Customer Information regarding New Building Rules called BASIX
In order to save on water and energy consumption, the NSW Government has introduced new regulations called 'BASIX' (Building Sustainability Index). They will have to be considered when building a new home and the following notes may assist in a better understanding of these regulations.
Water Consumption: Rainwater collection is required from the roof area into holding tanks. This water will then be used for WCís, laundry and distributed to the garden. Indigenous plant species also help to reduce the need for excessive watering.
Energy Consumption: The use of energy efficient hot water units is now mandatory. Instantaneous Gas or Solar Panel boosted hot water systems are the most efficient. Standard light globes may need to be replaced with fluorescent lights. Natural breezeways and ceiling fans can be an effective alternative to air-conditioning.
Thermal Performance: The aim is to maintain comfortable temperatures inside the home through good design instead of relying on air-conditioning. The most effective way of achieving this is insulation to minimise heat transfer through external walls, elevated floors and roof materials. Insulation alone, however, is no longer sufficient to comply with the governmentís target of a 25% reduction in green house gas emissions.
Rules for thermal performance will vary depending on whether the house will be in a hot climate zone or a cool climate zone. Here are some good examples:
Hot Climate. The aim is to keep the heat out.
Large verandahs are beneficial to minimise sun getting into your home.
Light external colours will reflect the sun.
Tiled floor coverings reduce heat gain.
Cool Climate. The aim is to absorb heat and hold it as long as possible.
Large areas of north-facing windows allows natural heat to get into the house. Correct orientation is important. In some cases, verandahs may need to be reduced.
A concrete slab on the ground coupled with carpet floor coverings absorbs the heat generated by the sun and slowly releases it into your home long after dark.
Draughts should be reduced from entry and laundry doors.
Aluminium window frames are also a weak point for heat and cold penetration. Timber window frames are much better insulators.
Dark external colours will attract the sunís rays and encourage heat gain.
Downlights penetrate ceiling insulation allowing heat to escape, this should be avoided.
A combination of these principles, and possible others, may become a requirement of receiving your BASIX Certificate. Once preliminary plans have been drawn, we will arrange for a BASIX report. Recommendations and cost implications will be available for your approval. All details will then be documented on your Final Council Plans. If your selections change prior to occupancy of your home, you will have to get the changes reassessed.