Media releases

  • NABERS to review its governance framework

    The NABERS Program has today launched a stakeholder consultation process to seek feedback on proposed changes to its governance framework. This follows an 18 month governance review conducted by NABERS to determine a future structure that ensures the appropriate strategic and functional support for the long-term success of the program.

    NABERS is a national program administered by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. It is advised by various industry bodies through a Stakeholder Advisory Committee and Technical Working Groups. Key decisions are made by a National Steering Committee, which comprises representatives from each of the States and Territories and the Australian Government.

    Key changes to the NABERS governance structure currently under consultation include:

    • A new Leadership Group comprised of individuals from industry and government charged with decision making authority on future directions for the program; and 
    • A refreshed Industry Forum whereby new industry bodies and markets relevant to NABERS can provide input on NABERS tools and program changes to offer new perspectives

    Carlos Flores, NABERS National Program Manager said that this consultation marks a key point in the evolution of the NABERS program as it grows in size, scope and influence.

    “This is an exciting time in the life of our program and we invite all stakeholders of the NABERS Program to be involved in this important discussion as we shape the future decision making framework for NABERS.”

    “This industry feedback will help us determine to what extent adjustments to the program’s existing governance are needed for NABERS to continue being an agent for sustainable change for years to come,” said Mr Flores.

    The consultation process is in line with NABERS’ Stakeholder Consultation Policy and will involve:

    • A one hour teleconference from 2pm (AEDT) on Friday 10 February 2017 to discuss the proposed changes, answer questions and seek early feedback from stakeholders. 
    • Meetings and briefings will be organised between NABERS, industry bodies and other interested parties following the teleconference; 
    • Written submissions on the proposed changes are invited from all NABERS stakeholders including Assessors, customers, technical working group members and the broader industry. 
    • Submissions are due in writing by 5pm (AEDT) Friday 10 March 2017 when the consultation period closes. Submissions can be sent to nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au. 

    Stakeholders are encouraged to read the accompanying paper titled Proposed Changes to NABERS Governance and register for the teleconference via the link below.
    https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/nabers-consultation-proposed-governance-changes-tickets-31213083172

    Media Contact: Bessie Quansah 9995 6598 / Bessie.Quansah@environment.nsw.gov.au

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  • New funding to tackle apartment energy efficiency

    The Federal and State Governments today announced funding for a new rating tool for apartment buildings that will drive sustainability upgrades, resulting in greenhouse gas reductions and bill savings. This project is part of the Australian National Energy Productivity Plan’s 2030 targets to achieve a 40% increase in productivity of our national energy usage.

    The tool will be developed by the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and will measure energy performance of apartments nation-wide on a one to six star scale, six being the most efficient.

    NABERS tools have proven highly effective in the commercial building sector. They have allowed building owners to better understand their assets’ performance, and provided a metric on which numerous policy and incentive schemes have been built. 

    Figures from NABERS revealed the office sector is now saving more than $100 million a year in power bills compared to 2010 levels. This has resulted in annual CO2 emissions savings of more than 635,000 tons, equivalent to taking more than 160,000 cars off the road. Leading industry figures are hopeful that a NABERS Energy for apartment buildings tool, combined with the right policies, can set the residential sector on a similar path.

    The Property Council of Australia, the peak body for owners and investors in Australia’s $670 billion property investment industry, welcomes the news. 

    Ken Morrison, CEO of the Property Council, says the property sector is a strong advocate for a transition to a 'net zero' emissions economy, and for more ambitious sustainability policies in the residential sector.

    “This is a good initiative and reflects the property industry’s willingness to work with government on sensible and cost-effective measures which reduce emissions. Rating tools like this one provide better information for everyone. This is a practical measure that will reduce emissions and costs for landlords and tenants”.

    “A national NABERS tool for apartments has support from industry and local and state governments, as well as the Australian government. We support the development of coherent national initiatives such as this, and encourage governments to bring this level of coordination to other residential sustainability policies where initiatives are often fragmented and inconsistent among jurisdictions.”

    Carlos Flores, the National Program Manager of NABERS said, “We are proud of the important role NABERS has played in helping the Australian commercial building sector become a world leader in sustainability.”

    “The built environment contributes almost a quarter of Australia's emissions, and residential apartments represent the fastest growing market in the built environment. We know bringing large-scale sustainability change to the apartment sector will be a major challenge, but one that government and industry can tackle if we work together,” Mr Flores said,

    NABERS Energy for apartment buildings will assess the energy performance of central services. Potential retrofits include upgrades to lighting, HVAC systems, pool pumps, hot water systems, sensors and building management systems.

    Luke Menzel, CEO of the Energy Efficiency Council said, “This is a great opportunity to extend the benefits of energy efficiency to a whole new part of the market. In the office sector, NABERS provided a 'common language' that made energy efficiency tangible for building owners and tenants. As a result, energy efficiency is now understood as more than just a cost saving strategy; it’s a way to improve amenity, occupant health and leaseability, which has had a huge impact.”

