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The BASIX BIBLE

Everything you need to know...

About Obtaining a BASIX Certificate For Your Project

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VOLUME I.

REQUIREMENTS AND THE LAW
 
 

VOLUME II.

THE CRAFT OF COMPLIANCE
 

   

"The first service offered by Certified Energy was BASIX Thermal Comfort Assessments. Working from Sydney CBD our large team have completed more than 5000 projects and have trained more than 20 assessors. Our sustained commitment to delivering superb outcomes for our clients places us as the go-to BASIX service provider in NSW. 

Please enjoy our "BASIX Bible" which contains the essence of years of experience and the knowledge to help achieve sustainability both for your home and the place we all call home."

Jamie Bonnefin - Accredited Assessor

    VOLUME I.

    BASIX CERTIFICATE

    REQUIREMENTS AND THE LAW

     

     

    Learn

    What is a BASIX Certificate?

     

    BASIX (The Building Sustainability Index) was introduced as part of the NSW Government’s 2004 initiative to ‘encourage sustainable residential development’ and is in effect part of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The BASIX certificate aims to accommodate NSW with more resilient dwellings together with reducing greenhouse gases and water consumption.

    BASIX was established to meet targets of up to 40% reductions in water consumption as well as greenhouse gas reductions by up to 25%. As a result, this delivers financial savings for the home owner.

     

     

    BASIX Assessment

    A BASIX certificate assessment is required for the development application process in NSW and considers various criteria, such as:

    • location of the building

    • orientation size of the building

    • construction type of the building

    • window size and type of the building

    • landscaping of the building

    • appliances used within the building.

    Additionally, it also considers thermal comfort levels which lessens the amount of energy used by dwellings in order to heat or cool the house to a comfortable level.

    As well as contributing to a sustainable future of urban planning, the homeowner will also financially benefit through reduced water and energy bills. Your BASIX certificate will confirm that your proposed project will abide by the NSW Government’s sustainability targets since obtaining a BASIX certificate means your residential building will have passed the government’s environmental targets. 

     


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    When would I require a BASIX Certificate?

    The development application stage of every new residential dwelling built in NSW of $50,000 or more require a BASIX certificate. Residential dwellings include:

    • Single dwellings

    • Dual-occupancy dwellings

    • Townhouses

    • Villas

    • Low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise multi unit developments

    • Boarding houses

    • Guest houses

    • Hostels

    • Lodging houses

    • Backpacker accommodation

    • Multi-unit developments

    • Swimming pools and/or outdoor spa with water capacity greater than or equal to 40,000 litres or 40 kilolitres.

     

    Additionally, alterations and add-ons to existing dwellings which cost greater than $50,000 also require a BASIX certificate.

    The development application (DA) stage of all new residential dwellings in New South Wales (NSW) requires a BASIX certificate. This applies to all new NSW dwellings that cost $50,000 or more.

     

    The three types of residential developments include:

    Single dwellings:

    Which includes singles houses on one lot, bungalows, one part of a semi-detached home, cottages and secondary dwellings.

    The three components of sustainable design used to assess single dwellings include: water usage, greenhouse gas emissions and thermal comfort.

     

    Multi dwellings:

    These include: two houses on one lot, dual-occupancy dwellings, townhouses, row houses, terraces, residential flat buildings, villas, low-rise, mid-rise and high-rise multi unit developments, boarding houses, hostels, lodging houses, guest houses backpacker accommodation, shop top houses and a new principal dwelling and a new secondary dwelling such as a granny flat.

    The sustainability assessment of multi dwellings also considers the factors of water, energy and thermal comfort. The assessment tool for multi dwellings, however, is better suited to larger residential developments such as for car parks and shared gardens. These all use a larger abundance of water and energy compared to single dwellings.

     

    Alterations and Additions

    Alterations and additions to an existing dwelling which cost $50,000 ore more also require a BASIX certificate. A BASIX certificate can be obtained if you want to take precedence over your local council’s sustainability requirements even if your development is exempt from BASIX. This includes swimming pools and/or outdoor spas with water capacity greater than or equal to 40,000 litres or 40 kilolitres.

    While the Assessment Tool for single dwellings and multi dwellings includes set reduction targets for water and energy use, the alterations and additions Assessment Tool does not have set targets.

