If you have ventured into the residential development sector in Australia, you might have come across the term ‘BASIX Certificate’. But what does the term signify?
The BASIX, or Building Sustainability Index, is the NSW government-initiated scheme that assesses a residential building’s energy and water use and indoor environment quality.
Now, you might wonder when it’s necessary to have a BASIX assessment or certificate. Do you need it when relocating your home?
In this article, we will learn about the BASIX, the BASIX certificate’s importance, the BASIX assessment requirements, and whether a BASIX certificate is necessary for a relocatable home.
BASIX, short for Building Sustainability Index, is a scheme introduced as a part of the New South Wales Government’s initiative on 1 July 2004 to regulate the energy efficiency of residential constructions.
The energy efficiency rating scheme is, in effect, part of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. It offers an online assessment tool that rates the expected performance of residential buildings in terms of energy usage, water efficiency, and thermal comfort.
The BASIX Certificate aims to accommodate New South Wales, Australia, with more resilient buildings and reduce water and greenhouse gas consumption.
Moreover, the scheme was established to meet targets of reducing water consumption by up to 40% and greenhouse gas by up to 25%.
The following points highlight the importance of the BASIX certificate:
- BASIX certificate is a legal requirement. It’s needed for a development application, construction and occupation certificate, and a completion receipt. The Council in New South Wales, Australia, will not accept your development application without the BASIX Report.
- The BASIX assessment and certificate help promote eco-friendly, sustainable solutions and clean living. Homes complying with the BASIX will be more cost-efficient and comfortable. Appropriate glazing materials, ventilation systems, and solar systems reduce the dependency on artificial, energy-consuming heating and cooling systems. Therefore, it helps minimise energy bill expenditure and increase substantial savings.
- With the BASIX certificate, the value of residential projects increases. Tenants and home buyers prefer an energy-efficient home as it promotes clean and cost-effective living.
- BASIX-certified homes help save the environment by reducing potable water and energy consumption and minimising water wastage and greenhouse gas emissions.
The BASIX Certificate is mandatory in New South Wales for the following:
- All new homes
- Additions and alterations to homes with a cost exceeding $50,000 (excluding pergolas, decks, landscaping, and swimming pools)
- Swimming pools associated with a home
- Attached or semi-attached dual occupancy development
- Group housing developments of three or more dwellings
- Guest houses, hostels, boarding houses, and backpackers’ accommodation with ten or more beds
The BASIX assessment or certificate requirements are based on the amount of potable water consumed and greenhouse gas emissions each individual produces in a single or multi-dwelling home.
To establish the BASIX assessment requirements for your home, the BASIX Consultants will take into account the following information:
- Your home’s location
- The orientation of your home
- The proposed size of the windows installed in your home
- Appliances used in your home
- The type of home you want to build – single or multi-dwelling
- The landscape required
- Hot water heating
Once the BASIX assessment is submitted, the information provided is assessed against the NSW government’s current energy, water, and indoor environment quality targets.
Each home in NSW is required to meet the following targets:
- Water targets: A home complying with BASIX must reduce the amount of water consumed per individual by up to 40%. Moreover, each new home must have a minimum-size water tank filled from the roof structure used for washing machines, toilets, and gardens.
- Energy targets: A home complying with BASIX must minimise greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%.
- Thermal performance: Every new home in NSW must achieve a minimum heating and cooling score based on predetermined criteria.
Only when your project meets the required water, energy, and thermal performance targets, you’re eligible to obtain the BASIX certificate.
Now that you know what BASIX is, its importance, and its requirements, it’s time to learn whether you need a BASIX certificate for a relocatable home.
- A relocatable home doesn’t fall within the definition of a building under the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act. Therefore, a BASIX certificate is not required for such homes.
- It’s the case even if installation of your home requires development consent. In addition, a relocatable home doesn’t need a BASIX certificate when moving from one site to another, as it still remains a relocatable home.
- However, in some cases, a Local Environment Plan or specific policy of the Council asks for land use approval under the EP&A Act. In such cases, a BASIX certificate might be required.
- In addition, when the original dwelling was not erected as a relocatable home, and thus, the government views that it was never a relocatable home, you can’t move it from one site to another without a BASIX Report or certificate.
- Another case when you need a BASIX certificate is when you carry out alterations and additions to your house after relocation or to ensure your relocatable home suits the new site. However, if you just move it to a new location as is, then you don’t need a BASIX certificate.
BASIX has become a successful energy efficiency assessment scheme for the Australian residential development sector.
As per the ‘BASIX Annual Snapshot’ published by the NSW government, homes complying with BASIX saved 281 billion of potable water and prevented 8.7 million tonnes of greenhouse emissions.
Now that you are relocating your home, you might wonder whether it needs a BASIX certificate. You don’t need a BASIX certificate when a BASIX-affected home is moved from one site to another.
However, it’s recommended to always check with the professional BASIX Consultants or Council to ensure they agree with this interpretation in your specific situation.