    “NABERS Energy for apartment buildings has the potential to deliver those same benefits to the growing number of Australians that rent and own apartments, if it is supported by sensible, well targeted policies and programs. We're looking forward to working with all levels of government – including local governments – to make this new NABERS tool a success,” Mr Menzel said.

    NABERS Energy for apartment buildings will embark on its development phase over the coming months, with a pilot phase of the tool expected to be run in 2017. The tool is also expected to include a NABERS Water tool, to help occupants of apartment buildings to assess and improve their water performance.

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  • Wellness revolution continues as Floth achieve landmark 6-Star rating

    26 July 2016

    The ‘wellness revolution’ that’s been gathering pace in the building sector has passed another milestone as Floth became the first company to achieve a 6-star NABERS Indoor Environment rating.

    The NABERS Indoor Environment tool measures factors such as air quality, thermal comfort, lighting, office layout and occupant satisfaction. On the NABERS six star scale, one star is poor performance and six is market leading.

    Floth is a leading building services and engineering consultancy practice with offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Jakarta. They were awarded the 6 star rating for their new head office located in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.

    Anthony Marklund, ESD Principal at Floth said that he was very happy with the result.

    “We have been talking about the evidence linking building indoor environment quality with health and productivity outcomes for many years.”

    “We care about buildings, moreover we care about the people who work and live in buildings. At Floth we strive for best practice and wanted to demonstrate leadership by caring for our own people first.”

    “NABERS Indoor Environment provides office building owners, managers and occupants with simple and reliable benchmarking of operational Indoor Environment Quality.  A third-party occupant satisfaction survey is combined with spot measurements in the space.  The rating report now gives clear advice on performance against the IEQ areas.”

    “Happily, our 6 star outcome proves that a highly energy efficient and economical building can also provide an excellent indoor environment.”

    Tom Grosskopf, Director of the Metro Branch at NSW OEH said that the number of NABERS IE ratings had been slowly increasing over the past few years, and that many stakeholders are predicting that the demand will rise sharply as property owners seek to differentiate themselves by positioning themselves as a healthy workplace.

    “It is important that we address both the social and environmental impact of buildings.”

    “Better indoor environment quality in our workplaces will lead to healthier, more productive staff. Healthy productive staff will lead to a more competitive economy, and more vibrant communities,” Mr Grosskopf said.

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  • CBD program expansion announced

    21 June 2016

    The Australian Government is saving Australian households and businesses energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and lowering energy bills by increasing building and appliance energy efficiency.

    The Government will lower the threshold of the Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Programme from 2,000 to 1,000 square meters, which will see an additional 1,000 commercial buildings now disclose their energy efficiency when they sell or lease their property. This will help inform purchasers and tenants of building energy costs, delivering more than $50 million in energy savings, and around 3.5 million tonnes of emission reductions over five years. This change will commence 1 July 2017.

    They have also amended the tenancy lighting assessment requirements so that from 1 September this year, building owners will only be required to undertake these assessments every five years instead of each year. This change adds to the more than $4.5 billion of red tape the Government has cut from the economy.These changes follow a comprehensive review of the CBD Programme and public consultation earlier this year which showed overwhelming support for the programme.

    As Chair of the COAG Energy Council, the Australian Government has also led the way in establishing new priorities for improving appliance efficiency through the Equipment Energy Efficiency (E3) programme. Here, governments will pursue significant energy savings through six priority areas: lighting, non-domestic fans, swimming pool pumps, commercial refrigerated storage and display cabinets, air conditioning, and domestic fridges and freezers. These changes could save Australian households hundreds of dollars on their energy bills. For example, using energy rating labels on appliances like air conditioners will better inform consumers about appliance efficiency and could save an average household more than $240 a year. Further, they could have substantial environmental benefits, potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 29 million tonnes to 2030 and significantly reducing mercury content in fluorescent lamps.

    These measures will make a significant contribution to the Australian Government’s target of increasing national energy productivity by 40 per cent between 2015 and 2030, with commercial buildings alone accounting for around 10 per cent of Australia’s energy consumption. The continued implementation of our National Energy Productivity Plan will boost competitiveness, help energy consumers manage costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    ENDS

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  • Fujitsu achieves Australian first with NABERS Energy rated data centre portfolio

    21 June 2016

    News facts: 

    - As early adopters of NABERS ratings, Fujitsu Australia achieves first fully rated data centre portfolio across six centres 

    - Portfolio rating signals new efficiencies in energy conservation with 27 percent higher efficiency than market average 

    - Fujitsu continues to demonstrate customer transparency in publishing all ratings on NABERS website 

    As part of its global strategic vision for environmental sustainability, Fujitsu Australia will today be awarded the country’s first fully NABERS rated data centre portfolio across its six Australian centres. The achievement is the result of a local initiative to drive the company’s global Environmental Action Plan Stage VIII, which seeks to contribute to society through the development of ICT solutions and reduce the environmental impacts of their business. 