     

    What are the BASIX criteria?

     The process of obtaining a BASIX certification means that the assessor must take into account the following criteria:

    • Location of the building
    • Orientation size of the building
    • Construction type of the building
    • Window size and type of the building
    • Landscaping of the building
    • Appliances used within the building

     

    How is the BASIX certificate assessed?

    To assess the BASIX certificate, you can use the online Assessment Tool which will determine the sustainability of your development application. The assessment tool analyses data of the proposed dwelling’s design against the NSW Government’s water and energy targets. A BASIX certificate is issued upon meeting the BASIX target requirements and paying a fee.

     

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    When is it required to have more than one BASIX certificate?

    Three instances may occur when it may be required to have more than one BASIX certificate. These are: the subdivision into single ‘Torrens title’ lots, development that involves strata title and for large multi-building residential flats.

     

    Subdivision into single ‘Torrens title’ lots

    When proposals include the subdivision of land into separate single dwellings that do not share property or services, the following options are available:

    • Obtain a single BASIX certificate that covers all the dwellings within the proposal.

    • Obtain an individual BASIX certificate for each dwelling within the proposal.

    If only one BASIX certificate is required, the BASIX Multi-dwelling tool can be used to generate the certificate.

    This tool reduces the total number of pages within the certificate by categorising the water, energy and thermal commitments for each dwelling into tables. If revisions occur to the application after the certificate is issued however, complications mat arise for both the applicant and the certificate issuer. If this occurs, single or grouped BASIX certificates provide greater flexibility for revisions to occur for individual dwellings.

     

    Development involving strata title

    A single BASIX certificate that covers the entire project application is required for the following developments:

    • Residential buildings that are flat.

    • Multi-dwelling houses.

    • Villa units.

    • Dual occupancy buildings.

    • Multi-purpose used buildings on land that shares common property and shared services such as facilities.

     

    Large multi-building residential flats

    More than one BASIX certificate may be required for the following types of developments:

    • Multiple residential ‘towers’.

    • Blocks containing more than 100 units.

    • Blocks containing more than 200 units for the overall development.

    Having multiple BASIX certificates for these types of developments enables a quicker energy and water efficiency assessment as well as allowing revisions to be made to the project.

     

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    How is the BASIX certificate assessed?

    To assess the BASIX certificate, you can use the online Assessment Tool which will determine the sustainability of your development application. The assessment tool analyses data of the proposed dwelling’s design against the NSW Government’s water and energy targets. A BASIX certificate is issued upon meeting the BASIX target requirements and paying a fee.

     

     

    What do BASIX limitations include?

    There are various circumstances where BASIX fails to meet the thermal modelling capabilities of NatHERS. BASIX specifies each component of a house individually whereas NatHERS does not. This makes using BASIX alone difficult as the ‘rapid method’ of assessment jumps to solutions such as expensive windows or shading devices, impacting costs and aesthetics. For example, BASIX may specify higher performance glazing and all that can be done to avoid this is to reduce the area of glazing. However, NatHERS has the ability to compensate elsewhere e.g. increasing insulation to avoid the expense of high performing windows. This makes the use of both BASIX and NatHERS much more cost effective in terms of construction as well as continual energy expenses.

     

    Am I locked into my BASIX commitments once a construction or complying development certificate has been issued?

    Yes. If the applicant wishes to change their BASIX commitments after a construction or complying development certificate has been issued, they will need to obtain a new BASIX Certificate and then apply for a new construction or complying development certificate.

     

    What is the difference between a BASIX certificate and a NaTHERS Energy Rating?

    BASIX is a NSW government initiative designed to improve the environmental sustainability of residential developments. It sets out the minimum standards for compliance in the following three areas: water, thermal and energy. NatHERS is a national scheme that involves the thermal assessment of a development in order to generate a NatHERS energy rating, which can be used for the thermal section of the BASIX. NatHERS energy ratings are much more thorough, accurate and flexible than the BASIX thermal tool. In order to achieve the best thermal performance at the lowest cost we recommend using both BASIX and a NatHERS energy rating.

     

    Am I able to change my BASIX commitments after a construction or complying development certificate has been issued?

    In order to change your BASIX certificate commitments after the construction or complying development certificate has been issued, you will need to revise your BASIX certificate in addition to applying for new construction or complying development certificates.

