BASIX Certificate in NSW
What is a BASIX Certificate, what are the requirements and what does it cost?
What is a BASIX Certificate?
A BASIX Certificate (The Building Sustainability Index) is a planning requirement in New South Wales and is required for a development application. The certificate will confirm that the development meets the requirements for sustainability. The certificate will demonstrate that your home has been designed to use less potable water and produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
A BASIX certificate can be obtained after the completion of the sustainability assessment using the online BASIX assessment tool.
The online tool requires the input of data to meet the water target, the energy target and the thermal comfort target. If the water, energy and thermal comfort targets are met a then a certificate can be issued.
What is the purpose of BASIX?
The National Construction Code (NCC) contains provisions which all new residential buildings must meet. In New South Wales the BASIX Building Sustainability Index sets the requirements for new homes, renovations, alterations, multi-dwelling projects and apartments.
The index was introduced in 2004 and uses an online tool to assess the performance against indicators for water use, thermal comfort, and energy use. The requirements are shown in the BASIX Certificate and are a condition of development consent.
The goal of the scheme is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 25% and lower water usage by up to 40% by meeting government set targets. This will reduce the environmental impact of new homes and reduce ongoing costs for occupants.
When is a BASIX Certificate Required?
BASIX is the minimum standard for buildings in NSW for water, thermal comfort and energy efficiency. A BASIX Certificate is required when building approvals are submitted at the DA Stage.
A BASIX Report is required for residential developments, including:
- A new single swelling
- New homes and houses
- Semi-detached homes
- Secondary dwellings
- dual-occupancy dwellings
- Granny flats
- Other residential works, as applicable
A BASIX Compliance Certificate is mandatory for Alterations and Additions if:
– the renovation work is valued at $50,000 or more
– the project involves a pool/spa installation with a total volume greater than 40,000 litres
What does a BASIX Certificate Cost?
The cost to produce a BASIX Certificate will vary depending on the size and the complexity of the design. We use NatHERS modelling for most projects to reduce the compliance costs. Once we receive the building plans one of our BASIX consultants will prepare a quote for your approval.
BASIX Certificate Cost:
- Single Storey New homes – From $240.00
- Double Storey New Homes – From $320.00
- Renovations & Alterations – From $180.00
- The NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure charge a fee of $50.00 for new homes
- The NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure charge a fee of $25.00 for alterations and/or additions
- New homes using the Simulation Method have an additional $30.00 fee for the NatHERS Certificate
The above prices cover most projects and do not include GST.
Contact us to find out what a BASIX Certificate will cost in the Central Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong or any other area across New South Wales.
When is more than one BASIX Compliance Report required?
The EPA Regulation states that an application requires one BASIX certificate. If the building work contains more than one dwelling, then a separate BASIX certificate is required for each dwelling.
Subdivision into single ‘Torrens title’ lots
When subdividing land into separate dwellings that do not share property or services you have the following options:
- Produce a single BASIX certificate covering all dwellings
- Produce an individual certificate for each dwelling
Development involving strata title
One certificate is required for:
- Residential flat buildings
- Villa Units
- Multi-dwelling houses
- Dual Occupancy or mixed use developments on land that includes common property
These developments require one certificate to allow for the proper allocation of water and energy demands to common property and shared services.
Sometimes the development may need to be divided into separate parts for management purposes. You should consult with the help desk for clarification.
Large multi-building residential flats
A Development involving 600 or more units may require more than one BASIX certificate to allow for a faster calculation. The help desk should be consulted to clarify if the project is suitable to be divided.
What are the BASIX Report Targets?
The BASIX tool requires that you meet water targets, thermal comfort targets and energy targets. For a certificate to be issued you must achieve a pass score in each section.
The pass scores for each section is based on the performance in comparison to the average building that would have been built before the introduction of BASIX.
The water section aims to reduce potable water consumption for all new residential constructions. Some regional areas may require a lower score.
