What is a BASIX Certificate?


BASIX Certificate is one of several documents required to be submitted to a local government area council in NSW with every residential building Development Application. An online web application tool is used to issue a certificate. Also sustainability commitments and specifications addressed on the certificate must be reflected on building plans and be deployed during construction. The nominated provisions are then verified by the project's Principal Certifying Authority before an occupation certificate is issued. To get a BASIX certificate you need to introduce energy and water efficiency measures of your development to online assessment tool and get a pass score. A certificate is generated by the online tool and can be used for DA submission. The issued and submitted BASIX certificate becomes a DA document that must be referenced and referred to during all steps of construction and commissioning. The provisions must be fully deployed during construction in order for a building to be able to achieve its final Occupation Certificate. If you would like to know more about the costs and fees in detail, check out our BASIX Certificates Costs page. The online assessment tools have different approaches to different types of residential development. The different types are single dwellings, alterations and additions, multi dwelling developments like attached townhouses and multi unit residential flat buildings. For each type of residential development, the format and information on the certificate are different from the others. An experienced BASIX assessor in Sydney from Eco Certificates can provide you with the most cost effective and optimised certificate while fully incorporate our client preferences and conscious of thermal comfort performance figures of each dwelling.

The main types of BASIX Certificates are as below, for more information on each of them, click on the links:

Why should I give my projects to Eco Certificates?

When you leave your residential development design project with a consultant, you need to be able to trust them to do their work flawlessly. If they make a mistake or they are not 100% familiar with what they’re doing, it will be the project and eventually the owners and investors of the project who pay the highest price. We have over 8 years of shining experience delivering the BASIX certificates for the most challenging and large scale projects in NSW. If you want to trust experience and expertise Eco Certificates has a strong case. Here is a summary of the projects we've done.
When it comes to a culture of customer service and ongoing support Eco Certificates shines above all. We’ve helped many of our clients out of dire situations and impossible deadlines over the years. Anytime you want to update your documents or have a question, we’re just a phone call, or email, away. We have advanced project management systems and highly refined procedures over the years to always have ample capacity to service our clients if they have a particular and difficult situation. Contact and test drive us for one of your projects and you won’t have to go anywhere else.

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BASIX Certificates cost

The most cost effective BASIX certificate service per dwelling can be given for developments with large number of units with similar and typical designs repeating in all levels. The cost of obtaining a BASIX certificate is generally not one of the largest expenses of a residential development documentation for DA submission. That being said, the fees can be substantially different for different design and development types. Since there are fixed government fees associated with the certification, the variation in the cost is solely determined by the BASIX consultant fees who prepares the certificate. On the other hands, luxury single dwelling houses with unusual layout and architectural features can attract a substantial amount of service cost.
At Eco Certificates, our focus is primarily on maximising the value of our service to our clients. This is achieved by a combination of smart and educated approach to a BASIX assessment, minimising the cost by offering the most competitive rates and quick turnaround time for our documentation and delivery. Please visit our BASIX certificate cost page of our website for more details and description of various government cost components.

Turn around time for BASIX Certificates

The time required to prepare a BASIX certificate, strongly depends on the complexity and type of the residential development. It generally requires the work of two or more different members of our office to complete the NatHERS thermal models and simulation results, prepare the draft and, upon payment of government fees, certificate of the BASIX and NatHERS assessment results. Turn around time for a certificate can be as low as several hours for a simple single dwelling or an alterations and additions project or several days for large multi block residential developments with hundreds of complex units. As a general rule in our office, we never overwhelm ourselves with excessive work. This policy combined with our state of the art project management software solution enables us to have comfortable and available capacity to respond to the most difficult deadlines and projects in trouble. In most cases, the turnaround time needs to be as quick as possible because the certificate is the last document which is being prepared prior to a development application submission to the council. Due to this fact, we always keep reserve office capacity to enable us to deliver most of the projects coming our way in less than one week from the date we have enough information to start the project.
If you are in an emergency situation as mentioned above, you can get in contact with us through here and we can sort things out for you.

NatHERS and BASIX information

In order for us to use NatHERS thermal modeling software to calculate the heating and cooling load of a dwelling, we require a certain type of information and details. In short, for any type of dwelling, we require at least a correctly scaled PDF architectural plans with elevations and sections, true north orientation, clear information about the construction type of floors, internal and external walls, ceiling, roof and glazing elements like windows, glazed doors and skylights. To extend our study further to prepare a BASIX certificate, more information are required which are very dependant on the type and nature of the development. The information which are required by the assessment tool is noticeably different for different types of residential development. To make the process of information provision for your projects as easy as possible, we’ve created simple to use checklists which take only a few minutes to complete online in a browser window and they will be sent to our assessor automatically to start the assessment and thermal modeling. Please check our BASIX and NatHERS checklists page for relevant checklists of all types of developments.