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    MUSTS

    HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BASIX CERTIFICATES

     

    Obtaining a Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) certificate is vital in the development application process in New South Wales and is applicable to all new residential dwelling types. This sustainable, water-efficient, and energy-saving measure is strictly implemented to those who are building a new home.


    In addition to that, this is also observed in those starting alterations and additions of A$50,000 or more as well as for those installing a pool, sauna, and spa room with more than 40,000 litres of water.

     

    In this article, we examine the current BASIX measures and information for both homeowners and home builders in New South Wales.

     

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    LIVEABILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN NSW - DOES YOUR SUBURB HAVE ENOUGH?

     

    What is it to have enough? As human beings we are constantly searching for ways to meet our core basic human needs of food, water, shelter, clothing, sanitation, education and healthcare to survive. If simplified, our need to live, last and love.  In the search to meet these needs, it is critical that our immediate environment provides us with the opportunity, support and facilities if we are to feel we can adequately survive. The concept of ‘liveability’ basically boils down to how well our suburbs can do this (with a few additional aspects), and ‘sustainability’, how well they can continue to provide this for the future – do they have enough to continue supporting us for the generations to come.  

     

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    In the news recently we have seen a number of reports highlighting characteristics of  NSW – average home price rising by 72% in the past 5 years, workers in Potts Point having the longest average working hours and new ethnic hotspots popping up all over Sydney – providing a snapshot into certain areas. This helps us understand how our suburbs and State as a whole is developing and whether certain areas may be more liveable and supportive then others. For a variety of reasons it is clear that some environments are not able to support us in meeting our needs now or into the future, and it is in these places that we see the impacts of social and sustainable disadvantage. But where do these places reside? Up until now we have not had the resources to be able to find out.  

     

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    The recently launched Sustainability Index by Urbanfinity is an analytical tool that discloses this crucial information on the liveability and sustainability of NSW suburbs. Expanding on the criteria of the 2013 Sustainable Australia Report by the National Sustainability Council of Australia,  and utilising data from the 2016 Census amongst other sources, it ranks each suburb in NSW on its performance in 3 sustainability pillars – natural capital, economic capital, and social and human capital. It provides fundamental information for understanding the characteristics of each suburb, the likelihood of its growth and overall trends across the State. The information also poses some interesting questions about the future of some of our suburbs and why certain areas can be considered more liveable then others.  

     

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    UNDERSTANDING YOUR BASIX Requirements

    What report type do you need for your project?

     

    What are the requirements of a BASIX Certificate?

    BASIX Benchmarks:

    To determine water and energy targets, the average benchmark for per person consumption of potable water and greenhouse gas emissions within the NSW residential sector is calculated.

    • Water – the NSW benchmark per person is 90,340 litres per year.

    • Energy – the NSW benchmark per person is 3,292 kg of CO2-e per year.

     
    BASIX Targets:

    The performance targets set by the NSW Government include:

    • up to a 40% reduction in potable water consumption

    • up to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and

    • minimum performance levels of thermal comfort.

     

    The BASIX certificate benchmarks of water and energy are both measured on a per capita basis, including:

    • Water – the average NSW consumption of potable water from the residential sector.

    • Energy – the annual average NSW greenhouse emissions from the residential sector.

     

    Prepare for your project with a BASIX Checklist  

    Preparing for BASIX certifications or using the Government's DIY tool can be tricky. 

    We're here to help! Whether you want to get your BASIX certificate done by an accredited professional or do it yourself, our checklist will help you get everything you need in order.

    This Checklist will help you:

    • Prepare for a BASIX certification 
    • Speed up the communication process
    • Help identify what information you are missing

     

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    The 9 Laws of Thermal Comfort

    HOW TO BRING THERMAL BALANCE TO YOUR BASIX CERTIFICATE

    Coming soon.

     

     

    SUBMISSION

    HOW TO SUBMIT BASIX CERTIFICATE How the DA Process works in NSW

    Prior to commencing most types of developments in NSW, you will have to lodge a Development Application (DA) with your local council.

