properties, the theory is the same.



How it will work in apartment buildings:


    1. The apartment building decides to participate in the NABERS scheme;
    2. Building metrics data, water and energy billing information is collected by the building and/or strata manager;
    3. A NABERS assessor is appointed to assess the data, conduct a site visit and lodge the rating with NABERS;
    4. A NABERS rating is automatically generated based on the data provided, which is quality checked and certified by NABERS;
    5. Steps 2 to 4 are repeated annually to retain the NABERS rating for the building. Efficiency improvements undertaken between assessments will increase the rating result.


It is envisaged that websites that advertise properties for sale will have NABERS ratings displayed to prospective purchases. It is anticipated that this will cause a demand for prospective apartment purchasers to enquire whether the building has and what is their NABERS rating. In the commercial building sector, there is a view that property values are benefited from a higher NABERS rating.


NABERS are also running accredited assessor courses coming up in May / June for both new and existing assessors to become trained in NABERS for Apartment Buildings. For further details click here.


Strata Choice is at the forefront of this initiative and will keep you posted in the months to come.

Further information:
NABERS for apartment buildings brochure
Subscribe to the NABERS email mailing list for updates
Watch the NABERS introduction video

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