As of 1 July 2017, the NSW Department of Planning will be making several changes to the BASIX tool. The key changes are as follows:
- Increased BASIX energy targets
- Thermal comfort heating and cooling cap stringency increase
- DIY ‘deemed-to-satisfy’ tool will be updated, increasing the stringency
Increased Energy Targets
The energy targets will increase by varying degrees depending on the location of the proposal. A breakdown of these increases is as follows:
- Single homes – new target 50 (previous target 40)
- Low rise units (up to three stories): new target 45 (previous target 35)
- Mid rise units (four and five stories): new target 35 (Previous target 30)
- High rise units (six stories and over): new target 25 (Previous target 20)
Some targets will be easier to achieve than others, however, in all instances, additional efficiency measures will be required.
More Stringent Thermal Comfort Caps
These changes will have the most significant impact, with an average reduction of around 20% to existing scores. With the scores for Eastern Sydney, decreasing by over 30%.
The likely outcome of this change is that many proposals will now require some form of performance glazing in order to achieve a passing score. Greater attention to passive design principles will also be more important than ever.
DIY Tool Updated
Substantial changes are being made to the DIY tool. One of the attached documents, titled “DIY update & screenshots” works through the proposed changes in some detail and is worth reviewing if you currently complete DIY assessments.
In general, the changes will limit the types of the dwellings that can be assessed under the DIY method and also aim to narrow the gap between dwellings that fail the simulation method but pass in DIY. As a result, an increased number of dwellings assessed under the simulation method is expected.
Other Important Information
- No changes to the water targets
- Existing BASIX assessments, which have been certified and lodged with the consent authority, will not be subject to the increased targets if revised
- Projects that are in progress, with no certificate generated before 1 July will be subject to the new targets
- Similarly, if a project has been certified but has not been lodged with the consenting authority, within the three-month certificate validity period, the new targets will apply (if it is revised)
How can we help?
For assessments that will be completed under the new scheme we recommend you seek our advice whilst you are still in the design phase so that we are best placed to identify any potential issues before they are locked in.
Having undertaken comprehensive testing, we are able to provide specific feedback on how these changes will impact you and able to provide you with strategies on how you can best to adapt to these changes.
These changes will have an impact on your design and specification. We would encourage you to use our expertise so that we can help you navigate the updated scheme.
Further information on the changes
The NSW Department of Planning has further information on BASIX and the BASIX target changes which can be found at http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/