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Making BASIX Compliance Easy

Achieving BASIX New Targets with Minimum Additional Costs

In the ever changing world of Ecologically Sustainable Design the NSW Government introduced new BASIX targets in July 2017. The energy targets for houses and low-rise units increased by 10% and by 5% for mid and high-rise units. Also, the stringency for the thermal comfort heating and cooling caps increased to match the level of NatHERS 6 star rating.

So what does it take to achieve the new targets?

Firstly you’ll need to learn to shoot straight. But seriously, there is no single solution to solve all specific project issues. However on a generic basis, some solutions can work more effectively than others.

Thermal comfort targets can be achieved by adopting one or a combination of the following design strategies at minimum additional costs:

  • Increasing roof insulation to R4.0 minimum
  • Shading devices to northern facades
  • Vertical shading devices to western windows
  • Improved cross ventilation
  • Performance glazing
  • Minimising the area of south glazing where possible
  • Underfloor insulation to cantilevered floors and suspended floors over car parks

Having a high performance thermal envelope provides a stepping stone to a good energy score. Nevertheless further energy efficiency initiatives may be required to reach the increased 2017 targets. One or more of the following energy efficiency measures may provide you the cost-effective compliant solution to provide compliance for your multi-unit project:

  • Installing a mixture of outdoor and sheltered clothes drying lines
  • Dedicated LED fittings throughout
  • Incorporating the Day/Night zoning features to air-conditioning systems
  • Installing motion sensors to control (on/off or dimming up/down) lighting to common areas
  • Express lifts to service lower levels and upper levels separately in high rise developments
  • Nominating minimum star ratings for clothes dryers and dishwashers.

The goal of the increased 2017 targets is to integrate improved energy efficiency and thermal performance into building design and construction process. The net result will reduce life cycle impacts and costs for the whole building industry.