    The DA approval/building approval process in NSW can be summarised in the following steps, with minor variances between each local government area:

     

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    1. Pre-DA planning

    Before lodgement of a DA, there are certain limitations as to what is permissible on the land. Land zoning is an important regulator on what can be developed on a block of land. For instance, a block of land zoned R1 – General Residential, can only have residential developments and not commercial. Zoning information for all councils in NSW can be found in their respective Local Environmental Plan (LEP) land zoning maps or on planningportal.nsw.gov.au.

    Exemptions and complying developments do not need to lodge a DA to construct. A few examples of exempt developments include decks, garden sheds, carports and fences. Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward developments. These developments apply to homes, business and industry and can be determined by a fast-track assessment by a council or private certifier. 

    Generally, all works covered by State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 do not need a DA in order to construct. These are usually lower scale developments like sheds or carports. Always check with your local council to confirm an exemption or complying development.

     

    2. Pre-DA organisation
     

    Before drafting plans for your proposal, you will need to investigate the following:

    • Site surroundings
    • Land contamination
    • Heritage/conservation areas
    • Flood prone areas
    • Approval needed from other government agencies (i.e. RMS, NSW Office of Water)

    All of these investigation areas could potentially impact on your design proposal. In order to determine the requirements for your development, it is important to consider the following documents:

    • Local council Local Environmental Plans (LEP)
    • Local council Development Control Plans (DCPs)
    • Relevant State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP)
    • Relevant Regional Environmental Planning Policies (REPP)
    • Land title details/particulars
    • Previous applications and approvals for the site and immediate neighbours

    At this stage the most important tool at your disposal is to contact your local council and make full use of their development advisory services.

     

    3. DA Preparation

     

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    VOLUME II.

    THE CRAFT OF

    BASIX CERTIFICATE COMPLIANCE

     

     

    TOPS TIPS ON HOW TO PASS A BASIX CERTIFICATE

    BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) assesses the energy and water efficiency of your development. It is one of the most important planning tools currently operating in NSW to ensure buildings are being developed to operate in a sustainable manner. In NSW the State Government requires that a BASIX Certificate is attached to all development plans when submitted for DA approval.

     

    It has 3 sections – water, thermal comfort and energy. A BASIX certificate is generated once your development successfully meets all of the criteria in each of these sections.   

     

    Here are some tips to help you meet your BASIX requirements if your project is not passing:

     

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    Is Double Glazing Worth it?

     

    The Problem with Windows

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    Windows can have a drastic effect on the thermal performance of a building. Up to 40% of a home’s heat can be lost through conduction or radiation at the window, and up to 87% of its heat can enter through solar gain. This unwanted heat flow can be devastating for the energy efficiency of any project.

    Ways to reduce these unwanted heat transfers include considering passive solar principles like orientation, shading, insulation and thermal mass, and choosing the right type of glazing.

     

    How can Double Glazing Help?

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    Double glazing, or Insulated Glass Units (IGUs) are the best way to improve the insulating properties of the glazing itself. This type of window combines two panes of glass with a metal or polymer spacer between them. Since the cavity between panes is fully sealed, spacers usually contain a desiccant to prevent moisture build up.

    It’s the space between the glass that provides the benefits of this glazing system- the pocket of air (or gas, such as argon, which has low conductivity) acts as a buffer and resists heat flows. This can reduce solar heat gain in Summer and decrease heat lost in Winter. IGUs with a difference in thickness between the two panes can greatly minimise the intrusion of medium to high frequency noise into a building. Finally, IGUs add an extra layer of security as the two panes are more difficult to break than one.

    Older buildings with single glazed windows can also benefit from the same principles- secondary glazing can be added on to create an insulating and noise reducing air gap. This procedure involves attaching a secondary frame or operable sash to the inside or outside of an existing window, which holds a sheet of glass or transparent acrylic. Though not as effective as a manufactured double glazing windows, secondary glazing is still a great investment for both thermal and acoustic comfort.  

     

    Climate Considerations

    In order to optimise thermal performance and energy efficiency, it’s important to consider the two heat transfer mechanisms of conduction and solar gain in the context of your climate, and customise your glazing to site specific needs.

     

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    Conduction (U-value)

    U-value (Uw) indicates the heat conductivity of a glazing system, including the glass, seals, frames and spacers. A window that readily transfers heat has a high U-value, whereas low U-value windows have greater insulating value, and is what buildings should aim for.

