Industry news

Alternative assessment introduced for large boarding houses - 1 Nov, 2019

Since being introduced in 2004, the Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) requirements have set the ground rules for thermal comfort performance and water and energy usage within residential dwellings. They are part of the development application process in NSW and aim to promote more sustainable and green living, while maintaining comfort and cost-efficiency.

Recently, NSW Planning announced that large (e.g. student accommodation) boarding houses’ thermal comfort performance would no longer form part of this assessment. Instead, an alternative assessment should be requested via the online BASIX Tool. This means the assessment will not be required until the construction certificate stage, where thermal comfort will be assessed against Section J of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). For boarding houses that accommodate less than 12 people or have a floor area under 300m2, the alternative assessment does not apply.

The change is being implemented as a more suitable alternative to the existing NatHERS accredited software, however will not replace the standard BASIX assessment for water and energy usage.

More information on how you can access the alternative assessment can be found here.