NABERS Energy And Water Rating: What Should You Know?

NABERS is an internationally-recognised sustainability rating tool used to measure building performance and efficiency.

NABERS was initially established in Australia in 1998 and was later adopted by several countries, including the UK. The NABERS rating evaluates several building classes, such as corporate spaces, shopping centers, hotels and hospitality spaces, data centres, tenant occupied, commercial spaces, base buildings and entire buildings.

The most unique part about the NABERS energy rating is that it measures actual impact and not intent. Therefore, ratings are valid for 12 months to reflect the current performance of a given building.

Enjoy Financial Benefits With The NABERS Rating

Based on the survey report, NABERS-rated office buildings enjoy:

  • 9% enhancement in energy efficiency.
  • 11% enhancement in water efficiency with NABERS water rating
  • 9% green premium in value for building with 5+ Star NABERS 

Your office building and tenant-occupied areas have the potential to reduce costs, improve building performance and build a great corporate reputation. 

To achieve these eminent industry standards, all you need is to develop a sustainability strategy focusing on less consumption and greater efficiency. 

A NABERS energy and water rating can help you accomplish these substantial savings by offering you a precise environmental performance rating.

With this rating, you can quickly determine how and where you are utilising excessive energy and water. Consequently, you can build targeted strategies to reduce wasteful consumption, minimise carbon footprint and save money. 

Benefits Of NABERS Rating

NABERS energy rating provides the opportunity to developers to make an office space a happy environment not just for building owners but for tenants as well. 

Apart from the evident financial and ecological savings, NABERS-rated offices are also entitled to several other benefits, including:

  • Improved asset value and rents 
  • More attractively designed office buildings for tenants
  • Reduced annual operating costs
  • Easy measurement of sustainability initiatives
  • Fulfilling the commercial building disclosure requirements
  • Increase corporate reputation in the industry
  • Following and complying with the environmental reporting requirements
  • A healthier work environment
  • An increase in shareholder value
  • Satisfying tenant and overall community expectations

How To Improve NABERS Rating?

The best way to improve your NABERS energy and NABERS rating for the office is by Introducing major renovations, such as upgrading the existing air-conditioning system, replacing the old appliances and re-working building insulation. 

Building owners can also increase energy efficiency by integrating small changes. These minor refurbishments include: 

  • Installing energy-efficient lighting – switching to high-efficiency LED lights can reduce electricity use by up to 75 per cent.
  • Integrating building management smart system: enables lighting heating and cooling system control for efficient management. 
  • Strategically planning shading, insulation and double glazing to minimise the requirement for air conditioning.

The building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (commonly known as HVAC) contribute to measuring energy costs in a commercial building. 

  • To maximise energy efficiency, you can consider the different ways to improve your HVAC system is utilised. For example, switching on a building’s HVAC system during busy hours and turning most of them in the afternoon can save almost 10% of total HVAC energy consumption. 
  • Replacing air conditioner equipment that is greater than 10 years old can significantly decrease electricity consumption for heating and cooling the spaces by approximately 10 to 15%. 
  • Building owners and managers can also utilise several benchmarking tools to understand the energy consumption of a building. 

Also Read: Fundamental Facts About BASIX Report and Certificate

Strategies for Increasing Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

To increase NABERS energy rating, you can introduce the following design concepts: 

A Properly Designed Building Envelope

Building an envelope might not be the first thing that a developer considers increasing energy efficiency. The building envelope dictates the energy consumption required to achieve thermal comfort. 

If a building envelope provides insulation, it will prevent the HVAC system from operating at peak efficiency. 

Optimise building envelope by using high-quality insulation materials such as cellulose, cotton, etc. 

Optimising HVAC Systems

A high-efficiency HVAC system is critical for enhancing heating and cooling efficiency. The HVAC system becomes a significant concern because the greater floor space needs cooling and heating. 

Generally, larger buildings have greater heating and cooling requirements, leading to more energy costs. In such cases, energy-focused strategies for heating and cooling appliances can be incredibly helpful. 

Optimising The Use Of Natural Light

One of the fundamental ways to achieve energy efficiency is optimising the use of natural light or sunlight. Sunlight doesn’t come with an energy consumption expenditure.  

Therefore, crafting commercial designs that leverage natural light is an amazing way to cut back on energy utilisation and costs. 

You can use several approaches to maximise the use of sunlight. However, the best way is strategically optimising the placement of windows and building orientation. 

Apart from NABERS energy rating, water consumption also plays a vital role in improving commercial building performance. 

Strategies For Improving Water Efficiency In Commercial Buildings

There are several ways to improve water efficiency in commercial buildings and attain a 5+ NABERS star rating. 

  • Install low-flow plumbing fixtures
  • Facility to treat and reuse great water 
  • Introducing rainwater harvesting
  • Pressure reduction
  • Proper piping insulation 
  • Leak proofing/leak repair
  • Rain sensor on irrigation
  • Cooling tower water recovery

With these sustainable inclusions, you can easily get a 5+ NABERS water rating. 

Conclusion

Using power and water efficiency saves businesses and buildings significant meaning and benefits for the planet as well. Designing a building with energy and water efficiency can also lead to reducing construction costs. 

With a futuristic approach and an energy-efficient objective in mind, the commercial developments of tomorrow can set the gold standard for sustainable resource usage.

 

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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