We have launched NABERS Star Ratings for Energy and Water in retirement villages and residential aged care homes. Launched in September 2021, it heralds a large step forward for these sectors in being able to manage and celebrate their buildings’ environmental performance and progress towards net-zero emissions.
There has been a great deal of buzz around the launch of the new tools, not just from the sectors but also NABERS Assessors keen to expand their accreditation. We had a whopping 107 Assessors sign up for training.
Carlos Flores, Director at NABERS, had this to say:
We’re incredibly excited to be launching NABERS in residential aged care and retirement living. We have been working with leading organisations in these sectors for over a year now, and we have been blown away by their passion and enthusiasm. These leaders are eagerly looking for ways to minimise their impact on their environment, as well as reducing energy costs for their residents.
We, at NABERS, feel incredibly fortunate to be working with organisations that play such a key role in supporting the wellbeing of our senior citizens. We look forward to working closely with them as they continue to ramp up their leadership on climate change and the environment.
This is not only a step forward for the building management teams, but also for the occupants. Energy-efficient buildings also tend to be more comfortable for their occupants. Sometimes this is due to them having better equipment, such as more insulation or better systems to control heating and air conditioning. But very often it is about having a great team managing the facilities, who are actively looking for ways to provide great services to occupants at the lowest cost to the planet.
Rita Sheridan, Chief Development and Property Officer, from Estia Health in the Aged Care sector had this to say:
Caring for a rapidly aging population and responding to climate change present two of the most significant challenges of our time. Sustainable innovations can help tackle both of these challenges at once. This is why we welcome the introduction of NABERS ratings for the residential aged care sector to address the environmental impact of our sites and to improve the comfort and quality of life for our elderly citizens.
Kalpesh Patel (Sustainable Projects Manager) from Stockland Group Sustainability also voiced support for the addition of service provision to the sector.
At Stockland, we believe there’s a better way to live and we are committed to delivering a sustainable lifestyle for residents in our retirement living communities. Measuring and managing the environmental impact of our communities with a NABERS rating will enhance our service provision by helping to identify and drive efficiency improvements across our villages which will, in turn, benefit our residents.
As part of the development of the new tools, we consulted with providers, peak bodies, and experienced consultants across both the residential aged care and the retirement living sectors. We gathered data from more than 300 facilities across Australia to develop the NABERS Star ratings.
Upon completion of the tool, 16 buildings participated in a detailed pilot of the tool which resulted in a more robust final benchmark.
The expansion of NABERS to new sectors is a joint national initiative by States, Territories, and the Australian Governments. The project was funded by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER), which plays a central role in NABERS as Co-Chair of its National Steering Committee. Over the past decade, the thousands of existing buildings participating in NABERS reduced energy use and carbon emissions by over 30% on average, one of the fastest rates of improvement in the world.
The next sectors planned for NABERS expansion are warehouses and cold stores, expected to launch in mid-2022.