Apartment buildings, one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia’s built environment, are now part of the NABERS rating system.
The new rating tool, NABERS for Apartment Buildings, aims to transform the apartment market in the same way that NABERS rated buildings helped the commercial building sector reduce energy and water consumption and book substantial savings on energy bills.
In the office market, long-term NABERS users have reduced energy emissions by around 40 per cent and on average, NABERS rated buildings have saved nearly half a billion dollars in energy bills since 2010.
At a seminar recently hosted at Colliers International Perth's office, an industry gathering discussed the impact of NABERS for apartments. The seminar's panel consisted of Acting Project Leader NABERS for Apartment Buildings Supratik Ghosh, NABERS National Program Manager Carlos Flores, Yolk Property Director Tao Burton and Colliers International’s Sustainability Manager Patrick Jeannerat.
Mr Ghosh, who helped develop and now manages the NABERS for Apartments tool, said apartment buildings generate about 10 per cent of the carbon emissions and use 18 per cent of the water in the built environment.
“If we are going to curb emissions, we also need to look at apartment buildings,” he said.
“NABERS has a very easy to understand scale and we expect the uptake for apartment buildings will be a lot faster than it was for the office sector.”
NABERS for Apartment Buildings rates the energy and water efficiency of common property in apartment buildings, shedding much needed light on energy and water expenses in facilities such as carparks, lobbies and gyms, which are paid for by the building’s strata company.
“Because this is not directly billed to the individual residents, the energy and water used in common property in an apartment building is often hidden,” Mr Ghosh said.
“Depending on the level of the central services, the energy used by common property can account for up to 60 per cent of the building’s energy consumption and 25 per cent of strata levies. With energy prices so volatile, having effective cost control methods is also of the essence.”
The new rating tool was launched in June and can be used to rate established buildings.
Mr Ghosh said NABERS had been working closely with local governments around Australia to promote the tool.
“We will also be engaging with accredited assessors, strata companies and city councils to get the ball rolling in Perth,” he said.