Energy Rating allows the thermal performance (also called thermal comfort) of different buildings to be measured. How House Energy Rating is performed is defined by the NatHERS (nationwide house energy rating) scheme.
States and Territories each regulate their own construction but all have committed to increased energy efficiency.
The performance requirements vary although all are raising the bar. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) specifies a minimum rating of 6 stars for homes!
But what does 6 stars mean?
The design of a house or unit is assessed using computer modelling. The thermal comfort of a design is rated on a scale of zero to 10 stars. The more stars, the less likely the occupants need cooling and heating to stay comfortable.
Gradwell Consulting is accredited by the Building Designers Association of Victoria (BDAV) to undertake this work.
The rating depends on:
- The layout of the home.
- The construction of the roof, walls, windows and floor.
- The orientation of windows and shading to the sun’s path and local breezes.
- How well these suit the local climate.
In most States and Territories, the target is set as a number of stars – usually 5 or 6 stars.
In NSW the target is set by BASIX – the Building Sustainability Index. A BASIX Certificate must be submitted as part of the Development Application (DA). Click here to read more about BASIX.
In the ACT, an Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) Certificate is required as part of the contract of sale.
The recommended approach is to use advanced computer based thermal performance simulation to determine the heating and cooling performance of the dwelling.
This method ensures that you have full control over your building design. Plus thermal performance simulation is likely to save you money and produce a design with superior thermal comfort.
Gradwell Consulting uses the second generation BERS Pro software for projects across Australia.
The design drawings are input into BERS Pro then the modelling software calculates heating and cooling loads for each month of the year. We then make recommendations for improvements – keeping in mind your design objectives.
The whole process from quote to certificate is easily completed using email and on-line.
Gradwell Consulting also provides BCA Section J reports – required for commercial buildings.