An introduction to NABERS

  • Introduction

    Every building has an impact on the environment. In fact, buildings use 40% of the world’s energy, emit 40% of the world’s carbon footprint, and use 20% of the world’s available drinking water?1 Fortunately, we’re becoming better at understanding how we can make buildings more energy, waste and water efficient. The first step is to really understand the environmental performance of a building or tenancy.

    In Australia, if you own, manage or occupy a building, a NABERS rating can provide you with a simple indication of how well you are managing these environmental impacts compared to similar buildings.

    Once you understand the environmental impact of your building or tenancy you can begin the journey to making your building or tenancy more sustainable.

    1 World Economic Forum

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  • What are the NABERS tools?

    NABERS provides four environmental rating tools - NABERS Energy, NABERS Water, NABERS Waste and NABERS Indoor Environment - to measure the actual operational performance of existing buildings and tenancies.

    NABERS can be used to rate commercial offices, shopping centres, hotels and homes.

    NABERS ratings for offices can be used to measure the performance of a tenancy, the base building or the whole building. The tenancy rating includes only the energy or resources that the tenant controls.  A base building rating covers the performance of the building's central services and common areas, which are usually managed by the building owner.

    A whole building rating covers both the tenanted spaces and the base building, and is typically used in an owner-occupied building, or where there is inadequate metering to obtain a base building or tenancy rating.

    The NABERS rating tools

    The NABERS rating tools

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  • Why is NABERS a world leading program?

    The NABERS approach to rating the environmental performance of buildings is world leading and unique.  It takes real, measured impacts and communicates these in a clear and simple way. 

    Through NABERS, the Australian property industry has a credible standard to confidently communicate results, and to judge environmental initiatives by their actual results in star ratings.  NABERS ratings are used throughout the property sector to drive deep cuts in environmental impacts, and evaluate the real results of initiatives.  NABERS star ratings are now common language.

    This deep knowledge of building performance and potential for improvement has transformed the Australian property industry, which is now acknowledged as an international leader in the greening of buildings.  It has led to a real, measured and significant reduction in environmental impact.

    Each of the NABERS tools has been developed to:

    • provide a credible and independent market-based benchmark
    • communicate environmental performance through a simple star rating
    • drive best practice through setting stretch targets meet the needs of industry, and
    • achieve real positive environmental outcomes.

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  • Accredited rating or self-assessment?

    An accredited NABERS rating is performed by a NABERS Accredited Assessor.  Assessors are trained in the use of the NABERS rules for data collection and analysis, have passed an examination and are subjected to ongoing quality control checks.

    If you wish to report or promote your rating performance, you will need an accredited rating.  Accredited ratings are reliable, and can also be used to comply with Commercial Building Disclosure, or to meet commitments under CitySwitch.

    Self-assessments are free and quick, and you can use the calculator at any time to get an idea of how well your building or tenancy is performing. A self-assessment cannot however be reported or promoted in any way.

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  • How often should I rate a building or tenancy?

    A NABERS rating reflects the environmental performance of a building or tenancy over the past twelve months.  An annual rating allows you to keep track of performance, measure the impact of any actions taken, address issues and make improvements, as well as setting targets for each year.

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