How do I learn more about NABERS green building ratings?
This week’s question comes from Light Home reader, Jon Wong, who asked us about the NABERS rating tool and how it will affect building ratings in future.
“I went to the Green Cities conference and saw a presentation on NABERS and I heard that it’ll be used in other parts of the building industry in the next 10 years,” Jon said.
“Do you know how NABERS works and how green retrofits are paid for?”
Green Cities Conference 2012 – Rating Tool Revolution: Part 1
Over 3000 people attended the conference at the Darling Harbour Convention and Exhibition Centre to learn more about the latest developments in sustainable design and energy efficient building solutions.
Watch our latest podcast with Darren Bilsborough from Cminus presenting the [Think] Rating Tool Revolution series with sustainability director, Matthew Clark:
Financing environmental building upgrades
NABERS became a mandatory energy and water efficiency rating scheme for buildings in 2010 and all new CBD buildings with an office space of over 2000 square metres must now be assessed under the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act when offering any office spaces for lease or sale.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has recently been working on new financial incentive schemes with local councils, finance providers and Low Carbon Australia in a bid to encourage building owners to retrofit office buildings.
“It’s a really innovative financial mechanism that should overcome a number of different barriers to retrofitting building upgrades,” the sustainability director said.
“The repayment is actually tied to the council charges so effectively building owners are liable only for what they’re being charged, not for future charges,” Mr. Clark said.
The scheme promotes a new way to finance environmental upgrades by allowing repayments over a much longer timeframe than other loans, which are usually repaid within a couple of years.
“If you’re currently passing on your council charges through leases to your tenants you could pass these charges on as well, provided that energy or other savings to the tenant offset those charges, so it’s a way to overcome the split offset between clients and tenants,” the sustainability director said.
Watch more videos
To learn more about water and energy efficiency rating tools, stay tuned for our latest podcasts from the Green Cities 2012 conference.