What are BASIX and NatHERS and what do they stand for:

BASIX stands for the “Building Sustainability Index” and NatHERS stands for “Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme”.

BASIX is an online tool and certification system for new residential developments in New South Wales, Australia. It assesses a building’s energy and water efficiency and provides a certification for those that meet certain standards set by the NSW government. The goal of BASIX is to reduce the environmental impact of new homes by promoting sustainable building practices and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

NatHERS is a system used to assess the energy efficiency of homes in Australia. It assigns each home a rating, expressed as a star rating, based on its expected annual energy consumption for heating and cooling. This rating is used by local governments and building approval agencies to ensure that new homes meet certain energy efficiency standards. The goal of NatHERS is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes and promote more sustainable building practices in Australia.

What is the cost of a BASIX and / or NatHERS assessment

The cost of these assessments has two components. The government fees and our service fees. The government fees are fixed and are calculated per dwelling however the service cost of our assessment in Eco Certificates depends on the complexity, size and requested timing of the project. So a large and complex design which is requested of us in an urgent timeframe would cost more than a project without such characteristics.

Do I need to update my BASIX if I change my design

It depends on the nature and extent of changes. Generally speaking, any change to the geometry and construction material of a building design would result in a different NatHERS thermal comfort simulation results and therefore, the NatHERS model and BASIX certificates need to be updated. 

Do I need to update a BASIX certificate if my design changes are minor

Yes. The definition of minor is a subjective matter and have a different meaning in a NatHERS thermal comfort assessment and BASIX certificate. Please forward your plans to us if you have introduced changes to your plans and if an update is not necessary, we will confirm this with you in writing.

BCA Section J

What is a BCA Section J Assessment

A BCA (NCC) Section J Assessment is an assessment of the energy efficiency of a building in for compliance with the Secition J of the volume 1 of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Section J of the BCA volume 1 sets out the energy efficiency requirements for all new buildings in Australia, including both commercial and residential buildings.

The BCA Section J Assessment involves a detailed analysis of the building’s design, construction, and systems, to determine its energy efficiency and ensure that it meets the minimum deemed to satisfy requirements of the BCA Section J. The assessment covers a wide range of factors, including insulation levels, glazing performance requirements,  sealing and air tightness, HVAC systems, hot water systems, and lighting design, among others.

The results of the BCA Section J Assessment are used by local building approval agencies to determine whether a building is compliant with the BCA energy efficiency requirements. The assessment is an important part of the building approval process and is typically required before the Construction Certificate is issued.

What is a Deemed to Satisfy Section J assessment

In a Deemed to Satisfy BCA Section J assessment, the building’s design is compared to the prescriptive minimum performance requirements set out in the section J of the BCA volume 1.If the building design satisfies these Deemed to Satisfy requirements, it is deemed to meet the energy efficiency requirements of the BCA Section j. This type of assessment is typically simpler and quicker than an alternative performance-based JV3 assessment, as it involves a straightforward comparison of the building’s design to the prescriptive solutions.

However, while a Deemed to Satisfy BCA Section J assessment is a simpler and quicker option, it may not always be the most cost-effective or efficient solution for a particular building. In some cases, a performance-based JV3 assessment may be more appropriate, as it allows for more flexibility in the design and construction of a building, and can result in lower energy consumption and improved energy efficiency.

What is a JV3 Section J assessment

The BCA Sectrion J JV3 alternative assessment refers to a compliance pathway that allows building designers to demonstrate that their design meets the energy efficiency requirements specified in Section J of the BCA by using computer-based simulation tools. This pathway allows the design to have one or more non compliant Deemed to Satisfy provisions in their design and still demonstrate compliance with the Section J of the BCA. The alternative assessment provides an alternative to prescriptive DTS requirements, allowing building designers to find the most cost-effective and efficient solution for their building design.