Disclosure threshold tightens for Australian office buildings on July 1

Mandatory disclosure will require smaller office buildings to reveal energy efficiency.

Tighter disclosure thresholds due to start soon will promote a transparent assessment of the energy efficiency at more of Australia’s office buildings, according to Colliers International.

In WA, the new threshold is expected to trigger a new wave of energy assessments, particularly across smaller and lower grade office buildings captured by the new rule.

Under changes in the national Commercial Building Disclosure Program, the mandatory disclosure threshold will be lowered from 2000sqm to 1000sqm on July 1, requiring owners and lessors of smaller commercial office buildings to disclose a NABERS rating when they market the property.

The CBD Program was introduced in 2010 and was designed to encourage all parties in a purchase or lease transaction to consider energy efficiency.

The new threshold will require sellers and lessors of office space from 1000sqm to obtain a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate before the building goes on the market for sale, lease or sublease.

“Disclosing a building’s energy efficiency provides future buyers and occupants with consistent information about the building's performance,” CBD Accredited Assessor and Sustainability Manager at Colliers International Patrick Jeannerat said.

“This makes it easier for companies to identify more energy efficient buildings when they are buying or renting office space.”

BEECs can be provided by accredited CBD assessors and will show a building’s NABERS energy rating and a tenant lighting assessment of relevant areas of the building.

Mr Jeannerat, who said substantial penalties could be charged for non-compliance, added there would be exceptions to the disclosure rule for new buildings, strata-titled buildings and mixed-use buildings where office space was less than three quarters of the total space.

“In some cases, the landlord may apply for a BEEC exemption,” he said.

“Marketing plans for office buildings affected by the new threshold will need to allow three months for a BEEC to be completed.”

According to the Australian Government’s Commercial Building Baseline Study, office buildings contribute 2.5 per cent to the nation’s total energy use.

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