If you haven’t used the services of a professional sustainability consultant before, then you must be wondering where to start from. Before you begin, you must know when you need one. Sustainability consultants can provide assistance with a wide range of reports including energy rating, ecological sustainability development reports, and compliance reports & audits. The most common one is the BASIX from New South Wales.
BASIX or Building Sustainability Index replaces the energy efficiency requirements of the Building Code of Australia for the residential developments in New South Wales. The BASIX Certificate in NSW was introduced by the NSW Department of Planning 2004 as a response to the increasing pressure on the Australian environmental resources. Since then, BASIX has been controlling the several stages of development and now it is considered as one of the most successful environmental initiatives.
The goal of BASIX is to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions, energy consumption and water consumption of NSW residential developments by setting up different performance benchmarks for the sustainability factors. These benchmarks are called BASIX indices and are divided into three different sections for energy, water and thermal efficiency.
There are basically two major objectives addressed by the BASIX energy efficiency index. The first objective is, more than 80 percent of all new and refurbished residences must meet with the minimum BASIX energy efficiency targets. This will let them achieve a pass score from the online evaluation tool. The second objective is, all residences must produce 36 percent less Greenhouse gas compared to the average state.
Water efficiency target from BASIX is defined so that the highest water efficiency target is applicable for at least 90 percent of the new residential developments. The target is changed in the online tool based on the climate zones of the development, so that a development in a dry hot climate will have less stringent targets to meet compared to mild & humid climates.
The thermal comfort section of the BASIX is on a pass or fail basis rather being based on the performance scores. A house must have a certain thermal heating and cooling load to get a pass mark. This cooling and heating load is calculated by the online BASIX assessment tool based on the characteristics of the building. In the thermal simulation method, the loads are measured by a certified NatHERS thermal assessment software. The results are inserted in the online assessment tool in the form of ABSA Certificate.