NABERS in the UK!
We are happy to inform you there is an exciting update to the smart building world – NABERS is in the UK! Having worked with the rating for years and already having helped over 75 buildings reach 5+ stars (7 with the coveted 6 Star award), we are ready to go for getting buildings high star ratings here within the UK too – all using the proven pre-existing NABERS Optergy toolkit. Undertaking a NABERS rating has helped many property owners, managers, and tenants across Australia to understand their environmental impact so they can improve their sustainability performance, reap financial benefits and build their reputation.
What does this mean for you?
The NABERS rating has transformed Australia in ensuring buildings not only reach their energy targets but far surpass them. In Australia over the past 20 years, 90 per cent of buildings who have undertaken a NABERS Commitment Agreement have met their energy target in operation. This drastically contrasts the UK building space where “A recent study of new buildings in the UK showed no building achieved their designed performance once in operations, and some were up to 10 times as bad as they were supposed to be”.
Better energy performance not only has an environmental impact but will provide huge costs savings. Within office building using NABERS ratings, there was an average saving of $280,000AUD (£157,600) per annum when a building went from 4 to 6 stars. This all translates to an average 30-40% saving on energy across users of the rating.
What is NABERS?
NABERS is the National Australian Built Environment Rating System. It is a national rating system which measures buildings, tenancies, and homes environmental performance.
A NABERS rating can provide you with an indication of how well you are managing your building or tenancies environmental impacts compared to similar buildings. NABERS rating tools assist in understanding the environmental performance of a building or tenancy. This provides the building blocks to determine how to save buildings more energy, reduce waste and become more water efficient.
Each of the NABERS tools has been developed to:
• provide a credible and independent market-based benchmark
• communicate environmental performance through a simple star rating
• drive best practice through setting stretch targets meet the needs of industry, and
• achieve real positive environmental outcomes.
Achieving a NABERS Rating
A buildings NABERS rating is calculated by using measured and verified performance information (eg. utility bills) and converting them into a star rating scale from one to six stars. The adjusted data is then compared to the NABERS benchmark data, and a star rating reflecting your performance relative to your peers is calculated.
The rating takes into consideration the climatic conditions in which the building operates, hours of use, level of provided services, used energy sources as well as its size and occupancy.
Image via NABERS
How does the NABERS Rating Scale work?
A NABERS rating reflects the environmental performance and impacts of a building or tenancy over twelve months. It converts detailed technical information about a building’s environmental impacts into an easily understood star rating that accurately demonstrates how a building or tenancy is performing compared to others in its location.
The NABERS rating scale uses a six star scale to indicate the energy efficiency, water usage, waste management and indoor environment quality of a building or tenancy and its impact on the environment. A 6 star NABERS rating demonstrates market-leading performance, while a 1 star rating means the building or tenancy has considerable scope for improvement.
Image via NSW Government
Benefits of a NABERS Rating for existing and new buildings
A NABERS rating allows businesses to improve operational efficiency and productivity, demonstrate their commitment to protect and conserve the environment as well as optimise the triple bottom line – financial, social and environmental outcomes – by reducing building energy usage and costs over the life of the building.
A NABERS accredited rating:
• Delivers demonstrated financial benefits, such as reduced operating costs, increased value, increased rental income and reduced vacancy rates.
• Provides market recognition and a competitive advantage for building owners and tenants who operate in an environmentally efficient manner. NABERS gives companies the confidence to promote their building performance with reputable government certification.
• Helps to create a better work environment for employees which has positive benefits for any company.
• Can help landlords to meet tenant expectations for greener buildings and workplaces, in particular, government tenants who require a minimum 4.5 star ratings.
• Provides a credible, independently verified means for benchmarking and monitoring actual improvements in performance.
• Encourages best practice, by providing realistic but aspirational benchmarks that encourage owners and tenants to minimise their environmental impacts.
• Can help to identify cost saving opportunities over time and across a portfolio – property owners can use NABERS to inform them of the performance of buildings across a portfolio and, through targeted resource allocation, better manage their impacts on the environment.
• Buildings with a 1 to 3 star rating will often have significant, cost-effective opportunities to improve, and to achieve energy and water savings.
*Sourced from NABERS
A NABERS rating is the first step in understanding what opportunities there may be to improve the efficiency, performance and sustainability of a building or tenancy and increase its rating.
An annual NABERS rating allows you to keep track of performance, measure the impact of any actions taken, address issues and make improvements, as well as set targets for each year. A NABERS rating can assist in evaluating how your building is performing, and the real results of initiatives you may be taking by providing a marker to see if you are heading in the right direction or need to reevaluate any systems you have in place. By confirming what is working well and what is not, you can set meaningful targets to improve the environmental performance of your building or tenancy.
For many commercial property managers and tenants, a NABERS ratings is an essential component to their decision making. Having a NABERS rating indicates that your building or tenancy has a credible standard, and is serious about environmental initiatives. This can be the deciding factor to a property manager choosing your building over another and can help you to attract and retain highly desirable tenants. In a good environment, your tenants staff will increase productivity resulting in higher ROI for them which you can charge a premium for.
A high NABERS rating is recognised across the property industry as a symbol of sustainability leadership and good management. Therefore buildings with high NABERS ratings are greatly favoured and hold higher value in the marketplace, attracting higher valuations, and enjoying lower operating costs.
Building owners and managers commonly use NABERS to set star rating targets for building or portfolio upgrade projects. A NABERS Energy Commitment Agreement ensures that your building is future proofed and energy considerations are being developed from the very beginning of the project, reducing the impact you have on the environment and the operating costs of your project.
You can use NABERS to market your environmental performance from day one of the development process and publicly promote your environmental initiatives whilst the building is being designed, constructed and leased. These buildings are also more likely to attract and retain tenants who value good environmental performance.
The Government has recently completed an open consultation on the viability and benefits of introducing NABERS to the UK, to which Leading Edge Automation has responded. When released, you will be able to view all our responses here.