FAQ

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What are Abec Services Accredited to offer

Abec Services staff have several accreditations and memberships of associations.

To ensure that a continual updating of skills and industry knowledge is available to our clients

 

All our staff are able to offer the following

 

  • Nathers home energy star rating — Cert 1V ABSA accredited, for National Construction Code (NCC) also known as Building Code of Australian (BCA)

 

  •  Commercial Section J reports, Deemed-to-Satisfy or Alternative Solutions- for National Construction Code (NCC) also known Building Code of Australian (BCA)

 

  • Accredited assessor for HERS ( BASIX NSW )

 

  •  Environmental Sustainable Design –  assessment and Procurement  — Ecospecifier accredited Professional

 

  • Life Cycle Design – Life Cycle Consultant – eToolLCD Advanced Training

 

  • Green Star Design & Build Accredited Professional – green building council australia

What is a BASIX certificate - NSW only

  • The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) aims to deliver equitable, effective water and greenhouse gas reductions across the state.
  • BASIX is one of the strongest sustainable planning measures to be undertaken in Australia.
  • A BASIX certificate is required with a building development application for class 1, class 2 and parts of class 4 buildings.

What is an Energy Rating?

  • Energy Star Rating is a calculation of the heating and cooling loads required to maintain a comfortable living environment within a given building.Factors taken into consideration include insulation, glazing, construction type, building size, orientation, and climate zone.

Why do I need an energy rating for my house?

You will be required to submit an Energy Rating Report prepared by an Accredited Assessor in order to obtain a building permit.

At what stage is it best to get an energy rating?

Once the building plans are close to being finalised it is generally a good time to get an energy rating. If, however, the design is likely to experience difficulty to achieve a 6-Star rating, or if you have goals to achieve a high star rating, it is best to contact us earlier in the design phase to conduct a preliminary assessment. This way we can provide guidance to the designer to ensure you reach the desired star rating.

How long will it take?

Generally allow 2-3 days for single homes, and 2-4 days for larger commercial jobs and multi-unit developments.

When will 6 stars be introduced and does it apply to designs before this date?

6 Star ratings for new homes and extensions are now mandatory for all states except NSW which requires a BASIX certificate.

What if my house doesn't rate 6 stars?

If your design doesn’t initially reach the 6 star standard, Abec Services will suggest some straightforward changes. In most cases we can provide a variety of alternatives which will help you achieve 6 stars or higher.

What do the stars mean?

Zero stars means the building shell does practically nothing to keep out heat in summer and retain heat in winter. 6 stars indicate a good level of thermal performance, and reduced energy bills. 10 stars is the maximum, and means no artificial cooling or heating will be required to maintain a comfortable living environment year round.

What is a BCA Section J Report?

A BCA Section J Report is required by local council prior to issuance of a construction certificate, for all Class 2-9 buildings – including commercial, industrial, public and apartment buildings. The Section J compliance report, also known as a Part J report, provides the basis for how the proposed building will satisfy the energy efficiency provisions of the BCA building regulations.

Do I need an energy rating for a renovation or extension?

Any extension or alteration requiring a building permit also requires an energy rating.

What information do I need to provide?

A complete set of plans in PDF format or hard copy, including:

  • Site plan, floor plans, elevations, sections, and a window schedule (new & existing).
  • In the case of commercial buildings, an electrical services plan, mechanical services plan and details of air-conditioning, heating and ventilation systems will also be required.

Will it cost more to build to 6 Star?

Given the building has good design and orientation for its specific location, increased costs to reach 6 stars should be minimal. In any case, it makes good financial sense to seek the right advice from a reputable Accredited Assessor to ensure costs are kept to a minimum.

How do I design to get 6 stars or more?

Give us a call for some free advice.

But basically it is about site orientation and an efficient building envelope.

What if the design options to reach 6 Star are technically difficult or cost prohibitive?

The building surveyor can use discretion to allow partial compliance if it is considered that reaching 6 Star would cause ‘excessive hardship’ (compared to the resulting benefit) or be technically not possible. E.g. An exemption may be granted if insulation were required within existing double brick walls in order to achieve 6 stars.

Do I need to install a solar hot water system or rainwater tank?

Only if it is a new house (renovations and extensions are exempt). You will need to choose either a rainwater tank for toilet flushing or a solar hot water system. Details must be supplied when applying for the building permit.

Who can perform an energy rating?

Only accredited assessors are able to perform an energy rating assessment. We are accredited by ABSA and trained in the use of second generation assessment tools.

Do items such as air conditioners, shower heads and refrigerators affect the rating?

No. A house energy rating is based only on the parts of the house least likely to be replaced – roofs, walls, windows and floors. Appliances and hot water systems generally have a much shorter working life than the house itself.

What tools will be used to rate my house?

We use Bers Pro V4.3, second generation House Energy Rating (HER) software. This latest addition is the most accurate to date and allows greater flexibility in reaching your desired star rating. It utilises the a platform, which is based on over twenty years of research and development by the CSIRO. Since May 2016 only second generation assessment tools have been permitted for use in conducting energy ratings within Australia.