    To measure the effects of a reduced U-value, you can use this formula:

    • Uw – amount of heat conducted through a window (in watts)
    • T – the difference between air temperatures on both side (in temperatures)
    • A – the area of the glazing

    Uw x T x A = watts (W)

     

    If your building has 50m2of glazed doors and windows with clear single glazing and aluminium frames (U-value of 6.2), on a night when it’s 10° colder outside, the heat loss would be about: 6.2 x 10 x 50 = 3100W which is a huge amount of energy that is required to keep the house warm. However, if you choose a timber window with double glazing (U-value of 3.0), you can halve the amount of heat lost and energy required to heat the space.

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    Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)

    The other factor to consider is the flow of heat from direct sunlight through a glazing system. It is expressed as a number between 0 and 1, and measures the fraction of solar radiation that passes directly through a window, or released inward after being absorbed by the window. A lower SHGC means that a window admits less solar heat, and is therefore more effective. However, there are times when a higher SHGC window is more efficient -  when the weather is cool and heating becomes necessary, allowing some solar radiation to enter the building can reduce the need for artificial heating. This is particularly useful for any north facing glazing. 

     

    Technical Considerations

    The performance of double glazing depends on several factors: the properties of each of the sheets of glass, the width and gas content of the air gap, and the material of the frame and spacer. The thickness of the glass does not actually significantly impact heat transfer, but it does improve noise transmission and strength.

     

    Glass types
    • Toned glass is manufactured with added colouring, usually bronze, grey, blue and green. The different colours produce different SHGC, but have no effect on U-value.
    • Low emission glass (commonly abbreviated to low-e) is a type of glazing with one surface coated to reduce emissivity. This describes the radiation of heat off surfaces, and is measured on a scale from 0 to 1, with 1 as the most radiant. Low-e comes in either hard or soft coating. Hard coat (pyrolytic) is more common, and involves applying a thin metallic oxide layer to the glass with high heat. It’s hard to scratch and durable, but has higher U-values than the newer soft coatings. Soft coating can be applied to double glazing windows, and involves injecting gas into the vacuum cavity between the panes. This coating is nearly invisible, and gives a very low U-value, however it’s slightly less durable than the hard coating.
    • Window films can be applied to existing glass, which reduces SHGC by absorbing or reflecting solar radiation.
     

     

    Air Cavity
    • Cavities can be filled with a low conductivity gas such as argon, which will reduce U-value even further.
    • U-values can also vary with cavity thickness, which usually range between 6-18mm.  A wider cavity will provide better thermal resistance, however too much width will allow conduction to occur in the air between panes and reverse any improvements. 12mm is usually preferred as the optimal gap

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    GET A HEAD START AT DESIGN STAGE
    with this must have DESIGNERS GUIDE TO INSULATION. 
     
    This guide will help you get everything you need in order to get the design right for passing the BASIX on your project.

     

    5 QUICK TIPS FOR SUSTAINABLE HOME DESIGN

     

    1. Pick the right size

    Energy efficiency is much easier to achieve in a smaller home, which will mean lower energy costs for you overall and a home that will have less of an impact on the environment in the long run. When choosing the size of your home (or renovation), keep in mind that Australians have some of the biggest houses in the world, and consider what size you really need for your lifestyle.

     

     


    2. Opt for passive design

    Passive design is an eco-friendly design concept that makes the most of your climate and house orientation to create a home that requires minimal heating or cooling. Building or renovating a home using passive design could mean opting for features like shaded areas, windows placed to maximise airflow and cool breezes, and ensuring that living areas can be lit by the sun in winter. This all adds up to less of a need for mechanical heating and cooling, less costs for you, and a much more environmentally-friendly structure.  

     

    3. Plan for climate

    Considering the climate you'll be living in when planning to build or renovate your home or office is another way for you to ensure your structure will have a minimal impact on the environment and save you expenses over the long run. If you're working with a designer, ensure you're employing someone who is familiar with the climate your house will be located in. Australia's climates range from tropical to alpine, and small simple design features catered to a climate can make all the difference in comfort. Ideally structure built in cooler climates could be orientated to the north to maximise midwinter sun, and be built with thermal mass materials (like concrete) to retain the heat of sunlight in winter. In hot and dry or tropical climates, design features should aim to minimise sunlight and maximise ventilation throughout.