    Fujitsu is meeting customer demands for increased transparency, publishing all ratings on the NABERS website, achieving a 3.75 star average across the portfolio. The portfolio rating signals a new industry benchmark in energy conservaton, with Fujitsu’s centres achieving an efficiency of 27% higher than market average. This equates to an estimated 27 GigaWatt hours of electricity savings per year, which equates to over 24,000,000 kilograms of carbon emissions. Fujitsu Australia will continue to strive towards its 2020 target of a 4.5 star average across the portfolio. 

    Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand, said: “The portfolio rating is just as important from an environmental leadership perspective as it is from a transparency one.’ 

    “When it comes to energy efficiency claims regarding data centres, transparency is crucial. With the exponential increase in data centre energy and Australia being powered predominantly by fossil fuels, the industry needs more accountability for our environmental impacts.’ 

    “NABERS rating for data centres not only gives our customers credible assurance of our energy efficiency efforts but also provides us with a common language that works globally.” 

    Tom Grosskopf, Director of the Metro Branch at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, said: “Fujitsu have been strong supporters of the NABERS Energy for data centres tool since its inception. This achievement is another significant statement that marks them as leaders in this industry. All digital companies should be looking to follow Fujitsu's lead if we're to reach our national sustainability targets.” 

    Tomorrow Lee Stewart, Fujitsu’s Head of Sustainability will co-present with a key customer at the Data Centre Dynamics Conference on the value of NABERS and the transparency it has brought to the market. 

    Fujitsu is also commencing a customer program to engage clients in their energy efficiency movement. For Fujitsu’s customers, choosing a provider with a high NABERS Energy rating will ensure they gain the benefits of a resilient and efficient data centre. Fujitsu is looking to extend this best practice initiative to advise customers on how to obtain their own NABERS Energy rating, through its consulting capabilities and learnings of the process. 

    As part of the Fujitsu Group Environmental Action Plan Stage VIII, the company improves customers' and society's sustainability through deploying its ICT services and enhancing its products' energy and resource efficiency. 

    -ENDS-

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  • NSW OEH announces new funding for building upgrades

    30 October 2015

    The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage today announced new targeted funding and support for buildings as part of their ‘No more average buildings in NSW’ campaign.

    Lead by the Action Matters for Business team, the funding is part of a campaign aimed at raising all NABERS rateable buildings to above three stars.

    Three stars is considered average on the NABERS six star scale. There are currently 104 office buildings and 12 shopping centres performing at this level in NSW.

    The offering includes:

    o Up to 50 percent off the cost of an energy audit to identify the big energy saving opportunities in these buildings.

    o Up to $10,000 for technical expertise to support implementation of the actions identified (from quote evaluation to engineering design).

    o Funding assistance of up to $15,000 for measurement and verification services to ensure that the upgrades are delivering the expected savings.

    o Help to access available public and private finance options for projects.

    o Subsidised energy efficiency training in key technologies such as lighting and HVAC, as well assistance to develop a compelling business case for energy upgrades.

     Director of the Metropolitan Branch at the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage Mr. Tom Grosskopf said, “If NSW wants to be the number one state for business, it deserves better than average buildings.”

    “We want to be the first state to eliminate average from our building stock, we’re aiming to achieve it by the 2016-17 NABERS Annual Report.” He said.

    If you own or know of an average building and would like more information about the ‘no more average buildings in NSW’ taskforce, go to  http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/business or call on 1300 361 967 (ask for the Energy Efficient Business team).

    -ENDS-


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  • A bright future in New Zealand for NABERS rating system

    9th July 2015

     

    Office of Environment and Heritage Director, Tom Grosskopf today announced that the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) in New Zealand had renewed their license for the NABERS program until 2020.

    NABERS is a world leading environmental program that measures building energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality. In Australia, over 77 per cent of the national office market has been rated.

    Mr Grosskopf said the decision to continue with NABERSNZ was both great news for the environment and a testament to the economic value of the program.

    “Since the 2012 launch of NABERSNZ, the foundation work to successfully establish the program has been done, so it made perfect sense to renew their licence until the end of the decade. Over the next five years we expect to see strong growth in the number of assessments,” Mr Grosskopf said.

    “The Australian property industry experienced a ‘bedding-in’ period with NABERS while building owners got to know the data requirements involved. Once industry was comfortable with the process and the market put the right incentives in place, we saw a rapid and wide-scale uptake."

    “We expect that New Zealand will experience a similar gear change over the next five years – particularly since we’re now seeing a number of international financing mechanisms recognising NABERS.”

    In New Zealand, there have been 28 ratings certified since the inception. The program uses a one to six star scale and the highest performing New Zealand building so far identified is the NZI centre in Auckland, which achieved a 5.5 star energy rating.

    In Australia, NABERS is the established environmental performance benchmark of the property industry, with nearly 7000 ratings certified to date. Just over 20 per cent of rated buildings achieve a 5 star rating or above.

    Mr Grosskopf said it has been a proven winner in Australia where buildings with high NABERS ratings (4-6 stars) achieved stronger investment when compared to lower ratings (0 -3.5 stars).

