NABERS (the National Australian Built Environment Rating System)

Last updated: 8 August 2019
NABERS (the National Australian Built Environment Rating System) is a voluntary performance-based rating system that measures an existing buildings overall environmental performance during operation. The range of environmental indicators and the associated measurement techniques were initially developed by the Australian Department of Environment and Heritage. The New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change was awarded with a contract to commercialise NABERS in 2005, and manages the programme at a national level. NABERS rates a building on the basis of its measured operational impacts on the building broader environment, local environment, and its occupants. These cover energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, refrigerants (greenhouse and ozone depletion potential), water, storm water runoff and pollution, sewage, landscape diversity, transport, indoor air quality, occupant satisfaction, waste and toxic materials. Each of these systems has a separate rating, distinguished by building type. For example NABERS ratings for offices include NABERS Energy (previously the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (ABGR)), NABERS Water, NABERS Waste and NABERS indoor environment. NABERS provides separate ratings for office buildings, office tenancy (environmental impacts of the activities that are under the control of office occupants), AAA-rated business hotels, and homes, using the same one to five star rating system as the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) scheme, with five stars being the highest level of performance and one star the lowest. NABERS can be used by property owners, occupants, investors and other stakeholders to assess the environmental impacts of building use, and to define and set operational performance targets and measure actual performance. The system provides for self-assessment tools, with the option of undertaken a certified rating by a NABERS certified assessor. The certified rating can then be displayed and publicised. The primary means of assessment are actual measured quantities (generally covering 12 months). NABERS energy and water ratings for retail centres are currently under development.

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