What You Need to Know for Your Residential Construction Project
Changes to the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) regulations in New South Wales are coming, and they will have significant impacts on the approvals, cost, and schedule of residential construction projects.
New State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022: What it Means for Residential and Non-Residential Buildings in NSW
The NSW state government has recently introduced a new State Environmental Planning Policy (Sustainable Buildings) 2022 as part of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050. The policy aims to reduce energy and potable water consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, monitor embodied emissions of building materials, and deliver comfortable buildings in both summer and winter.
For both residential and non-residential buildings assessed under a Development Application (CDC & DA), the SEPP includes new requirements. For residential buildings, the BASIX standards will be updated to further improve the thermal performance of homes. The key changes to the existing BASIX standards for new residential buildings are an increase of the thermal performance standard from an average of 5.5-6 stars to 7 stars NatHERS rating and an increase of between 7-11% in greenhouse gas reduction. These new BASIX regulations will take effect for development applications or development modification applications submitted from 1 October 2023.
Challenges of Achieving 7-Star NatHERS Ratingte EnvirChallenges of Achieving 7-Star NatHERS Rating
These changes will present challenges for new home builders, particularly in achieving a 7-star NatHERS rating for the thermal performance of the home design. It is clear that architects and builders will need to carefully design homes for specific site orientations and customise the design and elevations to achieve 7-star compliance while best ensuring the owner's objectives of natural light and views are met. Compliance in most cases will require significant upgrades to glazing or reduction in windows, and depending on orientation, some designs may not pass at all.
In addition to the changes to BASIX standards, the push towards the electrification of homes is another key change. The standard will require electric cooktops and electric heat pumps for hot water. Gas cooktops and water heaters will still be allowed, but they will need to be offset by a modest solar system. A report on the embodied carbon of the home will also need to be submitted.
At this point, there will be no requirement to offset the embodied carbon of the home, but Hall & Hart will provide this option with accredited carbon offset credits for any customer who wishes to do this.
These changes were only formalised late last year, and as yet, have not been adequately communicated to builders or their representative organisations. However, we believe that many builders are still not yet aware of the implications of these changes. We also believe that many suppliers are not in a position to move to this standard under the current time frames (i.e industry capacity to supply double glazing, electric heat pumps etc).
Preparing for the Impending Changes to NSW Building Regulations
With the changes set to take effect from 1 October 2023, we expect significant lobbying as builders and suppliers understand the implications of these changes however as a responsible builder, we will be generally advising clients to design their homes to the new standards. If you are interested in preparing for these upcoming changes please fill out the form below.
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Exceptional house design and construction are at the heart of what we do and something our team is dedicated to delivering on every day.
Our team has shaped our award-winning luxury home design and building business into what it is today. Integrity rich, self-motivated and ambitious, their focus lies in achieving our objective of making a difference in the experience our clients receive and the home they are ultimately delivered. They appreciate and support each member's skills and ensure the right specialist is engaged at the right time or bring all together to solve any challenges that arise, with a focus on achieving the best possible outcome together.
An intricate assembly of details and expertise, where every position is valued and every person adds value.
Designing a 7-Star Home
In preparation for the changes coming to NSW BASIX regulations our seasoned architects, builders, and sustainability experts are committed to creating a comprehensive BASIX Series. This series is designed to guide you through the essential design elements required to ensure that your new home meets the BASIX 7-Star standard. With our extensive knowledge, our team have already achieved 7-Star homes for our Design Collection.
Let's Start a Conversation About Designing Your 7-Star Home
If you are interested in a custom design project with Hall & Hart and would like to start preparing for the upcoming changes to the BASIX regulations in NSW, please fill in the form below and one of our consultants will be in contact.