    “Buildings rated 5.5 or 6 stars have rental returns over 10.6% - clearly outperforming the market average of 9%,” Mr Grosskopf said.

    NABERS data has recently been accepted for reporting under both the Climate Bonds Standard for Commercial Buildings and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB), which direct funds from global institutional investors towards sustainable commercial property assets.

    The present NABERSNZ license covers only the Energy and Water for offices tools; however this could be extended to other tools in the future.

    EECA CEO Mike Underhill said commercial buildings in New Zealand are a major user of energy, so it’s important to have an independent process that rates and suggests improvements to building performance.

    “NABERSNZ is a valuable tool that will help drive energy efficiency, reduce climate emissions and deliver a range of co-benefits for tenants and asset owners,” Mr Underhill said.

    For more information about NABERS visit www.nabers.gov.au

     

     

     

     

     

    ENDS

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  • Climate Bonds and NABERS open doors for Australian property owners into lucrative international bond finance

    13 May 2015

    The Climate Bonds Standard for Low Carbon Green Buildings has been launched and Australian buildings are in an unmatched position to lead the world in attracting low-carbon investment. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is pleased to announce that a NABERS Energy rating report is immediately suitable as acceptable data for reporting under the Climate Bonds Standard.

    The Climate Bonds Standard is a Fair Trade-like labelling scheme for bonds, designed to make it easier for investors to work out what sorts of investments genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.

    This means that Australian commercial property owners now have the opportunity to leverage the low carbon credentials of their buildings to attract new and competitive sources of funds from large scale institutional investors seeking low carbon investment options.

    Mr. Tom Grosskopf, Director of the Metropolitan Branch at the Office of Environment and Heritage said, “For nearly twenty years NABERS Energy ratings have been the performance indicator that tenants and investors use to reward property owners with energy efficient assets.”

    “For us this is further confirmation that the types of measurements that inform the NABERS rating represent the metrics most relevant to investors concerned with low carbon credentials and climate change abatement.”

    Sean Kidney, CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative said “The Climate Bonds Standard is a global standard and adoption in Australia is easier for participants because of the good work the NABERS program has done in setting the standard for collecting carbon intensity data. And while the Climate Bonds standard does not adopt individual rating tools, we feel that those already conducting NABERS ratings are positioned amongst the best in the world to participate in Climate Bonds.”

    To qualify for a Climate Bonds certification for Low Carbon Green Buildings, proceeds must be dedicated to buildings that are able to demonstrate very low carbon emissions in operation for the life of the bond. Specifically, these buildings must be in the best 15% of buildings in a local market when it comes to carbon intensity (kgCO2/m2). This carbon intensity is published on each NABERS Energy rating report as a supplementary indicator to the NABERS Energy rating.

    The demand for environmentally responsible investment has been growing in both Australia and overseas and fuelled the rapid growth the green bonds market, which trebled in size in 2014. The first Climate Bond issued by NAB (AUD $300m) in 2014 doubled in size due to strong investor demand. More broadly, at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014 investors representing USD$43 trillion of assets under management made public commitments to climate related investment.

    Mr. Grosskopf said: “A big factor in the success of NABERS Energy has been that high ratings have economic value. That’s what has elevated the program from being a straightforward measurement tool to being a mechanism for market transformation.”

    “Up until this point the economic value was driven largely by government leasing policies and incentive schemes. The fact that the data underlying a NABERS Energy rating can now be used to meet the reporting requirements of the Climate Bonds Standard demonstrates how the system can be leveraged to a far greater extent. This is the start of a significant gear shift for the program – one that our property industry will benefit greatly from.”

    “While initially the standard specifically targets commercial office buildings, there is real potential for Climate Bonds to make an impact among other sectors of the market. NABERS looks forward to working with the Climate Bonds Institute, the Green Building Council of Australia and others to extend these benefits beyond the office market”, Mr. Grosskopf said.

    For more detail on the new Climate Bonds Standard for Low Carbon Green Buildings please go to http://www.climatebonds.net/standards/standard/green-buildings/commercial.

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  • Enterprising Australian company takes government sustainability rating to India

    12 May 2015

    NABERS – The National Australian Built Environment Rating System, announced another significant milestone today as the Paharpur Business Centre (PBC) in New Dehli became the first building outside of Australia to receive an official NABERS Indoor Environment rating.

    Best known for its energy rating tools, NABERS has received significant attention internationally for its positive impact on the market for energy efficiency retrofits in the Australian office sector. In 2013 this attention converted into a license agreement with the New Zealand government.

    The rating conducted at PBC focused on the indoor environment quality of the building. It was calculated by using objective measurements of the thermal comfort, lighting, air quality and acoustics, as well as controlled measurements of occupant satisfaction.

    The building received a 4-star rating, which translates to ‘very good indoor environment quality’ on the NABERS scale. Like all NABERS ratings, it was conducted by an independent third party accredited assessor. PBC’s assessor was Dr. Vyt Garnys, the Managing Director of Melbourne based CETEC.

