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    NABERS may have to add more stars to its ratings

    Branko Miletic

    When it comes to commercial building energy ratings, its seems five stars just isn’t enough these days, with the NABERS energy targets needing to add another star after the number of 6 star (without the need for GreenPower) rated buildings doubles over the past 12 months. 

    According to Carlos Flores, national program manager, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, when it comes to lowering its ecological footprint, the office sector is being redefined. 

    “In 2016/17, an astonishing 372 office buildings achieved a NABERS Energy rating of 5 stars or higher (without GreenPower), or in other words, 29 percent of office buildings certified in the past year,” says Flores.

    “This is an exceptional result,” he says, adding that it, “demonstrates how mature this market has become, and just how many consultants, facilities managers and designers can now deliver buildings at this level.”

    “These results reflect the performance culture that we have collectively created in our sector, and this is something we should all feel proud of. However, if we want these trends to continue, we must avoid complacency and ensure our expectations move along with what we could achieve in 2016/17,” says Flores.

    “At present, few new office buildings commit to NABERS energy targets higher that 5 stars, even though 82 existing buildings have already reached 5.5 stars or higher.”

    “Perhaps our expectations of what is possible in new building energy efficiency has not kept up with the pace of change in the office sector,” he says.

    “The office sector in Australia has moved at an incredible speed over the past decade, and if we can move our expectations along with it, we could lift the bar even higher,” concedes Flores.

    To underline Flores’s comments, according to the NABERS Annual Report, Australia’s commercial sector has managed to decrease its CO2 output by 2.7 percent over the past 12 months.

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