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Green Guide to Government Policy

7. Industry standards

Wed 21 Dec, 2011 New South Wales

NSW led the introduction in Australia of rating schemes that assess the energy efficiency of buildings. In the last decade it has launched NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) for commercial buildings (formerly ABGR - Australian Building Greenhouse Rating), and BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) for residential dwellings. NABERS is used throughout Australia.


NABERS is a performance-based rating system for existing commercial buildings, administered and managed nationally by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). It rates a building on the basis of its measured annual operational impacts on the environment from 0 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing exceptional energy efficiency performance.

The NABERS program now includes rating tools for office buildings, hotels, shopping centres and homes; and can measure performance in four environmental areas: energy, water, waste and indoor environment. Rating tools for data centres, commuter transport, schools and hospitals are in development. OEH has recently released the NABERS Energy and Water for offices: Rules for collecting and using data, which explains how a NABERS Assessor gathers, interprets and uses data for an accredited NABERS Energy or Water rating for offices.

NABERS is generally a voluntary tool, however under the new Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Program, the NABERS Energy rating of offices over 2,000m2 must be disclosed at the point of sale or lease. NABERS is also used within other programs throughout Australia.

Last updated Wed 5 Oct 2011