    Dr. Garnys has been travelling to India on trade missions for the Victorian Government since 2010. Today he presented the CEO of PBC, Mr Kamal Meattle, with their certificate and a commemorative plaque in the presence of a Counsellor from the Australian High Commission.

    “Measurement of indoor environment quality (IEQ) in office buildings is now essential for modern competitive businesses. Research has linked IEQ to occupant health and comfort. Investors realise the social responsibilities of sustainability.” Said Dr. Garnys.

    “Being performance based, a NABERS IE rating provides proof that the technologies which have been implemented at PBC have been commissioned well, are being managed well, and are providing tangible benefits to its occupants in the form of a more comfortable and healthy workplace.” He said.

    Director of the Metropolitan Branch at the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage Mr. Tom Grosskopf said, “This rating shows that the team at PBC understand that operating a truly sustainable building means not just minimising its impact on the environment, but also maximising the wellbeing of the people who occupy it.”

    “As the first NABERS Indoor Environment rating to be certified outside of Australia, this achievement also marks another positive milestone for collaboration between India and Australia. And where better to collaborate than in the area of sustainability – progress in which is so critical to the success of both our countries.” He said

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  • The new NABERS IE tool has been launched

    16 April 2015

    The NABERS National Administrator today announced that the much anticipated upgrades to their NABERS Indoor Environment (IE) tool have been released, and are now available to building owners and tenants across Australia as part of a pilot. NABERS will waive the rating lodgement fee ($1078) for all ratings using the new NABERS IE methodology during the pilot phase, which ends on 30 September 2015.

    Indoor environment quality (IEQ) in office buildings has been gaining increasing attention lately as the research linking IEQ to occupant health and comfort has grown, and investors are starting to look more closely at the social aspects of sustainability.

    NABERS, Australia’s most successful building sustainability rating scheme, initially launched their NABERS IE tool in 2009 as the world’s first performance-based tool of its kind. Star ratings are based on objective measurements of thermal comfort, lighting, air quality and acoustics, as well as subjective measurements of occupant satisfaction with the indoor conditions in an office.

    While the number of ratings had been growing steadily on an annual basis, a technical working group was formed in 2013 to address a number of issues that had been raised during the tool’s first few years in the market. They were also tasked with exploring ways to make it more valuable and useful to property portfolios and facility management companies.

    Mr. Carlos Flores, Acting Program Manager for NABERS, said that the progression to pilot testing was a big step forward for one of the program’s most promising tools.

    “NABERS IE has always had the potential to make a big impact on the Australian office sector.” He said.

    “These changes allow users to gain much greater insight into how the rating is calculated, how the building is performing in all areas of indoor environment quality and how it can improve.”

    “A NABERS IE rating will allow building owners to demonstrate to tenants and investors that they take a holistic approach to sustainability with buildings that are good for the environment and for the people who occupy them” said Mr. Flores.

    The changes include:

    An expansion of the star rating scale to 6 stars

    An intuitive way to determine the star rating obtained as well as how much improvement is required to reach the next star rating.

    A more effective way to communicate performance on each aspect of the rating. Users can now easily see what aspects of IEQ performance are working well from others where there is significant potential for improvement.

    A new rating report which, that provides greater details into the building performance.

    Technical updates to align the tool with the latest international standards and science

    “NABERS has been very fortunate to have some of the brightest minds from the property and IEQ sectors helping to create these enhancements. It allowed us to create a user-centric rating tool with very innovative features that would have otherwise not been possible.”

    “We’re big believers in consultation and testing. The idea of a pilot came directly from industry stakeholders, and will allow us to test the tool on the ground and quickly address any teething issues that may come up.”

    “NABERS Energy has been instrumental in driving an energy efficiency revolution and has helped the Australian commercial property sector to become a world leader in the field. We believe NABERS Indoor Environment can be the catalyst that allows Australia to once again lead the world, this time in creating healthy and productive work places.” He said.

    As part of the pilot phase, NABERS is providing free sessions for anyone with an interest in the new tool in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about the changes to the tool, how to participate in the pilot phase offerings.

    The sessions will be held in:

    Sydney CBD – 5th May 2015

    Brisbane CBD – 12th May 2015

    Perth CBD – 15th May 2015

    Melbourne CBD – 21st May 2015

    For all sessions, arrive at 8:30am for a 9:00am sharp start. Sessions will conclude at 11:30am. To register send an email to nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au with your name, company name and session you wish to attend.

    For more information on the release of the new NABERS IE visit the NABERS website, or email nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au.

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  • First 6 Star NABERS Energy rating for major office building announced

    26 September 2014

    The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage is pleased to announce that Mirvac has become the first organisation to achieve a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating for a major office building without the use of GreenPower.

    Located at 23 Furzer Street, Phillip in the ACT, Sirius House is a 10-storey, 46,000 square metre building, and has achieved a 5.5 Star NABERS Energy rating for the past two years before reaching the impressive 6 Star NABERS Energy rating milestone.

