The results of a survey and technical review of the NABERS sustainability rating scheme show firm support for the system, but also reveal the requirement for a more streamlined, robust approach.
The Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) has released a comprehensive and wide-ranging survey and technical review of the NABERS sustainability rating scheme. The institute facilitated the survey and review on behalf of the NABERS stakeholder advisory committee. It collated all comments made, including specific issues industry practitioners have raised with the NABERS tools, and offers solutions.
More than 100 survey respondents contributed to the report, which highlights strategic, technical and administrative priority issues for consideration during the NABERS strategic review. The results show firm support for the system, but they also reveal the requirement for a more streamlined, robust approach.
“The survey has highlighted how well accepted and embraced the NABERS rating tools are, and that industry really wants clarity to be actively engaged in improving the suite of tools,” Phil Wilkinson, CEO of AIRAH, states.
He says there should be awareness that there is an element of “work in progress” with the NABERS rating tool, and that cooperation among the various stakeholders is critical for it to be improved further. “A lot of technical issues have been raised, and we as an industry need to be realistic about how quickly the items can be dealt with,” Wilkinson notes.
Issues identified as priority areas of attention include methods to determine hours of occupancy; building, space and activity classification; the use and calibration of meters and sub-meters; the treatment of data rooms in the tools; and the methods specified for microbiological sampling and testing of indoor air.
The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage, which manages NABERS, says it was pleased with the feedback. “We are working through the findings in detail to ensure that NABERS remains a robust and reliable system and continues to be held in high regard by industry,” Matthew Clark, director of water and energy programs for the Office of Environment and Heritage, comments. The report can be accessed at www.airah.org.au/Useful_documents.