Outcome of an energy assessment
An energy assessment predicts how much energy would be required to cool and heat a dwelling over a year based on the thermal performance of its building shell. It only deals with the thermal performance of the building, and does not include energy use from its fixtures and appliances (e.g. air conditioners and fridges).
The 2 most common assessment methods used to determine the energy equivalence of residential buildings (houses and units) are:
- software – using one of the software tools accredited under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (BERS Pro, AccuRate and FirstRate5), a house energy assessor predicts the design's thermal performance. The software generates a star rating between 0 to 10 stars – a 10-star building requiring least energy for artificial cooling and heating. A NatHERS Universal Certificate confirms the star rating of the building shell and provides a summary of the dwelling's energy efficiency features. More information on software assessment is available in Building and Plumbing Newsflash 548.
- deemed-to-satisfy (DTS) – using the more prescriptive provisions of the National Construction Code (through the Building Code of Australia—Volume Two).
Other assessment options include:
- peer review by an expert (read peer review guidelines)
- using a reference building by comparing a design that is already known to comply.
Extra optional credits
In Queensland, a building can be awarded optional credits when the dwelling includes a photovoltaic (PV) solar energy system (for houses and townhouses) and an outdoor living area (for houses, townhouses and units). These credits can be used towards compliance of the building's energy rating.
The 6-star housing and 5-star multi-unit residential building requirements are regulated through the Queensland Development Code 4.1—Sustainable buildings.
- Review the energy efficiency Peer review guideline.
- Learn more about the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS).
- Read the National Construction Code for the construction of buildings.
- Read about passive design on the Australian Government's Your Home website.
- Learn more about Queensland's climate zones.