A House Energy Rating is the index of a building’s thermal performance (i.e. heating and cooling requirements) for residential homes in Australia
We have 3 different pathways available to comply with the energy efficiency regulations including:
One pathway for proving that you house or building project has met the minimum energyefficient home design standard is to gain a 6 star rating (The minimum energy efficient star rating) using House Energy Rating Software(HERS).
This sophisticated software analyses your building plans and assesses the heating and cooling loads required to keep your future house at a comfortable temperature.
It takes into account the full building fabric – Roof, Ceiling, Walls, windows and floors – and the heat and cold that can pass through these elements.
The Energy rating depends on:
- The layout of the home.
- The construction of its roof, walls, windows and floor.
- The orientation of windows and shading to the sun’s path and local breezes.
- How well the above factors suit the local climate.
- Sealing – Vented down lights and gas vents will significantly affect an energy rating.
- Colours of material – Dark colours are better in cold climates and light colours are better in warmer climates.
- Floor coverings – Tiles show a performance gain in areas where there are high heating loads or where there are full height windows allowing solar access to the tiles.
Zero stars means the building shell does practically nothing to reduce the discomfort of hot or cold
weather, while occupants of a 10 star home are unlikely to need any artificial cooling or heating.
Bushfire Smart can work with you to tailor an alternative solution for BCA energy efficiency compliance with the Verification using a Reference Building assessment method (VURB). This alternative gives you flexibility to meet energy efficiency compliance and good energy efficient home design by using both the Deemed-to-Satisfy Elemental Provisions method and the thermal modelling software.
The Verification using a Reference Building assessment method uses the Elemental Provisions as a compliance benchmark. A building is modelled with the Elemental Provisions using thermal modelling software to create target annual energy consumption. The building is then designed with your desired specification and this proposed building is also modelled in the thermal software. If your proposed building uses the same or less energy than the reference target then it is deemed to comply.
Verification Using a Reference Building is a minimum performance standard, meaning any proposed building which can achieve above the reference building benchmark energy heating and/or cooling loads is deemed compliant. This process gives builders, architects and designers the freedom to design buildings that meet (or exceed) specifications while also being cost effective. With VURB a star rating is not given but rather the building complies with the energy efficient home design requirements of the BCA.
A reference building cannot be labelled as 6 stars but can be more cost effective to construct compared to 6 stars.
The VURB Method is the most effective method for energy efficiency compliance for large houses, houses with elevated floors, houses with upside down living or houses with unusual design features.
In general, it can help reduce your build costs, while still achieving energy compliance. As this requires 3 separate ratings to calculate, the assessment cost is higher, however, the outcome achieved is much more cost effective in the building stage.
The elemental provisions, or Deemed To Satisfy as it used to be called, provides the least flexible way to achieve compliance of energy efficient home design elements but can still be useful in some circumstances, particularly light weight constructions.
The elemental provisions dictate the insulation or performance levels you need to comply with for each energy efficient home design element.
For example, a floor will have to have a certain R value, as well as the walls and so on. You cannot increase the R value in the walls to compensate for less insulation in the floor. Each individual component must comply.
This often makes it difficult to comply with this method.
As always energy efficient home design will be easier with Bushfire Smart and we will find the correct assessment method for your project.
Bushfire Smart will provide you with all the documents you need for council to approve the energy efficiency requirements. If you, council or any of your contractors have any questions during the building approval or building process we will be on hand to answer them. No extra charges. No fuss.
We like to make things simple here at Bushfire Smart so you have one less thing to worry about when managing your project. Here is how we do that:
- Email or lodge your plans online here on our website.
- Receive the quote (if required) within 4 working hours
- You approve the quote
- We email you a job confirmation so you know we are working on it
- If the assessment does not achieve the minimum requirements we will let you know the changes that are required.
You get your designer to alter the plans to meet the minimum requirements, or if you wish we can mark up the plans for you after the changes have been approved by you. We issue the final certification along with light and water calculations required. That’s it. You will have your energy efficiency documentation.
Bushfire Smart can advise on the correct method or combination of methods for your project to ensure a cost effective solution is found that does not compromise the design.