    A building with a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating emits 50 per cent less greenhouse gases than a building with a 5 Star rating.

    Mirvac’s Group Executive, Office & Industrial Operations, Ben Hindmarsh said Mirvac are delighted to have achieved a 6 Star NABERS Energy rating at Sirius House, which follows a number of sustainability initiatives over the past 12 months.

    “These include the implementation of an 80 kilowatt solar PV system, a chiller plant optimisation system and sensor based LED lighting,” Mr Hindmarsh said.

    “The solar PV system alone delivers a reduction of approximately 100 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per annum, which is the equivalent to the annual emissions of 30 cars.

    “This achievement follows the release of Mirvac’s new sustainability strategy to the market last year, and reinforces our position at the forefront of sustainability in the property industry,” Mr Hindmarsh said.

    Director of the Metropolitan Branch at the Office of Environment and Heritage, Tom Grosskopf, said that a 6 Star NABERS rating is classified as ‘market leading’, and Mirvac’s ability to realise this achievement for a major office building demonstrates their leadership in sustainability.

    “Just over 20 per cent of rated buildings are currently achieving a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating or above. Now that Mirvac have shown it can be done in a building of this size, we’re expecting more companies to follow suit and achieve 6 Star NABERS Energy ratings in the coming years,” Mr Grosskopf said.

    “The NABERS rating scale was extended from 5 Stars to 6 Stars in 2011 to reflect the high standard of environmental performance in the Australian property industry.

    “Over 75 per cent of Australia’s office market has been rated with NABERS Energy ratings, and the Australian property sector is recognised by major international bodies as a world leader in sustainability.

    NABERS has been instrumental in driving energy efficiency in the commercial property sector by providing a common language for sustainability.

    “Mirvac’s achievement has raised the bar for the property industry, and is an inspiration for the retrofit movement to continue in Australia, ensuring Australia retains its place as global market leaders in sustainability,” Mr Grosskopf said.

    For further information contact: Sam McLean, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage 02 9995 6339

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  • First NABERS Energy for data centres rating certified

    The NABERS National Administrator is pleased to announce the first certified NABERS Energy for data centres rating.

    The 4 star rating was achieved by Fujitsu for their Noble Park data centre in Victoria. A 4 star rating represents good performance on the NABERS 6 star scale.

    Fujitsu completed a NABERS Energy for data centres ‘Infrastructure’ rating, which assesses the efficiency of the building services (e.g. cooling and lighting). NABERS also offers an IT Equipment rating and a Whole Facility rating for the infrastructure and the equipment together. All three are rigorous, independently assessed and accredited performance ratings for data centre operators.

    Director of the Metropolitan Branch at the Office of Environment and Heritage Tom Grosskopf said, “This is excellent news for both the data centre industry, for businesses, and for the environment.”

    “By rating their facility with NABERS Energy for data centres, Fujitsu are demonstrating their commitment to sustainability and helping to make efficient centres the industry standard.”

    “With the energy intensive data centre industry expanding so rapidly, energy efficiency in this sector is essential for helping to minimise future price rises and improving the competitiveness of Australian data centres. The widespread use of NABERS Energy for data centres ratings will be a central component of this” he said.

    Mike Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand said: “NABERS is a comprehensive and trusted assessment that has provided our customers with validation of our application of best practices in this area. We have made significant investments in our data centre infrastructure in Australia including a recent upgrade of the Noble Park facility. We are pleased to be awarded a 4-star NABERS rating, it is an excellent reflection of the focus we have placed on this important aspect of our business.”

    For further information contact: Sam McLean, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage 02 9995 6339

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  • NABERS launches in New Zealand

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013

    The success of a NSW rating tool initiative that measures the energy efficiency and emissions of office buildings - NABERS - has been recognised by our neighbours across the Tasman, Environment Minister Robyn Parker announced today.

    NABERS is administered by the NSW Government on behalf of the Australian, state and territory governments.

    Ms Parker said that the launch of NABERS NZ in Auckland is the first time that Australia’s star rating system for offices has been adopted overseas.

    “NABERS is a world class rating system that measures the energy efficiency, water usage and waste management of a building using a one to six star rating system,” Ms Parker said.

    “The adoption of the program by our New Zealand neighbours is testament to NSW’s world leading environmental credentials.

    “More than 70 per cent of NSW’s office market has been rated with NABERS Energy for Offices, making our property sector a world leader in sustainability.

    “The rating system has helped drive energy efficiency in the commercial property sector.

    “It recognises both sustainability achievements and gives building owners and tenants a goal to aspire to, which will help them to keep improving.”

    New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority Chief Executive, Mike Underhill is enthusiastic about what the rating tool could achieve in New Zealand.

    “I’m delighted to have observed the success NABERS has had in raising the profile of good energy management in commercial offices. NABERS has delivered real value over a number of years for tenants and building owners,” Mr Underhill said.