The water rating can be improved by:
- using higher rated showerheads, toilets, kitchen taps and bathroom taps
- Using a higher capacity rainwater tank
- Increasing the area of the roof connected to the tank
Thermal Comfort Targets
The thermal comfort section aims to ensure a home can maintain a comfortable temperature. The aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from artificial cooling and heating, and reduce demand for new or upgraded infrastructure.
This section can be improved by applying passive design, using better materials and choosing the right compliance pathway.
To complete this section you will need to choose from one of the following compliance methods:
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) method
This method can be done by anyone and is cheap to complete. It uses common construction materials, and will provide a pass or fail result without considering the design components. It is suitable for simple projects and may lead to more expensive compliance requirements.
This method must be done by a NatHERS assessor. It requires the project to be modelled in NatHERS software to calculate the energy usage. This method allows complex designs to be simulated such as townhouses and apartments.
The simulation method calculates the energy loads using software, whereas the DIY method estimates energy usage. This means the DIY method tends to require higher compliance requirements.
The Energy section gives a ‘target score’ based on the energy consumption of fixed appliances. This includes:
- Hot water systems
- Air conditioners and heaters
- Ceiling fans
- Poosl and spas
- Alternative energy sources
- Other energy uses
- Central systems
Depending on the climate zone, the energy targets aim to reduce usage by 10-50% from the benchmark. The benchmark is set at the average usage for a pre-BASIX home, which is 3,292 kilograms of carbon dioxide annually per person.
Can anyone do a BASIX Report?
The BASIX tool has been designed to be accessible by anyone. The tool has many complexities, and you will be limited to only using the do-it-yourself method if you are not NatHERS accredited. To complete an assessment using the simulation method, you must be accredited with an Assessor Accrediting Organisation (AAO). Only an accredited assessor can issue a NatHERS certificate to show compliance.
Currently there are three AAO’s that offer membership for accreditation.
- ABSA: Australia Building Sustainability Association
- DMN: Design Matters National
- HERA: House Energy Raters Association
All assessors must hold a Certificate IV in one of the following courses:
- Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Thermal Performance Assessment) – CPP41119
- Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Home Sustainability Assessment and Thermal Performance Assessment) – CPP41119
- Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment – CPP41212 (no longer available)
All assessors undergo regular audits and must get 12 CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points each year.
Why do I need an accredited BASIX Consultant?
Insured – We are required to have professional indemnity insurance.
Accurate & Reliable – We are also subject to audits for quality assurance.
Get a Certified Certificate – Only a NatHERS accredited assessor can complete an assessment using the simulation method.
Accredited – Our senior assessor and Director of Green Choice Consulting is a Design Matters National (DMN) member with accreditation number DMN/21/2045.
What is the Difference Between BASIX and a NatHERS?
To get a BASIX certificate you will need to show compliance with the water targets, thermal comfort targets and energy targets.
In the thermal comfort section you have two options:
- Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y) Method: This is a simple assessment method that uses standard construction materials and methods. It does not require the house to be modelled, which means the compliance requirements may be higher.
- NatHERS Simulation method: This method involves doing a detailed assessment of the house by modelling its design in NatHERS software. This method provides the expected energy usage for heating and cooling based on the design of the house, it’s materials and the climate.
BASIX does not require a 6 star rating to be achieved in NatHERS software. The use of NatHERS software will show compliance with the thermal comfort section for separate heating and cooling loads.
The thermal comfort section sets separate heating and cooling target loads, which must be met to show your project is compliant. A NatHERS certificate will show the separate heating and cooling loads and verify that the required loads have been met.
BASIX is only required in New South Wales.
How long does it take to get a BASIX Compliance Certificate?
The turnaround time for a BASIX Compliance certificate is included in our fee proposals. We guarantee a turnaround time of two business. The turnaround time is dependent on the accuracy and quality of information shown on the plans.
If you have a deadline that needs meeting let us know and we will try our best to meet it.