People want sustainable, low carbon buildings. Investors are asking for them, tenants are demanding them. Property owners know they need to start offering greener products – but where to begin?
Start by looking under the hood. You need to know how much energy, waste and water your building is consuming before you can start reducing it.
The National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) is just the tool for the job. Run by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment on behalf of the federal government, NABERS compares buildings against similar buildings to see how they perform on energy, water and waste management, as well as the quality of their indoor environment.
For a NABERS Energy rating, energy consumption is measured over the course of a year and then compared with another building of a similar size, usage pattern and climatic conditions. This comparative process is also used for NABERS Waste, NABERS Water and NABERS Indoor Environment.
Buildings are given a rating out of six against these metrics, with a six-star rating considered market leading.
Once a building has a NABERS rating, it’s time to regroup and make changes to start climbing up the star ladder. A lower rating just means there are some quick and easy changes you can make to improve faster. And if you get a higher rating, it’s time to start leveraging this with your customers, investors, and stakeholders to keep aiming for the stars.
That’s the beauty of measurement, according to NABERS market development head,
That’s the beauty of measurement, according to NABERS market development head, Magali Wardle “The first step to improving your performance is to measure using a NABERS rating. Then you can set a benchmark to see how much you improve.
There are many relatively easy interventions that can yield excellent results at a surprisingly low cost. After that, you can move to upgrades that will show a quick payback.”
“Building owners can start with things such as keeping temperatures within a wider band – without sacrificing occupant comfort, of course – before moving on to equipment upgrades, such as energy efficient lighting that turns off when people leave the room.
“But first you need the measurement – and NABERS gives you that tool. One that’s widely recognised in the market and these days is the gold standard to verify a building’s performance– and running costs for that matter.”
Once you start using NABERS, before long, you’ll have the evidence your building is well-tuned asset and cheaper to run than other comparable assets with a lower NABERS rating.
“It’s what tenants are looking for and what investors are looking for as we head into a net zero carbon economy,” Magali says.
The planet will thank you too.