NABERS Strategic

Everything you need to know about

How this report can assist in increasing the sustainable performance and operation of commercial buildings and why you may need it for your project before the government changes next year.

Free Download

Commercial Capability Statement

Image of commercial capability statement

The NABERS Strategic Plan is a plan released in April 2019 with the aim of bolstering the goals and missions of NABERS over the course of 2019-2023. This update still encapsulates the methodology involved with obtaining a NABERS certification, however, with this, changes have been made to ensure that a larger network of buildings are eligible to be rated by NABERS and that Australia becomes a leading member of the globalised sustainable design movement. 



Important Changes

With the NABERS Strategic plan came several changes to the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy (GREP) which have resulted in higher NABERS Energy rating requirements which must be implemented as of June 2020 (unless specified otherwise).  

These changes include:
  1. E1 - Target to save energy across all government sites (please note that there are exceptions to these changes)
    1. By 2023-24, all agencies must either:
      • Implement energy savings projects at each of their eligible sites
      • Achieve aggregate energy savings of at least 10%
  2. E2 - Minimum NABERS Energy ratings for offices and data centres
    1. Owned and leased office buildings must achieve at least a 5-star NABERS Energy rating as of June 2020 (Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong - every other area must achieve at least a 4.5-star rating)
  1. E3 - Minimum standards for new electric appliances 
    1. This change covers all agencies and stipulates that all newly purchased electric appliances must be 0.5-stars over the industry standard. This includes everything from refrigerators to televisions to air-conditioners.
  2. E4 - Minimum standards for new buildings and fit-outs
    1. Newly constructed facilities above 1000mof area and $10 million in project costs will require a 5-star NABERS Energy rating (applying only to Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle).
  3. E5 - Renewed solar targets
    1. To ensure that renewable energy goals are met, agencies will have to create a plan on how they will implement solar panels into their project where it is suitable. 
Note: Offices owned or leased by state or federal governments in Australia within Western Australia and the Commonwealth continue to require a 4.5-star NABERS Energy rating; whereas, Victoria requires a 4-star NABERS Energy rating and South Australia requires a 5-star NABERS Energy rating. 
Please feel free to contact us for further information.

What is the NABERS Strategic Plan?


NABERS Strategic explained

The strategic report provides key research and workshop outcomes, and highlights the opportunities to build on work already underway, fill gaps and overcome barriers. This is presented in the form of desired outcomes and proposed actions such as building a trusted evidence base, raising awareness and building capacity, developing and promoting tools to improve energy performance and aid decision-making.

The overall points of the reports include:

  • The profile of a project
  • Issues and barriers
  • Pathway: outcomes and the possible solutions to achieve outcomes

The benefits of Strategic Planning for NABERS

Undertaking a strategic plan helps review and audit the condition and operation of commercial buildings for NABERS energy, water and waste, providing recommendations to improve energy productivity as well as achieve a higher NABERS rating.

Choosing the right pathway to achieving a high NABERS rating score can be a major competitive advantage in the commercial market.




Do I need a Strategic Report for NABERS?

NABERS ratings are a mandatory requirement for all commercial building space over 2000m2 and measure an existing building's environmental performance during operation. NABERS rates a building on the basis of its measured operational impacts in categories. Those categories are energy, water, waste, indoor environment.

We conduct strategic planning to estimate the NABERS ratings for new and existing commercial buildings.


How accurate is the report?

We use DesignBuilder software to undertake computer modelling and energy simulation, delivering 100% accurate insights into the building envelope response as well as space and surface temperatures, internal loads, equipment loads, energy consumption, and other aspects.
In addition to using DesignBuilder software, we also utilise reverse calculators provided by NABERS themselves and information regarding the operation of those buildings to determine the maximum amount of energy and water your building is allowed to use whilst achieving the desired rating. 
There are 5 calculators and these include:
  1. Office building calculator (most common) - By considering how many hours of the week the office is occupied and how many computers are normally switched on when the building is occupied, detailed information can be gathered on total energy use and the resource consumed to produce that energy. 
  2. Shopping centres calculator - Depending on building data input by the user (us), such as the building location, floor area, number of trading days, etc., a detailed rundown of annual emissions and water consumption can be calculated.
  3. Apartment building calculator - A little more in-depth, this calculator requires building data on the internal services and amenities present within the apart building to provide an estimate of annual emissions and water consumption. 
  4. Hotel calculator - A simpler process than the apartment building calculator, this calculator occupies itself with the number of rooms within the hotel and how many of them require full service laundering; and the number of function room seats; and the surface area of heated pools, to determine the maximum amounts of energy and water allowed to achieve the rating you desire.
  5. Data centre calculator - Concerning itself with only energy consumption, this calculator requires data on the total assessable processing GHz and total assessable storage (TB).

Through gaining an indication of how much energy and water consumption is allowed to achieve the rating you desire, our assessors can take measures to provide educated and cost-efficient solutions for your project. 

Free Download 



Strap a rocket to your ESD Technician's back with this NABERS Checklist


Costing and Time Commitments


Since conducting a NABERS Strategic assessment can be rather thorough and varies per project, the cost can vary greatly. In this case, since this a mandatory requirement for all commercial buildings with space of over 2000m2, we highly recommend contacting us an obtaining a quote. In saying this, you can typically expect such an assessment to range anywhere between $2000 and $7000. 
As for the time it takes to conduct this assessment, turnaround will typically be between 5-10 business days. Although, if you have a deadline please let us know and we will make arrangements to meet it (within reason). 
To obtain a NABERS Strategic rating, please send in your plans for quoting and if you are satisfied with the quote, we will proceed to visit the office space and produce a draft report in a timely manner. Once the draft is approved and payment is received, we will gladly issue a final certification for the project. 
3 min read

Section J vs. JV3 - When to use Which Compliance Method

What’s the difference between a Section J and JV3?

A JV3 assessment and a Section J assessment are both methods of...

3 min read

Social Sustainability and the Public Realm: Designing for the Community

With the industry reaching new material heights, creating products which are physically beneficial to the environment,...

4 min read

Passive Commercial Projects - A trend for a greener future

What is a Passive House?

Passive House is a voluntary standard for energy-efficient building design, construction, and...