    “New Zealand commercial office buildings could save 25 per cent in energy costs through improved energy management. The introduction of NABERS NZ will help building owners and tenants to realise these savings.”

    For more information about NABERS Energy for Offices visit www.nabers.gov.au

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  • NABERS Launches innovative data centre ratings

    8 February 2013

    Environment Minister Robyn Parker today announced the release of the new NABERS Energy for data centres rating tools, the latest tools in the National Australian Built Environment Rating System.

    “These new tools include what we believe to be a world’s first for rating the environmental performance of the IT equipment within a data centre,” Ms Parker said.

    “These new rating tools sit in the NABERS suite of energy efficiency benchmarking products and will provide the data centre industry with the means to benchmark their current energy efficiency and reward industry leaders and innovators.

    “With data centres responsible for 1.5 per cent of Australia’s total annual energy consumption1, the need for tools to enable greater energy efficiency in this sector is evident.

    “We have worked closely with the Australian data centre industry and consulted with international counterparts to ensure that the rating tools are best practice for this sector.

    “The expert advice and guidance provided by these working groups, plus consultation with industry members through workshops, has been invaluable.

    “The new rating tools reinforce the NSW Government’s commitment to supporting and encouraging business innovation.”

    There are three NABERS rating tools available for data centres owners, operators and tenants:

    • IT Equipment – a world’s first in measuring and benchmarking the energy efficiency of the IT equipment within a data centre.
    • Infrastructure – uses the internationally recognised Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) to assess the efficiency of the building services (e.g. cooling and lighting). For the first time there will be a rigorous, independently assessed and accredited performance rating available for data centre operators.
    • Whole Facility – combines the IT Equipment and Infrastructure rating metrics to assess the energy efficiency of the data centre as a whole.

    Ms Parker said the NSW Government is leading by example and will host the government’s IT equipment within Metronode’s two new state-of-the-art energy efficient data centres.

    This will be done using their award winning, environmentally friendly, technology with world recognised green credentials.

    “Once operational the new Metronode facilities will be rated under NABERS to benchmark and track performance,” Ms Parker said.

    “The new NABERS Energy for data centre rating tools are now available,” Ms Parker said.

    The NABERS team will be attending the 2013 Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit on the Gold Coast next week and will answer any questions on these new rating tools.
    For more information on the NABERS Energy for data centres rating tools and to enquire about assessor training, visit www.nabers.gov.au. OEH is the National Administrator for NABERS.

    1 Johnson, P. & Marker, T. of Pitt and Sherry (2009) Data Centre Energy Efficiency Product Profile, prepared for Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee

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  • NEW NABERS Energy Management Guide for Tenants

    8 November, 2012

    Environment Minister Robyn Parker today released the NABERS Energy Management Guide for Tenants which is designed to help office tenants take control of their energy costs and environmental impacts.

    Ms Parker said the Guide will assist tenants in office buildings to manage their energy use efficiently while still having the light, warmth, cooling and power needed to support their business’s operations.

    “The NABERS Energy Management Guide for Tenants has been designed to give tenants control of their own energy,” Ms Parker said.

    “Given that office tenants are responsible for, and can control, around 50 per cent of the energy use in their buildings there are large potential savings to be made.

    “Office tenants are a diverse group; there are large and small offices, new fit outs and established tenancies.

    “The Guide provides advice for tenants for each situation, including practical advice on steps any tenant can take themselves to save energy, as well as directions on where to go for professional advice and assistance.”

    The Guide will complement the Office of Environment and Heritage’s recently released Energy Efficient Lighting Technology Report which is designed to help businesses choose the right lighting upgrade through outlining the technical specifications and business case for various lighting options.

    Ms Parker said the guide would be a very helpful tool for tenants managing their energy bill, as powering lights accounts for 15 to 25 per cent of the electricity bill for NSW businesses.

    “There are many reasons for using energy more efficiently, whether it’s a business requirement to meet environmental reporting criteria, or staff wanting to see the premises run more sustainably.

    “Or it might be as simple as wanting to reduce medium to long-term costs. The often missing ingredient is knowledge about where to start and how to arganise efforts – the
    Guide fills this gap.”

    As well as practical advice, the Guide also provides several real-life examples of office tenants who have achieved great savings through simple initiatives:

    • Colliers achieved a 4 star NABERS Energy rating through management commitment and encouraging staff to change their behaviour. The high NABERS Energy rating was achieved without the use of contemporary lighting technologies.
    • EP&T used smart metering to reduce energy consumption. In one incident, site managers were able to identify and disable an override on the air conditioning system, saving $6,286 a year from one simple action.
    • A Canberra tenant used lease negotiations to obtain energy efficiency improvements from the building owner, such as improvements in base building services and lighting initiatives. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) installed high tech energyefficient lighting, increasing upfront costs but leading to greater energy savings.
    • RICS achieved a 5 star NABERS Energy tenancy rating 15 months after the installation was completed. Energy consumption was reduced by 44%.