     

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    FIVE WAYS OF DESIGNING A WATER EFFICIENT HOME

     

    Five ways that you can design a water efficient home:


    1. Rainwater Harvesting


    Builders cant take a rainwater harvesting system into consideration, which could help in improving water efficiency. This would help in reducing the amount of water being used in the mainline, which is especially effective for rural homes who are suffering greater issues from drought.

     

    2. Showerheads


    Consider putting in 4-star WELS Showerheads into your next residential project. By putting this in, not only will this help in meeting BASIX certification targets, but it will produce a greater energy efficient home that will potentially save the homeowner hundreds in water costs.

     

    3. Dual Flush Toilets


    Dual flush toilets are another simple way to build a water efficient home. Since the 1980's dual flush toilets have been a fantastic method of saving water, with home owners saving at least 32,000 litres of water per year. If a builder considers a 4-star WELS dual flush toilet, this can reduce residential carbon footprints and save up to 22% for home owners.

     

    4. Taps and Pipes

    Yes, that's right taps, the most basic product can potentially cost thousands of dollars for household users if the improper brands are provided. However, if builders provide properly installed taps with aerators and an efficient water pipeline, this will help future homeowners save money by controlling the water flow of their taps and provide long-term water flow without any leaks. Just another way for builders to get towards BASIX certification targets.

     

    5. Hot Water System

    Having an eco-friendly hot water system will guide builders closer to BASIX certification and save home owners’ money in the long-term. The best way is to provide a gas-based Hot Water System with a storage tank. The benefit of having this included in your building plans is because storage tanks do not run constantly compared to continuous flow tanks. Also, gas-based hot water systems tend to cost less and provide less of a carbon footprint compared to traditional electric hot water systems.

    By following these five steps, you will be one step closer towards getting your next BASIX report.

     

     

    MATERIALS AND BASIX: GREEN ROOFS

     

    Ever growing in popularity, green roofs and green infrastructure are becoming more and more common in architectural practice, used for both their aesthetic value, reclaiming a traditionally under-utilised space, as well as for their innate thermal performance qualities improving the thermal comfort of a building whilst also promoting biodiversity.

     

    Green roofs provide direct shading for the roof drastically reducing exposure of the roof structure to the elements (sun, rain etc.), this both increases the lifespan of the roof, whilst also increasing the thermal performance of the building. The R value of the roof is dependent on the thickness of the soil, as soil is not very thermally massive it does not absorb much heat and therefore reduces the absorption of heat through the roof providing insulation. The soil depth is dependent on the type of green roof, those being either extensive, intensive or semi-extensive.

     

    Green roofs can cool local climates between 3.6-11.3 °c, therefore if photovoltaics are located above the garden their efficiency can be improved by up to 25% due to the cooler conditions. This cooling effect also reduces the overall “urban heat island effect” (heating effect caused by the density of hard thermally massive materials within the city), therefore creating a generally lower climate temperature whilst also improving the air quality within the city. Green Screens and walls are also very effective additions to improve the air quality around the home with some screens being able to trap up to 95% of airborne heavy metals generally improving air quality whilst also reducing CO2 in the city.

     

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    Consultants

    Who Do You Want Doing Your BASIX Assessment?

     

    The BASIX assessment and NatHERS process is an ever evolving practice which requires extensive knowledge of available materials, passive heating and cooling strategies and how to design in an ecologically sustainable manner. Although to complete and sign off on the BASIX process one must be a certified assessor. The assessor’s background does not play a large role in determining their competency in assessing a building’s efficiency. Therefore, the question is raised as to who is the most qualified or most knowledgeable to be completing the BASIX assessment?

     

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    UNIQUE STRATEGIES FOR YOUR PROJECT TYPE

     

    RELOCATABLE HOMES

    Do I need a BASIX Certificate for a relocatable home?

    You really need to check with the council. 
    While not particularly a ‘relocatable home’ as it sounds like an existing residence, not a new prefab one, this is the only information on the BASIX website:

     

    What is defined as a ‘relocatable home’ / ‘transportable home’ / ‘manufactured home’?
    Certain types of dwellings such as relocatable homes, transportable homes and manufactured homes may be dealt with under the Local Government Regulation 2005. Dwellings approved under that Regulation rather than the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 are not subject to BASIX. It is a matter for the consent authority (Council or Principal Certifier) to determine under which regulation approval is required.