When do I require more than one BASIX certificate

There are several scenarios which require a development to submit more than one BASIX certificate. When a large multi block residential development is being divided into development phases, despite being on a single development site, the development application is normally being prepared in phases so for each phase a separate certificate needs to be created. If we have developments which each dwellings is on a separate land lot they also must have their own certificates separately. At the end of the day, the council decision for specific situations is the dominant factor and if the council officer decides that more than one BASIX certificate needs to be submitted for a certain development, that decision is final. It is normally the main reason when a single project must have more than one certificates lodged for it.

What are the limitations of BASIX

BASIX scheme is one of the strongest residential building sustainability schemes in the world and arguably the strongest and the most elaborate in Australia. This being said the online tool and the assessment of certain types of developments is not without limitations and room for improvement. The most widely criticised aspect of BASIX online tool has been its allowance to create a certificate for a single dwelling without any NatHERS thermal modeling using DIY and particularly RAPID method. Since 1st of July 2017, NSW Department of Planning has removed the RAPID method from the options available for thermal comfort section of the BASIX however the DIY method is still available for single dwellings. You can also visit our News Page for information regarding the regulation changes taking place on the first of July.
Another aspect that makes the tool limited to some extent is the limited number of options available for different types of emerging technologies. To address this limitation there is an option in the online tool to allow the user to submit an application for an Alternative Assessment. This method of assessment allows the buildings which cannot be fully introduced to the online tool to be assessed. The current turn around time for this method, after submitting the application is announced by the department of planning to be at least 20 working days which is not appropriate for the vast majority of applications.

What are the BASIX targets

BASIX online tool awards a certificate of compliance to a building if that building successfully satisfies the requirements of BASIX in the areas of energy and water efficiency and thermal comfort. To measure the performance of a dwelling in these areas, a target system for each field is being used. These BASIX targets are being calculated based on the average performance benchmarks throughouts the NSW. Before 1st of July 2017 these targets have been as follow:

  • Water target, up to a 40% reduction in potable water consumption;
  • Energy target, up to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Thermal comfort target, minimum performance levels for the thermal comfort of the dwelling.

These targets change based on the regional considerations and limitations throughout the NSW. From 1st of July 2017 the energy and thermal comfort targets are significantly increased. Water target stays the same. Please check our news announcement regarding this update.

BASIX-Certificate-example

BASIX Certificate Structure


BASIX certificate has a certain structure which is repeated in all certificates although the format of a certificate is different for new single dwellings, new multi unit developments and alterations and additions.

There are 4 sections in each certificate as follow;

  1. General Description of the Project
  2. Schedule of BASIX commitments for water efficiency
  3. Schedule of BASIX commitments for thermal comfort
  4. Schedule of BASIX commitments for energy efficiency

For multi unit developments the last 3 sections are divided into two sections each. The first section describes commitments for each dwelling while the second section elaborates on the common area measures.

Certificate Fees


Since 1st July 2011 the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure has started charging a fee for the issuing of a certificate. Table below shows maximum payable fees;

Type of Development Maximum Fee Payable
Single Dwelling $50
Multi Dwelling $80 (for first two dwellings)
$35 (for each dwelling more than two dwellings)
Residential Flat Building Variable - depends on number of units
Alteration and Additions $25 for each dwelling

Payment of fees is required prior to the generation of a certificate on the last page of the online tool. Please be advised that Eco Certificates does not have any financial benefit is these fees and only adds the amount to each invoice to transfer to the NSW Department of Planning for release of the certificate.

Validity Period of a BASIX Certificate


When a BASIX Certificate is issued it must be submitted to the council no later than 3 months from the date of its issue. After this period is passed the certificate will become invalid and a new certificate must be obtained and paid for. Due to this fact it is always a good practice to submit the project to council as soon as it is issued for the project.

If for any reason you are required to issue a revised or new certificate, there is a chance that the same design that satisfied the BASIX requirements before do not get a pass score in current version of online tool.

How to Revise a BASIX Certificate


If you submit a BASIX certificate to council as part of your Development Application the certificate can only be revised while maintaining its original certificate number and with a revision number increment. It is not possible to revoke the certificate as it becomes part of the body of legal documents forming a Development Application. If you want to revise an already submitted certificate you would need to provide the online assessment tool with the DA number and exact lodgment date of the development application as stated on the DA Notice of Determination. The revised BASIX certificate will then add a revision number increment to the original certificate number and reflects the DA number and the submission date on the revised certificate and any other later revisions.

If the BASIX certificate has not been submitted to the council in its validity period the online tool does not allow any revision even if the council has accepted it after 3 months for any reason.