How NABERS water rating works
The NABERS Water tool measures the water consumption of an office building on a scale of one (least efficient) to six stars (market leading/most efficient) reflecting the performance of the building in comparison to the rest of the market. The average rating within the market at this time is around two and a half stars. While the ratings are being determined, in order to productively compare performance, the figures are adjusted for factors such as building area, hours of use and climate zone. It does not take into account the consumption of internally or externally supplied recycled water or water from on-site sources such as rainwater tanks. The total amount of externally supplied recycled water is used in the rating process but does not ultimately affect the rating- rather it is used to help the building owner understand the total water consumption of the building.
The NABERS water rating tool is only available for whole buildings and not for tenancies. This can also be conducted at the same time as a NABERS energy base building, or whole building rating.
How is the water rating calculated?
As stated before, NABERS water ratings are used to measure the water consumption rate of a building within a scale range of one to six stars with six being the best performance possible. Currently the market average is only at 2.5 stars which leaves a lot of room for improvement.
How can you raise the water rating?
- Establish a water management strategy for the office → Once a benchmark figure has been derived concerning the energy efficiency of the building, you can set a target NABERS rating goal and obtain advice as to how this can be achieved.
- Stop leaks → Leaks can sometimes account for 30% of a building’s water usage. Therefore, a thorough maintenance check needs to be taken at regular intervals.
- Improve efficiency of cooling towers → Cooling towers can consume a lot of a building’s overall energy, sometimes up to 40% of the building’s water use. Conducting regular maintenance checks and implement management strategies as required
- Improve efficiency of building amenities → Building amenities also take up a significant portion of a building’s water consumption and by checking valves, flush mechanisms, seals and taps, the energy efficiency of the building can be improved
- Investigate water recycling and reuse projects → Collecting and reusing rain-water, storm-water and grey-water for fire systems and cooling tower makeup water can also adjust the energy efficiency of the building
You can also read more about how NABERS ratings work here and if there are still any questions which you haven't found your answers to, our accredited assessors are always happy to help you with any questions you might have.