     

    More information on transportable and relocatable homes and the application of BASIX can be found in Planning Circular PS06-18 http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/planningsystem/pdf/circulars/ps06_018_transportablehomes.pdf

     

    Does a ‘relocatable home’ require a BASIX certificate?

     

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    MATERIALS AND BASIX: AAC

    Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)

     

    Being conscious about the amount of raw materials used in building products is a key concept when trying to design efficiently, aiming to reduce the overall embodied energy of materials. Autoclaved Aerated Concrete or as it is more commonly known AAC, is an example of a building material that aims to reduce the overall raw material requirements whilst maintaining as many of the original product's structural and functional properties. This is achieved by creating air pockets within the concrete (aeration). These pockets of air have many benefits besides just reducing the amount of materials required to manufacture it.

     

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    Benefits include:

    • Reducing sound transmission through building elements, as the air pockets prevent noise from travelling through the object reducing transmission.
    • AAC requires 1/3 the energy needed to make other masonry products, dramatically reducing the material requirements.
    • AAC has 60% less embodied energy than regular concrete construction, reducing the energy requirements to manufacture it.
    • It also releases 55% less greenhouse gases during production than regular concrete.
    • AAC is highly fire resistant with some products reaching a 240/240/240 fire resistance level, making it very suitable for Australian homes in bushfire affected areas.
    • One of the largest advantages of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete is the fact that is weighs 1/5 the weight of regular concrete meaning that it is much easier to work with, requires fewer labourers reducing costs and also can be hand sawn allowing for greater workability. Although these reductions in weight do reduce the products overall load bearing capacity, that being half of normal concrete. However, this only needs to be considered when building beyond certain levels with specific construction types.

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    BASIX: NEW PROJECT VS ALTS & ADDS

     

    Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a planning tool to assist the NSW State Government ensure that all new developments and alterations are water and energy efficient. The overall goal of BASIX is to contribute to the sustainable future of NSW by reducing water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 40% as compared to buildings prior to introduction of BASIX.

     

    A BASIX certificate is required when you lodge a development application with your local Council for a new home or alteration/addition costing $50,000 or more. BASIX certificates can be obtained by using the online BASIX assessment tool which can be completed by a home owner or the third party responsible for your project (Builder, Architect, Environmental Design Consultant)

     

    There are some differences between the information required to complete a BASIX for a new project as compared to alteration/addition. Let’s take a look:

     

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    TIME

    What is the lead time on a BASIX Certificate?

     

    What is the process of obtaining a BASIX Certificate?

    1. Send your plans for quoting

    2. Approve the Quote

    3. Receive a Draft Report

    4. Approve the Draft 

    5. Payment

    6. Receive final Certification and stamped architectural plans. 

     

    Does a BASIX Certificate expire?

     Yes they do! You have exactly 3 months to submit your BASIX certificate to the council before it expires. If you complete your submission to the council after 3 months from the date of issue, you will need to obtain a completely new certificate.
     

    How does the BASIX Certificate work during the development process?

     

    Obtaining a BASIX certificate: 
    Complete the BASIX assessment online tool to generate and print your certificate. A fee will apply depending on your proposed development.
     
    Submitting your application: 
    Attach your BASIX certificate along with your development application to submit for application. If you wish to make changes to your project, you will need to revise your initial BASIX assessment and resubmit your application.
     
    Assessing your application: 
    Once your application has been assessed and approved, your project must be built to the commitments stated on the BASIX certificate.
     
    Construction certificate: 
    Prior to construction of your project occurring, you will need to apply for a construction certificate which will need to be attached to your BASIX certificate.
     
    Occupation certificate: 
    A final occupation certificate will be issued upon confirmation that your constructed project has complied with the commitments stated on the BASIX certificate. 
     
    Completion receipt: 
    A final inspection is conducted before granting the occupation certificate. Prior to this, a BASIX completion receipt is to be issued.
     
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    Cost

    How much does a BASIX CERTIFICATE cost?

     

    BASIX cost includes the required costs of the BASIX certificate as well as the cost of assessment. The cost of the assessment varies depending on the size and difficulty of the project.

    Find out how much your project will cost on our cost page.

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