Important Changes to BASIX in NSW
In August 2022, the NSW Government released the new State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022 (Sustainable Buildings SEPP) and associated amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2001 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment (Development Certification and Fire Safety) Regulation 2021. The SEPP package is now in effect as of 1st of October 2023. The policy incorporates provisions from the State Environmental Planning Policy (Building Sustainability Index) BASIX 2004 (BASIX SEPP) and introduces new measures for non-residential buildings.
The increases to BASIX standards align with the changes to the National Construction Code. It implements a key component of the national Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings which was agreed by all Energy ministers in 2019, while the requirements for non-residential buildings help address the known gap between buildings that are designed and as-built energy performance of buildings.
The higher BASIX thermal performance and energy standards apply to all new residential buildings across NSW except for:
- homes in the North Coast climate zones
- small apartment buildings up to 5 storeys in NSW
Thermal Comfort: The higher BASIX thermal performance standards is at least 7 stars, based on the star-rating scale defined by the NatHERS Scheme. This is consistent with the energy efficiency requirements in the proposed National Construction Code 2022. Currently, homes that comply with BASIX have been achieving 5.5 to 6 NatHERS stars on average.
Energy: The higher energy standards proposed will vary with location and building types as specified in Schedule 1 of the Sustainable Buildings SEPP. Different standards are set to account for the climatic conditions in NSW and energy use from shared services (such as lifts) and common areas (such as lobbies and corridors) in apartment buildings.
Water: BASIX water standards for new homes and the standards for alterations and additions to residential buildings will stay the same across NSW.
Material Index: The emissions factors represent the embodied emissions from the production and use of a building material over the life of the home including maintenance and replacement. Default factors for embodied emissions of materials will be based on the well-recognised EPiC database.