The NABERS National Administrator today announced that the much anticipated upgrades to their NABERS Indoor Environment (IE) tool have been released, and are now available to building owners and tenants across Australia as part of a pilot. NABERS will waive the rating lodgement fee ($1078) for all ratings using the new NABERS IE methodology during the pilot phase, which ends on 30 September 2015.
Indoor environment quality (IEQ) in office buildings has been gaining increasing attention lately as the research linking IEQ to occupant health and comfort has grown, and investors are starting to look more closely at the social aspects of sustainability.
NABERS, Australia’s most successful building sustainability rating scheme, initially launched their NABERS IE tool in 2009 as the world’s first performance-based tool of its kind. Star ratings are based on objective measurements of thermal comfort, lighting, air quality and acoustics, as well as subjective measurements of occupant satisfaction with the indoor conditions in an office.
While the number of ratings had been growing steadily on an annual basis, a technical working group was formed in 2013 to address a number of issues that had been raised during the tool’s first few years in the market. They were also tasked with exploring ways to make it more valuable and useful to property portfolios and facility management companies.
Mr. Carlos Flores, Acting Program Manager for NABERS, said that the progression to pilot testing was a big step forward for one of the program’s most promising tools.
“NABERS IE has always had the potential to make a big impact on the Australian office sector.” He said.
“These changes allow users to gain much greater insight into how the rating is calculated, how the building is performing in all areas of indoor environment quality and how it can improve.”
“A NABERS IE rating will allow building owners to demonstrate to tenants and investors that they take a holistic approach to sustainability with buildings that are good for the environment and for the
people who occupy them” said Mr. Flores.
The changes include:
- An expansion of the star rating scale to 6 stars
- An intuitive way to determine the star rating obtained as well as how much improvement is required to reach the next star rating.
- A more effective way to communicate performance on each aspect of the rating. Users can now easily see what aspects of IEQ performance are working well from others where there is significant potential for improvement.
- A new rating report which, that provides greater details into the building performance.
- Technical updates to align the tool with the latest international standards and science
“NABERS has been very fortunate to have some of the brightest minds from the property and IEQ sectors helping to create these enhancements. It allowed us to create a user-centric rating tool with very innovative features that would have otherwise not been possible.”
“We’re big believers in consultation and testing. The idea of a pilot came directly from industry stakeholders, and will allow us to test the tool on the ground and quickly address any teething issues that may come up.”
“NABERS Energy has been instrumental in driving an energy efficiency revolution and has helped the Australian commercial property sector to become a world leader in the field. We believe NABERS Indoor Environment can be the catalyst that allows Australia to once again lead the world, this time in creating healthy and productive work places.” He said.
As part of the pilot phase, NABERS is providing free sessions for anyone with an interest in the new tool in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. These sessions provide an opportunity to learn more about the changes to the tool, how to participate in the pilot phase offerings.
The sessions will be held in:
- Sydney CBD – 5th May 2015
- Brisbane CBD – 12th May 2015
- Perth CBD – 15th May 2015
- Melbourne CBD – 21st May 2015For all sessions, arrive at 8:30am for a 9:00am sharp start. Sessions will conclude at 11:30am. To register send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, company name and session you wish to attend.
For more information on the release of the new NABERS IE visit the NABERS website, or email email@example.com.