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NABERS - A positive impact on the environment

News | 05 Jun 2019

Did you know that buildings cause around 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions globally? Today, on World Environment Day, we want to celebrate one of Australia’s highest impact sustainability programs - NABERS. We help the built environment have a more positive impact on the planet by rating the sustainability of buildings. Here’s how NABERS has been transforming Australia’s built environment over the last year:

1. NABERS Apartment Buildings

After the runaway success of our Office Buildings rating tool, we expanded into apartment buildings, and we have already certified over 90 residential buildings. We rate the energy and water efficiency of common property areas like foyers, carparks and shared facilities – which is typically up to 60% of a building’s energy consumption. With a NABERS for Apartment Buildings rating, owners corporations can save money on their utilities, and residents can feel good knowing that their building is on the path to greater sustainability.

2. NABERS Co-Assess 

We empowered office tenants to get their own ratings. Co-Assess is a tool that helps building managers, building owners and tenants to better understand their energy use and work together to improve. The energy used by office tenancies generally accounts for around 50% of the total office building’s energy use, so this is another big opportunity for the built environment to reduce emissions. So far 82 tenants have been rated using the Co-Assess tool, and that number is growing rapidly.

3. The NABERS waste platform and rating system

The first six-star Waste rating (the highest possible) was achieved by 171 Collins in Melbourne in April 2019. This building achieved this result through a dedicated organics collection and an extremely low contamination rate because tenants and cleaners meticulously sorted waste into the different recycling streams. This demonstrates that recycling efforts do pay off! The Waste Rating for Offices recognises those buildings that reduce their environmental impact through better separation of their waste streams so that valuable materials can be re-used.

4. Indoor Environment

Our Indoor Environment tool rates indoor air quality, acoustic quality, and other markers of a healthy environment. Clearly, people are paying more attention to the health and wellbeing benefits of clean buildings. Since July 2018, we’ve given over 100 buildings an Indoor Environment rating - a huge growth in interest in our Indoor Environment tool!

All these achievements have inspired us to keep innovating. With some ground-breaking advances to be announced in the coming months, NABERS is a reason to feel positive about the future of Australia’s environmental sustainability. Please get in touch if you want any information on NABERS, our tools and ratings, or anything else at nabers@environment.nsw.gov.au.