There have been changes made to the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure (Disclosure Affected Buildings) Determination concerning mixed use buildings and buildings which have undergone major refurbishments. These changes came into effect on 29 November 2010.
Mixed Use Buildings
The Government has decided as ‘an interim approach’ buildings with less than 75% office space (of the net lettable area), will not be required to disclose a NABERS Energy rating.
Mixed use is defined as buildings which combine office space with other functions such as warehouses, medical centres, hotels or retail outlets. These buildings often share energy metering and as a result, it can be difficult to provide an accurate energy rating for the separate spaces.
For some buildings, such as mixed office/warehouses, gross lettable area may be the industry standard. Where this is the case, and net lettable area is not available for this calculation, gross lettable area may be used.
- A 100,000m2 building with office space of 90,000m2 and retail space of 10,000 m2 would need to disclose an energy efficiency rating.
- A 100,000m2 building with office space of 60,000m2 and warehouse space of 40,000 m2 would not need to disclose an energy efficiency rating.
This approach to mixed use buildings is an interim measure only during the transition year of the program and will be subject to review by a panel of industry experts. This panel will report back to the Government before the end of July 2011 on their recommendations.
Industry will be given clear advice and an appropriate timeframe to adapt to any changes, recognising the possible need for metering changes and collection of 12 months data for a NABERS Energy rating.
What action do I need to take?
If your building has less than 75% office space, it is classed as an ‘exception’ to the CBD program and you do not need to take any action.
However, to determine if your building is within the 75% threshold, it must be determined in accordance with the Method of Measurement for Lettable Area’ published by the Property Council of Australia.
Owners of buildings that are below the 75% threshold but wish to voluntarily comply with the legislation may lodge their NABERS ratings on the Building Energy Efficiency Register.
Buildings which have had major refurbishments that will have a substantial effect on the energy performance of the base building will not be required to disclose a NABERS Energy rating for two years from when the certificate of occupancy is issued.
Major refurbishments are those that involve substantial changes being made to the fabric, plant or equipment in the building and require a certificate of occupancy issued under a law of a State or Territory, prior to the building being occupied or re-occupied.
If your building has undergone a major refurbishment it is classed as an ‘exception’ to the CBD program for two years after the issue of the certificate of occupancy, no action needs to be taken during this time. However, after two years of occupancy it is assumed that energy data can reasonably be assessed and from this point most building owners will need to comply with the legislation and disclose an energy efficiency rating.
How can Apex assist?
Apex Property Consulting is able to undertake a Energy Efficiency Assessments and accredited NABERS ratings to assist building owners in complying with the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010.
Our Building Consulting and Sustainability team offer consultancy services which provide strategic, commercial and regulatory advice. Our core strength is the ability to combine our extensive knowledge of building services installations together with first class analysis to offer the highest quality commercial, economic, strategic advice in this rapidly changing commercial property sector.
For more information please contact your local Apex Property Consulting office.