The NSW Government has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and this has led to an increase in the BASIX standards for energy use and thermal performance for all new home builds in NSW.
The new standards will come into effect on 1 October 2023, and if you’re planning to build a new house you need to understand how the changes will affect you.
The National Construction Code of Australia (NCC) is a national standard that contains energy efficiency provisions that apply to all new buildings. The exception is in NSW where we instead have the Building and Sustainability Index (BASIX) that applies to all NSW residential dwellings.
Following the recent changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 energy efficiency provisions, the NSW Government announced the equivalent changes for NSW that will apply under BASIX.
In short, BASIX is a web-based planning tool designed to assess potential performance against a range of sustainability indices including thermal comfort, energy and water use and a BASIX Certificate is the formal evidence that the project achieves compliance with the required targets.
The commitments made under BASIX become a condition of the relevant development consent or complying development certificate and applies to any new building work or alterations and additions to an existing dwelling where the value of the works is over $50,000.
What are the changes to the BASIX scheme?
Following the changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) 2022 energy efficiency provisions, the NSW Government announced the equivalent changes for NSW that will apply under BASIX.
The changes mean that:
- ‘Thermal comfort target’ increases from 5.5-star NatHERS (Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme) to 7-star minimum (equivalence) in line with the NCC.
- Energy consumption stringency increases, varying with building location and type.
- A new provision will be introduced to calculate and report the embodied emissions of building materials in the building. There is no specific target or benchmark, but information must be reported on the embodied emissions through a new calculator.
For those building a new home the key changes coming on 1 October 2023 are:
- External Wall Insulation – R2.5 minimum
- Roof Insulation – R6.0 minimum
- Use of light roof colours as much as possible
- Single storey home designs to have Low E coated glass in bedroom windows and double-glazed living room windows
- Double storey homes to have double-glazing for all windows except wet areas.
It’s important to note that while these changes may translate to higher upfront construction costs to achieve the average 7-star rating, the benefits have been assessed and determined to outweigh the cost. Plus, homes that meet the higher standard will be more comfortable to live in as they will be passively cooler in summer and warmer in winter. It is estimated that the lower operational cost of the home will pay itself off within a decade and continue to save money throughout its lifespan, and home owners can feel good about contributing positively to the environment by offsetting carbon.
How will the changes to BASIX affect my new home build?
The good news for Kurmond Homes customers is that as your builder we apply for the BASIX certification and will ensure your new home is compliant.
Builders like us need to consider a number of factors to ensure homes are compliant with the new regulations and that build permit applications are lodged taking into account the new specifications.
Will it cost more to build a home in NSW after the BASIX changes?
Building costs for most homes will increase when these changes come into effect in October, but the amount will depend on your location, block aspect and home design. Home design aspects include ceiling height, window size and the number of windows.
What do I need to do to get ready for the BASIX changes?
If you’re already in the process of designing your new home and you want to maintain your current plans you need to ensure that your application is lodged with a valid BASIX certificate before 1 October 2023.
And while that’s nearly six months away, you need to act now if you want to meet that deadline and not wait. Building a new home is a complex project and can take many months to plan and implement.
How can Kurmond Homes help with the BASIX changes?
Kurmond Homes can provide advice about the BASIX requirements.
Building a new home is a major commitment, and it’s good to have an experienced, reliable team, like Kurmond by your side. Our objective is always to make building a new home a smooth and pain-free process.