    The Guide is now available to download for free from the NABERS website: www.nabers.gov.au. For more information about reducing your office energy use, or rating your energy efficiency, contact nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au, or a NABERS Accredited Assessor.

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  • New NABERS Website Launched

    3 September 2012

    The NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker today launched a new suite of websites for the NABERS program, including a refreshed public site, a secure members’ site and a new ratings platform, NABERS Rate.

    Ms Parker said the new websites are in response to industry feedback and the NSW Government’s commitment as National Administrators of NABERS to improve communication and provide a better experience for all NABERS customers and stakeholders.

    “Industry has made it clear that NABERS ratings are now a key business tool for much of the national property industry,” Ms Parker said.

    “In fact, 66% of Australian office space has been rated with NABERS Energy, and 72% of NSW office space.

    “The new websites reinforce the NSW Governments commitment to customer service and are designed to enable a more efficient and effective way of working.

    “Extensive consultation identified a few key areas we could make easier to access and reduce inefficiencies in the system and this is what we then went about solving online.”
    These included:

    • Reducing the amount of duplication, paperwork and time required to process ratings
    • Providing a more transparent and streamlined system where ratings can be lodged and tracked in real time
    • Enhancing communication channels and sharing of information
    • Enabling customers to be more actively involved and informed
    • Offering more resources and technical advice

    “For the first time, customers will be able to view and track their rating applications in real time, and view their rating history, on the new NABERS Members’ website,” Ms Parker said.

    The new websites have been in pilot for one month to allow users to provide feedback and suggestions. The Members’ site is now ready to be progressively rolled out to more Assessors and their Customers over the coming months.

    NABERS is a national government rating system that measures the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment.

    It does this by using measured and verified performance information, such as bills, that is converted into an easy to understand star rating scale from one to six stars.

    For over ten years, NABERS has helped property owners, managers and tenants across Australia to improve their sustainability performance, reaping financial benefits and building their reputation.

    NABERS is managed nationally by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

    Visit www.nabers.gov.au to see the new NABERS website.

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  • NABERS environmental ratings for buildings extended to six stars

    18 August 2011

    Australian buildings are becoming so much more efficient that the NABERS rating scale is being extended from 5 to 6 stars.

    The new 6-star rating will be launched by Office of Environment and Heritage Chief Executive Lisa Corbyn at an industry forum at Darling Park Tower in Sussex Street at noon today (Thursday).

    Ms Corbyn said the extra star acknowledged that the Australian property industry is reaching a standard previously considered beyond world’s best practice.

    “In the 10 years since the NSW Government introduced the first environmental performance rating for offices, Australian commercial buildings have become so much more efficient the time has come to introduce a sixth star,” Ms Corbyn said.

    “This is a move that was called for by top performers in the commercial property industry who are already moving beyond NABERS five-star excellence towards a market-leading six star goal.

    “It reflects an ongoing improvement in the environmental performance of Australian buildings over the past 10 years, underpinned by the robustness of the NABERS tool as a performance measure.”

    Ms Corbyn said office buildings using NABERS to measure and manage energy and water use improved greenhouse performance by an average11.5 per cent and water efficiency by 9 per cent.

    The launch today will also see the presentation of the first seventeen 5.5 and 6 star NABERS Energy and Water rating certificates to NSW office buildings, tenancies, hotels and shopping centres achieving market leading performance and efficiency.

    A further 30 NSW buildings which have gone beyond five stars in water and emissions savings through purchasing GreenPower or recycled water will also receive 5.5 or 6 star certificates.

    NABERS is a national program, administered by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. It includes tools for Energy, Water, Waste and Indoor Environment.

    Sixty per cent of Australian office space has been rated with NABERS Energy, 68% in NSW.

    Around 5 per cent of rated buildings are currently achieving a 5 star rating, set as an aspirational target in 2000. A 6-star rating will be awarded for ‘Market Leading’ performance, and will represent a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions or water use from 5 stars.

    Michael Cameron, CEO and Managing Director of the GPT Group, an early adopter of the ratings tools, said a decade of benchmarking building performance with NABERS has driven efficiency gains across the company’s portfolio.

    “As a company with a strong commitment to leading the market in energy efficiency and sustainability, we welcome the extension of the NABERS rating scale,” Mr Cameron said.

    “It provides the opportunity for us to set higher targets, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of our environmental initiatives across the portfolio.”

    Two organisations will also sign 6 star NABERS Energy Commitment Agreements today:

    Grocon and GPT will target a 6 star NABERS Energy rating for the ground breaking Legion House project in Sydney. As part of the 161 Castlereagh Street development, the 1902 heritage building will be refurbished to be carbon neutral. When completed, Legion House expects to be the first 6 star NABERS heritage building in Australia.

    Local Government Super has committed to retrofitting 76 Berry Street in North Sydney, including an innovative tri-generation system, to achieve a 6 star NABERS Energy rating.

    NABERS Commitment Agreements enable building proponents to promote their NABERS rating commitment from the outset of a project, and provide a process to achieve measurable operational performance results.

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