Building

Using NABERS as part of an NCC Performance Solution

16/05/2017
Green grass with construction material

Did you know that you can use a NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement as part of an NCC Performance Solution?

This article explains how you can do this for your next project. It also provides information about a formal NCC Verification Method based on National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) which is currently being developed for inclusion in NCC 2019. Once developed, this will make it even easier to use NABERS for NCC compliance.

What is a NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement?

NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance (energy, water, waste and indoor environment quality) of commercial buildings. A NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement is a contract between the building proponent and the NABERS National Administrator (the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH)) to achieve a particular NABERS star rating.

The ABCB is currently working with NABERS to formally acknowledge NABERS Energy Commitment Agreements as a compliance pathway, through a specific Verification Method. This is part of broader changes to provide more flexibility for practitioners and reduce red tape.

The public consultation draft of NCC 2019 will be available for review on 1 February 2018. This will be an opportunity for you to have your say on the proposed changes.

NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement – Use it now

With the development of the proposed Verification Method currently underway, a NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement can still be used to meet JP1 and JP3 using a Performance Solution.
If the proponent chooses the Performance Solution option, a NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement can be used to determine compliance with JP1 and JP3 for commercial buildings. This process is detailed in the guidance document for developing a Performance Solution using the NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement. The guidance document was developed by the ABCB to assist practitioners to use the NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement to achieve compliance with the current NCC commercial building energy efficiency provisions.

The NCC a performance based code

The NCC is a performance based code containing all Performance Requirements for the construction of buildings. It is built around a hierarchy of guidance and code compliance levels, with the Performance Requirements being the minimum level that buildings and building elements must meet. A building solution will comply with the NCC if it satisfies the Performance Requirements, which are the mandatory requirements of the NCC.

Under the performance-based NCC there is no obligation to adopt any particular material, component, design factor or construction method. This provides a choice of compliance pathways. The Performance Requirements can be met using a Performance Solution or a Deemed-to-Satisfy (DTS) Solution. This means that the NCC energy efficiency Performance Requirements JP1 and JP3 can be met using a Performance Solution or a DTS Solution.

Register to keep up to date with NCC 2019 energy efficiency developments and ensure you’re across proposed changes, understand how they will affect you and know when you can have your say.

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